This past Sunday (the 5th of October) a power outage swept across large parts of East and South Auckland due to a fire at a substation. As a resident of Remuera/Meadowbank my flatmates and I were victims of a no-power weekend. This was irksome for several reasons – aside from the basic necessities of life like a cup of tea, and wi-fi – I had actually set aside the day for non-stop gaming (my version of relaxation).
The initial hour spent at home was full of interesting thought processes; when I first tried to turn the kettle on I thought “hmm that’s strange”, then when the lights refused to illuminate I thought “oh no we’ve been cut off by the power company” it wasn’t until my phone refused to ring the power company’s helpline for the third time in a row I realised “oh the cellphone tower reception’s out too” – this was both a relief and an emotional sandbag. I was glad that we hadn’t foolishly forgot some bill somehow, but equally I knew I was settling in for at least several hours without power.
Following this period of initial discovery I started to ponder my plan for the day, with no way to gather information I realised that there would be little point staying at home, as it would no doubt lead to a waiting game against an invisible enemy. I planned a scouting mission to the local cafe – I knew it was unlikely to produce results as power cuts rarely affect small target areas (such as the five houses I could see from ours) but I thought it would be worthwhile to see how in the dark (thank you very much) everyone else was.
Completely. Everyone else nearby was completely in the dark.
It was beginning to rain, and knowing that nothing but grey skies, and darkness awaited me at home I decided to head towards civilisation, or at least where I hoped civilisation would still exist.
Arriving in town with my laptop in hand I was glad to see that the mighty CBD had lived to see another day. I performed my usual city pondering, in which I idly navigated streets I’d walked a hundred times before – and as always I discovered half a dozen things about the CBD I had never known before. Two of my favourites this time were the fact that there’s Paintball and Crazy Golf in the CBD Metro (I freakin’ love Crazy Golf so I’ll definitely be utilising that in the future), however it was Wi-Fi which I sought so needily. The rest of my day was then spent sitting in the Library followed by Vulcan Cafe (decent coffee!) and do you know what thought inevitably crossed my mind?
Addiction to technology.
And the funny thing is, it wasn’t “we’re too dependant on technology, we spend too much time using it – boo technology!” – it was “holy crap, how awesome and invaluable are these items that most of us take for granted” – seriously I mean ALL pieces of technology. Lightbulbs to see what’s in my closet, power to charge my toothbrush, Wi-Fi to connect me to BILLIONS of devices around the world!
Of course we all should probably spent a little less time on facebook than we do, however after today I feel more assured of my technology consumption than ever before. It may not be great that we’re all so dependant on technology, but do you know what? If less general knowledge is a by-product of an overall more progressive culture via the enhancements that technology provides – then I think it’s a worthy trade.