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It’s Monday and the internet hasn’t crumbled yet

We live in a bubble of broadband.

Internet signage
Image: Unsplash

Good morning (afternoon, evening). It’s Monday, again. While every day is Monday, each Monday brings us closer to the prophesied downfall of the internet. You know the internet. That thing you take for granted, that thing that should be classified as a utility but instead is monitored and administered by ISPs. The internet, our home within a home, our escape and prison. Today, it is still active and functioning.

We’re all at home now. Having family and business meetings on the security-issue-laden Zoom. We’re streaming entertainment 24/7. Our kids are online more too, as schools around the nation move online. As we all are more online than ever before, a dark cloud apparently looms in the distance. It’s not your crushing anxiety and depression, it’s the death of the internet itself.

There is no shortage of doom when it comes to the stability and general existence of the infrastructure that maintains our connection to the outside world. The internet is undergoing its greatest stress test since the invention of online porn. Download speeds are slowing down around the world in some areas. The strain of this resource has become a warning.

The EU recently gave ISPs the right to throttle traffic. Netflix and Disney+ also agreed to throttle video streams, followed closely by YouTube.

I have worked at home for years, so having a reliable internet connection is crucial to commanding a paycheck. Thankfully, I still have a job so with more people moving online, I bolstered my own connectivity with a backup internet provider, adding T-Mobile’s Home Internet to my existing ISP. While the down/up speeds are a quarter of that provided by the ISP, it’s a viable backup for when throttling might occur (as long as the conspiracy fuck-brains leave my 5G cell tower alone). Because it will. If not this Monday, another Monday.

But this is all temporary, as all things are

Eventually, life will return (in this aspect) to something resembling normality. Yet, the threat of the internet failing to do what it was designed to do will remain and grow louder and louder until nothing significant happens with it. While many more people are online all the time, when they were in the office, they were also online all the time.

While there is a significant difference between connecting through an ISP router in your home and a broadband T1 line at the office, the volume load distribution can be adjusted. And it is, surely in real-time as you are able to read this and I was able to post it. Tweets are still flowing. Terribly misinformed memes are still being posted to Facebook. Netflix is still being binged.

The ephemeral nature of life and time should give you enough of a respite from this moment to know that if your video streaming seems of a lower quality, or if your game of Call of Duty was messed up by server lag — it doesn’t matter and shouldn’t matter.

Now is not the time to be a nitpicky asshole about the total quality of service, just be glad the service exists. We can be nitpicky assholes later. Now is the time to find solace in the fact that the internet is still here, today, on this Monday. While I doubt it will all come crashing down as the doomsayers believe, it’s a series of switches, cables, wires, and buttons. If we’ve learned anything from James Bond movies, it only takes one villain to fuck it all up.

There was a time when the internet was an escape, a luxury moment in time. It is and has been a necessary utility for a long time since that brief moment. Our information, data, and existence relies on its existence and functionality. Today, it’s here. Tomorrow, it will be here. There may come a moment on a Monday when it is not here. That could be the spark of great international patience, or the end of the world as we know it (depending on what you read).

Of course, if the internet does break, we can always just unplug it and plug it back in again.

What do you think? Have you noticed slower internet where you are? Do you worry about the internet going down? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Defunct writer. Exhausted. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Don't email me.

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