– October 5th, 2012 by Josh Hardy –

Internet Over Dependency?

So it’s a problem we’ve all been talking about.

No, not the rancid smell of Burpee. That’s never going to change. I’m talking about the internet. Everywhere I go someone is talking about how the wireless internet at Colby-Sawyer is ruining their life. They’re overreacting as usual but as a member of the Courier staff I refuse to ignore such an important topic.

We at the Courier have been covering this story every semester for as long as any of us care to remember. Our weekly meetings usually consist of telling each other how fast the internet used to be “back in the good old days” while we bash our heads against our computer screen.

This needs a solution. And our foreheads are sore.

A study by onlinecolleges.net found that 76% of colleges in the United States reported that the increasing amount of bandwidth students use is a problem for their network. It wouldn’t be a stretch to admit that Colby-Sawyer is one of those schools.

We’ve got two potential solutions- increase bandwidth or decrease amount of bandwidth being used by ravenous, internet-addicted college students. But with colleges pushing for cost-effective online courses and moving digital, increasing bandwidth periodically seems more likely.

But do you realize the bigger problem? Many of us have had trouble loading Moodle or our school Email- these are legitimate problems. But let’s say you’re sitting on your laptop for 7 hours in a row scrolling through Tumblr looking for cute cats- you have a problem… and I would guess a lack of Vitamin D as well.

I admit that I am equally guilty of surfing Youtube aimlessly at odd hours. I’m part of the problem too. Try typing a paper without listening to Pandora and checking Facebook every 10 minutes- you probably can’t do it, right? Last time I checked, Microsoft Word doesn’t require and internet connection so why do we need the internet to type a paper? Get back to me on that.

It’s true, there is absolutely no excuse for the wireless network at CSC not being able to load Email, Moodle or other college pages. I’m on board with all of you in calling for solutions to this deficiency. But let’s not morph that discussion into an entirely different one that calls for the college to continue feeding the never-ending demand for video streaming.

You could use Redbox, get a DVD of your favorite, or how about reading a book? (I highly recommend Game of Thrones). My goal is to reduce how much I use wireless internet each day by one hour. Is that asking so much of everyone else? I know that pulling many of you away from Pinterest, Tumblr, or Facebook is like trying to convince our presidential candidates to keep debate remarks under 2 minutes, but it needs to happen.

Instead of thinking of bandwidth issues as a problem, maybe we should look at it as a wakeup call. The internet is a valuable tool and vital for communication, but we’ve become reckless. I’ve seen too many good friends get lost in the internet and virtually disappear for hours or days at a time. Keep using the internet, keep connected, keep informed, keep entertained. And for all I care, keep complaining- I probably will too. But I hope I’m not alone in recognizing that our over-dependency on the internet has become the real problem.



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