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How to Pass the Time When the Internet is Down

by Sophia Davies

The most practical way to start a zombie apocalypse is to simply take away people’s Internet. As the general population withdraws, they will exhibit symptoms like shuffling along with glazed eyes, wandering aimlessly in circles, and sudden attacks of violent aggression. The inability to function normally without the Internet is a side effect of our increasingly complete dependence on it. The fact is that the Internet has become such an integral part of most of our lives that we don’t know what to do without it. When that little yellow error sign appears over those precious bars, our carefully constructed world collapses around us. For the next time your Internet contracts a mysterious illness, here are some suggestions for how you can spend your suddenly copious amounts of free time.

Use up all your phone data

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Your first instinct will undoubtedly be to just use your phone or set up a mobile hotspot for your computer. While this is a fix, it’s a temporary one. Using your data for YouTube, Netflix, downloading, and all your usual activities can’t last long. You’d be unpleasantly surprised how quickly normal online activities use up gigs of data. Your phone is handy for the absolutely essential functions of Internet, like email and basic googling, but when it comes to entertaining ways to spend your free time, you might need to find some other options.

Practice your hacking skills

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You owe it to yourself to at least try the hacker life, right? And by hacking I mean desperately trying to remember your neighbors’ birthdays or trying common passwords to log into their networks. If you’re really lucky, the guy next door is an idiot and you can easily log into his unsecured Internet. If not, you can always buy Hacking for Dummies (please note: GeekInsider does not officially condone any illegal activity, even under the extraordinary circumstance that is an Internet outage).

Become a laptop hobo

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If neither of these solutions works for you and the loss of the Internet is too much to bear, you can always move in to Starbucks, or anywhere else with free Wi-Fi. I’m sure the baristas will understand when you explain your situation, as Starbucks is second only to the Apple store in highest ratio of geek, nerd, and hipster employees. Of course the manager might not be so understanding when closing time rolls around and you’re setting up your sleeping bag, so you’ll probably have to formulate a new plan for dealing with your free time.

Get some vitamin D

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Once you’ve given up on gaining access to some form of Internet, you can move on to finding ways to pass the time until someone can fix it. If you’re like me, you are probably in desperate need of some vitamin D and color for your poor, pale skin. Take this opportunity to experience the great outdoors by hiking, biking, horseback riding, strolling on the beach, or any other activity that gets you out into the sun. Just remember the sunscreen, because geek skin burns like kindling.

Read a book

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If Mother Nature is too much for you to handle, cracking open a book is another excellent way to pass an Internet-free day. Reading is just as much fun as marathoning a show on Netflix, and no matter how talented, no director can replicate the fantastical worlds your imagination creates when enjoying a good book.

Have an existential crisis

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Sometimes no amount of distraction is enough to quiet a mind going through Internet withdrawal. With no GeekInsider, funny cat videos, or Netflix to entertain you, self-reflection and examination become unavoidable. You might wonder how you got to the point where you are unable to function without the Internet. You might panic when you imagine different scenarios in which it was gone for good. You might realize that the worst part of The Walking Dead is that they no longer have Wi-Fi. And then you might ponder what kind of person thinks a tech-free life is the most unbearable aspect of a brutal zombie apocalypse. Just when you come to the conclusion that perhaps you need to make some changes so that the Internet isn’t the most important aspect of your life, that little error message disappears, Skype logs back on, and the Wi-Fi is fully restored. What were you thinking about again?

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