We have got so used to being connected, it’s hard to believe how we used to manage before the internet. But this last week, we’ve had a reminder of just how challenging it can be to stay in touch, without working technology.
All of us are keen on our technology. At last count I think we have six – make that ten including the kindles – devices with us that connect to the internet, two of which are also phones. We have become accustomed to being able to Facebook, email, blog, text, whenever we like, and rely on instant message transmission.
Catching up on blogs and emails in Paris
We managed to connect fine through Singapore, but since arriving in Paris, have had a plethora of technical difficulties:
- our New Zealand phones worked for initial urgent texts, but our Paris host was unable to reply, leaving us guessing about collection from the RER station
- our French phones receive international texts fine but do not seem able to reply (well mine doesn’t)
- we can receive email via all our devices, but can send from none, unless we use webmail
- we had no wifi for the last week at our rural gite in the Loire, so no means of transmitting messages of any kind.
You can imagine the increasingly frustrated messages from family: ‘Have you received my texts?’ ‘Yes, but I can’t tell you so.’ Just send me a message to let me know you’ve received mine.’ ‘No can do…’
It feels like the world has changed a lot since the days we were first in France. Less than 20 years ago, Stephen and I wrote to each other once a week by snail mail for a year, and rationed ourselves to one ten-minute (extravagant at $2 per minute) phone call per month.
As we wrote postcards to family from the Loire this last week, it felt like not much had changed at all.