What The Darkness reveals
by J.M. (11)
Captain’s Log: Day 2
It’s been over 24 hours without power. My homework is incomplete, my milk is unrefrigerated. I spent a third of my waking hours at the library, craving a taste of civilization. I fear all hope is lost.
Most of us take electricity for granted. We’ve had it for just centuries – a mere flash of time in the grander scale – yet we’ve already begun to forget how much it has affected our lives. From the video games we can no longer play to the refrigerated foods that slowly rot away, electricity governs our lives. Nearly every waking moment is spent, in some form or another, interacting with some form of electricity. And what better way to measure that than to observe our activities once it’s gone? A power outage certainly is a hassle, but it gives a great reminder of how deeply electricity is ingrained into our lives.
I’ll use myself as an example. Despite trying to limit myself, having a very limited cellular data plan, the amount of data I used yesterday just kept increasing over the day. I felt like I was using it sporadically, only turning it on to browse Reddit occasionally, but what started out as 10 MB used slowly crawled its way up. 20. 40. 80. And by the end of the day, it was sitting at around 200, a mark of my own lack of willpower and reliance on the Internet. Now, considering how infrequently I did in fact use my mobile data, the time I spent on Wi-Fi or related activities in the same day was appalling to think about. But I wouldn’t have even thought to think about it if I still had power.
Most people I know went to the library to get their work done and while away their Wi-Fi woes. And within minutes of getting there, they likely had all their devices charging and had effectively escaped the power outage. And before you think this is a “people good phones bad” rant, let me just say that that’s not a bad thing. We as humans in a developed country have developed a way of life that revolves very heavily around the use of technology, and that’s okay. But not everyone has that, and that’s worth noticing. Even during a power outage on this scale, we’re lucky enough that we can just find another place that has power.
This article wasn’t ever really meant to make you change anything you do, or limit your electricity consumption – I mean, electricity is a privilege we have, so we should make the most of that. But it disappearing once in a while is a good reminder of what our lives would be like without it.