November 21, 2017 by Amy
I feel the need…the need for speed
For a few weeks now, I’ve been getting irrationally irritated at my computer. Any time I was on the internet, the thing just seemed to draaaaaag. I type cnn.com and then go make a cup of coffee and visit the bathroom and trim a hangnail and bake 18 dozen cookies and then check the computer and the page would be maybe half loaded.
I texted M, who was on a business trip, as if he could magically repair my internet speed from hundreds of miles away. “My internet is very, very slow. Fix it. Fix it right now.” He, unsurprisingly, didn’t respond. I think he was actually working, like visiting a customer or on a conference call with people halfway around the world or building yet another PowerPoint presentation, and probably recognized the futility of responding to my complaint while not somewhere he could check things.
It’s been getting boggier and boggier. And dammit, I had important things to look up. Like a shepherd’s pie recipe (only I’m making mine with real potatoes, because that’s how I roll), Stephen King’s writer son who ditched the “King” name to make it on his own before he was outed, a Blues Brothers quote, iPhone battery issues, shallots, Nellie from Little House on the Prairie, the phone number of someone who called but left no message, the definition of “dyspeptic” to be sure I had it right (I did), a writing workshop in Dayton, how long is a marathon (answer: too fracking long), a flight tracker, 14 décor mistakes that make designers cringe (article was pointless, so I’m not linking), how to view iPhone photos shot in burst mode (I keep having to look this up, because I do it so rarely that I always forget), half Christmas trees sold by Target (I can’t believe this is a thing), and many other, incredibly important nuggets of information.
My first inclination is always to throw some money at the problem, mostly because this is the easiest solution that does not require me to personally find a resolution to anything. I am aware that we currently have the slowest (read: the cheapest) internet access available from our provider. (We have the cheapest everything possible, including Sirius XM which M re-negotiated when our contract came due this year and which he promised would not affect me in the slightest even though a day later I lost channel 31…which is only Tom Petty Radio and pretty much my number one station in the universe. He grudgingly offered to turn it back on, but I declined, pouted for a few weeks, then ordered every single Tom Petty CD I didn’t already own from Amazon and made my own Tom Petty Radio station right on my iPhone, so I win.)
Cheap-o internet access hasn’t meant a thing in the past, because we have only one television and we rarely use it and even if we’re streaming something on the TV we can usually also surf at the same time with no ill effects. I’ve been wondering if our frugality has finally caught up with us, so I’m thinking M needs to call our provider post-haste and bump up our speed. I tell him this, upon his return home, and he glances up from his many devices to say, “Mine are all working just fine,” before returning to scan his iPhone, his iPad, and his laptop all at once. That was it. No offers to help. Multi-tasking on three devices meant that there was no bandwidth left to help. I was alone and frightened in the world of “my technology is broken and I don’t know how to freaking fix it.” My abandonment issues were kicking into high gear. I considered googling, “how do I get my husband to fix my internet issue” but realized I didn’t have the time to wait for the results to load.
Then I wondered if I just need to buy a new laptop. Mine is now almost three years old, a veritable dinosaur in the technology world. I mentioned this to M and he gave me the side-eye, which I’ve been noticing he gives me a lot lately. Like, every time I open my mouth. He still didn’t offer to help. This is exactly what happens when I announce, “I’m cold,” and he sighs and says, “The thermostat hasn’t changed. It’s the same temperature it was yesterday.” And I say, “Yes, but it’s colder outside therefore I feel colder inside and let’s turn the heat up.” He gives me the side-eye and doesn’t change the thermostat. I also get the side-eye when I say things like, “Ooo. You know what sounds good? McDonald’s French fries!” and “Hey, instead of going to Mass this morning, let’s stay in bed and say a few Hail Marys and call it good.” and “I think we need a cottage in Ireland.” Needless to say, I get this look a lot.
Then, today, I had a revelation. Well, it’s a revelation if you consider that I’ve been bombarded with Firefox update advertising all over social media and today I finally paid attention to it. I thought, “Huh. I wonder if updating the software will fix it.” So I google, “How to update Firefox” and learn that basically all I have to do is click twice, close my eyes, and say, “There’s no place like home” a few times and bam. I’m updated. It literally took less than 10 seconds.
When I opened my eyes and everything was in technicolor and Firefox re-loaded and even kept all the tabs I had open before I updated, I was amazed. Then a bit skeptical. Yeah, it looks all shiny and new, but does it work?
Lightning speed, my friend. Pages load almost instantaneously. Images and videos pop. I feel like I’ve been reborn. Although I’m still aggravated about all the time I wasted in the last couple of weeks waiting for the picture of Sammy Sosa looking like a pasty white dude to load. I’m all excited about The Things I Can Google. Like, “How do I control the thermostat from my phone and have it be untraceable?” and “How much do cottages in Ireland cost?”
The possibilities are endless.