The new technology overwhelms me. Just a few years ago, who would have predicted the amazing depth of the Internet, or iPhones, or iPods capable of storing your entire audio collection, or 32GB flash drives half the size of a pack of gum? How about our ability to download music and videos? It is truly amazing—amazing when these devices don’t fail and totally frustrating when they do.
So spoiled am I to be able to fire up my computer and immediately connect to a blazing fast Internet connection, I often take it for granted. For the last few days, I’ve had great difficulty connecting and staying connected. And frankly, I feel crippled. I rely on my Internet service to access important e-mails from my agent and editor. In an instant, I am able to check my sales ranking on Amazon. When I’m knee-deep in writing the sequel to my recently released novel, I can research an unlimited database of technical information that helps make my story more credible and believable.
Fortunately for me, one of my neighbors set up their modem and router without security. So, I am able to connect to the Internet through their connection. As much as I appreciate this option, and even though my connection has no impact on my neighbor’s service or bill, nor does it inconvenience him or her, still, I feel like I’m stealing something that’s not mine. I have no way of knowing from whom I am accessing this connection, and the only way for me to find out would be to knock on every door in a three block perimeter, which I’m not about to do. If I knew who this person was, I would gladly fork over a fifty dollar bill and offer a sincere thank you. But that’s just not going to happen.
So, until the cable guy visits me tomorrow morning and figures out why my modem isn’t working, I guess I’m faced with a moral dilemma. Do I stop “high jacking” my neighbor’s connection and disconnect from the world, or do I continue with this white collar crime? Considering that I just posted this essay on my blog, I think I just answered my own question. Shame on me.