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A welcome interruption...
“May I have your attention please, Portman County Library patrons. Attention please. In fifteen minutes, the Library will be turning off the internet connection for 60 minutes for unscheduled maintenance. Repeat, the library will be turning off internet connectivity for one hour for unscheduled maintenance. Your cell phone reception will be limited and your internet connection will be lost. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we troubleshoot some issues.”
Herb glanced at his phone to get the time. He needed the internet for his research. If he left now, he’d have a hard time finding another place to complete his work in peace. Even the local coffee shops chose soft alternative music to go with the alternative-looking staff, neither of which Herb cared for. On the other hand, if he stayed in the library, he couldn’t work at all.
But was that such a bad thing?
Two minutes before the internet was turned off, another announcement reminded patrons about the upcoming service interruption.
By now, the library was nearly empty. On a Saturday afternoon, a hundred people browsed the shelves or met to study. Without the internet, though, only a handful remained, and half of those were staff.
Herb sat back, folded his arms, and closed his eyes. It was actually the break he was hoping for, though, he didn’t realize it at the time. His mind began to wander as he fell asleep.
What was it like in the 1800s with only candles lighting rooms?
What would they think of having worldwide communications in the palm of their hands?
What did they do without the instant communications?
What would instant worldwide communications even mean to someone from another century?
As Herb considered these questions, his doze turned into a full blown snore with his chin resting on his chest. They were perplexing questions that needed further in depth consideration, consideration that would only come by taking the edge off of his awakened state.
When the PA system came to life again, Herb woke and looked around him. No one was nearby, but he faintly remembered being in a library. The voice over the PA system noted that internet connectivity was now fully restored. Herb could complete his work and resume his life, though he quite enjoyed the reprieve from the current world.
“Wouldn’t it be great if this happened every Saturday!” Herb thought.
Herb wrote in his journal: “build think time into schedule.”
“Now, to get back this report,” Herb thought to himself. “Communications Before the Internet Era.”