Three Weeks Without the Web

My name is Cory Treffiletti and I am an Internet-aholic. I recently moved back to New York from San Francisco, and it's been three weeks since I had Internet access at home. At first I thought: "This'll be easy. There's a Starbucks every 35 feet in Manhattan, and I can use their Wi-Fi when I need to log on. Plus, there's always a wireless hub somewhere for me to jump onto."

Trust me, it ain't that easy.

I tried to hijack off the wireless networks around my apartment (there were six), but it appears that everyone has learned about WEP encryption in New York (something they had no idea about in San Francisco). I was correct about Starbucks, but so was everyone else. Starbucks has more people online than most of the NYU computer clusters (if those are still around). Finding a seat at Starbucks required some patience and an eagle eye, and for anyone who knows me well, patience is not one of my strong points.

Since I'm still in a state of transition and not too sure whether I'll be staying in my apartment or not, my options decreased significantly. At first I decided I only wanted the Web and cable, and was going to forgo the home phone altogether -- but that doesn't appear to be an option. I've considered skipping out on cable and moving over to Dish, but once again my "impermanence" is making me hold off on that decision. I was left with my little Verizon EV-DO card, which appeared to be my only option.



Once I was back online, I felt like a little kid who just found his puppy dog after it was missing for two weeks.

After spending three weeks without a stable connection at home, I found out how much I have come to depend on the Web. I couldn't find restaurants where I was meeting friends. I couldn't access information on storage companies, which I needed once I realized my little New York apartment wouldn't have enough space for my stuff. I felt so alone and out of touch in the biggest city in the U.S. It was horrible!

My only saving grace, outside of work, was SMS search. Google and Yahoo! are to be thanked for providing me with some immediate access to information to help me navigate my move.

If you ever sit in a meeting with a client or with a director of marketing who asks, "Why should I be advertising on the Web," be sure to ask them the question: "When was the last time you went three weeks without it?" I think I can safely say it's the only mission-critical medium that exists today.

I still haven't turned on my TV, nor do I have a home phone. The power is on, and I have access to the Web. What more do I really need?

It's good to be home.

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