What Are You Doing When Your Internet Connection Is Down?

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 17, 2008
Updated • Mar 21, 2015

After posting the article about Tourist Remover earlier today my Internet connection died suddenly and I knew that it was a problem at the Internet Provider because the phone was not working as well.

Since I use the same provider for phone and Internet that was a sure bet. I called anyway just to make sure and they said that there were problems in my region and that it could take a few hours before they were solved.

I was left with no choice but to wait until my Internet connection would work again. This was an awkward situation for me because it disturbed my usual work flow which sees me working in the morning, getting out some posts, checking stats and creating new content for other sites that I own. All of this was delayed because of the outage.

What could I do in the time that my Internet connection was down? I decided to run scan disk on all of my hard drives and Smart Defrag afterwards to optimize them. This are tasks that do not require my attention and I went to town earlier than I wanted to grab two Japanese learning books that I ordered and bring in my Nokie N73 cellphone which stopped working suddenly.

If you have a flexible schedule, it may make no difference if the Internet goes down for a couple of hours as you can just shift tasks around. It could become problematic on the other hand if the downtime takes longer than that.

But the real question that would interest me is this: What are you doing if your Internet connection is down? Are you doing something else? I suppose that only a few of you are making their money working on the Internet which might mean that it is not tragic if you cannot connect to the Internet for a few hours.


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  1. Danny said on September 22, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Read a book, play with my little boy, work. I love the internet and there were times when I couldn’t be torn from it; but I can manage to be productive without it (I’m spending less and less time online anyway).

  2. Vijeesh said on September 19, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Time to those read free programming ebooks…I usually do that even when my internet connection is working, but when it does go down, I type and read and eat code..

  3. Sam said on September 18, 2008 at 11:15 am

    you need a dual-wan router to keep 100% internet uptime. :)

  4. Transcontinental said on September 18, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Besides surfing, I’d bet Paul is an unconditional observer of life :) ^^

  5. Pavan Kumar said on September 18, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Such thing happen to me very rare, power cut is the prob for me…. I just came here to see what other people do when there is a fault in internet connection.

  6. MK said on September 18, 2008 at 3:20 am

    Reading, mostly. I love to read books, but the Internet is keeping me from it. I also do some exercises, flexing and stretching muscles in my room.

    The Internet is, no doubt, the most wonderful thing. But there’s more to life than just RSS, Digg, Reddit, Twitter, and blog entries ^^

  7. Roman ShaRP said on September 18, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Ooooo, I can do too many things to describe.

    Read, write, sort downloaded software, music and video, play games, watch films them all, clean PC…

  8. Bill said on September 18, 2008 at 12:08 am

    I do have other interests than the internet. Most likely you’d hear me playing the piano (classical).

  9. Transcontinental said on September 17, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Martin, nice thing in a way that your internet connection happened to be disturbed, I think it reminded us that there is a life before and after web surfing. It reminded me, anyway !

  10. gary said on September 17, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    It’s never ever happened to me since I started internetting (about 10 years ago). Here in south-east England, power cuts are much more frequent than internet outages. I also have a data plan on my mobile, so could just use that as a modem as I do on the train (very slowas i do not have 3g. GPRS over EDGE is not all it’s cracked up to be…)

    I’m with Angelo above, just sitting around playing guitar is a nice relaxing way to use up some down-time. I’d probably be defragging in the background, and if I get bored enough I would run WinDirStat, to try and clean up my HD space a little. If I got reaaly bored, I might think of organising my MP3s or anime, that “unsorted” folder is getting far too big.

    I’m trying to learn Japanese too, but it’s difficult as I’m very lazy. I have Rosetta Stone free from my employer, but I’m finding it increasingly hard to muster up the motivation to complete the lessons.

    So I’ll mainly just watch anime. That’s my excuse, I’m studying the language!

  11. garbanzo said on September 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I tweak my system. Samurize, DOpus, Foobar, shell, visual style… there’s always something to adjust!

  12. Transcontinental said on September 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I return to fundamental questions such as where do I come from, where am I, what am I leading to ? I have a strange feeling of changing from one time dimension to another, like when putting my feet on the ground after a very long voyage (voyage, not trip!) by train or plane. I feel destabilized, frustrated, same as without my dear tobacco.
    That’s when I start catching up things left aside ;) (Un)fortunately, my ISP is very reliable.

  13. gokudomatic said on September 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    did you try to not breath for a few hours? Well, it’s what happens to me when my connection’s down.

  14. Angelo R. said on September 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I normally resort to play guitar. Normally when I’m just relaxing on the internet I play guitar at the same time, but when the net goes down, I can actually focus on learning new songs and getting better.

    Although, now I’ve started going out. It’s strange.

  15. Dotan Cohen said on September 17, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Luckily my neighbour is on a different ISP, and does not secure her wifi :) You could say that I have redundant network connections.

  16. Rarst said on September 17, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Reading. I am actually not using Internet much after completing evening RSS-torrents-blog routine.

  17. Obi-Wahn said on September 17, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Thankfully, my ISP was the last 8 Years or so apx. 3 Hours down.
    But if my Connection breaks down, I’m frustrated, when I’m working on something on the Net. But after 5 minutes, I calm down, and do some house cleaning, work in the garden or walk arround the corner and go into the caffe.
    But my favourite choise of work is working in the garden. Usually, the grass in the garden is 1 meter high, and some other bushes has to be cut. favourite tool: my machete :D

    that’s fun folks.

  18. Ajay D'Souza said on September 17, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Besides getting extremely frustrated, I usually end up playing games or like you run maintenance activities on my computer.

    Sometimes, I work on any posts that can be composed offline.

  19. b1k3r4ck said on September 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I’m with Yogi. It’s that or a panic attack! Can’t surf, can’t play WoW …..

    OMG fix the tubes!!

  20. tech_and_life said on September 17, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Thankfully it isn’t a big problem for me. My ISP in the UK isn’t often down. When it happens I can work offline on documents, draft a new post, do housekeeping on my hard drive (delete old folders, run CCleaner, run a backup) or just have a break and listen to podcasts on my mp3 player.

  21. Mike said on September 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    When the Internet breaks, the voices in my head tell me to do unspeakable things!

  22. Yogi said on September 17, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I curl up in a corner and weep quietly.

    What else is there to do?

  23. Thinh said on September 17, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I usually just play some video games or read a book. But since I am starting to get into web design, over time, I’ve saved a few pages that has some nice tutorials on making WordPress themes from scratch, Photoshop tutorials, and so on and so forth. Therefore, even if I don’t have the internet, I can still surf its contents offline.

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