Power outage should remind us to enjoy simple things
March 13, 2009
No power equals no life, or so it seemed last Sunday. When the electricity in various campus buildings and the University’s network stopped working, the outcome proved to be disastrous for many students.
Some people had no idea what to do with themselves, knowing that they couldn’t do homework, watch television, check Facebook or workout at the Activities and Recreation Center.
Although the power and online network were restored by the end of the day, you have to wonder what would have happened if it would have lasted for a week or a month.
Or what if the power loss had extended to absolutely everyone on campus? How dependent are we on power to live our lives?
Did anyone ever see that episode of “The Twilight Zone” when a neighborhood’s power is cut off by aliens in an attempt to see what reaction it creates? Not only do lights and machines stop working, but even their cars won’t seem to start.
The aliens realize that such a loss of power will drive humans to become paranoid and begin attacking each other for no reason at all.
Now, we students were not put into this exact situation, but it is interesting to think about the ramifications of a power outage on a nationwide or even international level. Instead of playing card games and bags outside of residence halls, knowing that the power might never return, the reaction would probably be along the lines of chaos.
Withdrawal from electronic devices can be extremely hard for some people, making them irritable and panicky for thinking that they cannot survive without said pieces of technology. Just imagine how crazy someone could get if this withdrawal became a permanent removal.
Ice storms, hurricanes, and other natural disasters have been responsible for many widespread power outages in the past. And given the nature of global warming and its increasing threat to society, we could potentially be looking at more instances of the undergraduate library closing its doors early and students not being able to play their Xbox 360s.
It is important for everybody to understand that although the advancement in technology is amazing and shows our progress as a people, we must not rely too much on its electrical power and what it can do to make our lives easier. Staying connected with people and taking part in meaningful activities is a much better way to spend one’s time if possible. Being in college, we students have the opportunity to actually do this and appreciate what’s around us.
Although flying homemade kites and hallway soccer games may seem like wasting time on a regular day, they do a whole lot to enhance the closeness between people and show how we can loosen technology’s fierce grip on our society.
Also, if we ever did indeed have a worldwide power outage which lasted for quite some time, nothing would really get done anyway. People would be freaking out, praying for a miracle or too paralyzed with fear to even think straight. While all that is going on, you (someone who has weaned yourself from complete dependence on electricity and technology) could stay calm and enjoy the precious time in your life, never knowing what would come next.
Even though I’m using a hypothetical and far-fetched situation, all I’m trying to say is enjoy life and especially all of the natural wonders it brings. We get blinded by our dependence on a given item for so long that it becomes our world, instead of what and who is constantly around us.
Sure, a power outage won’t let you access Compass, Moodle, Mallard, Blackboard and all the other random one-word Web sites for homework and exam study guides, but that doesn’t mean that your life is over. In that case, step outside and embrace the world around you. You don’t even need a username or password.
Remy is a junior in communication and English and hopes everyone has a good weekend; happy Friday the 13th, happy Pi Day and beware the Ides of March, respectively.