Here’s a scenario: you’re going about your day as usual and your phone pings with a notification from BBC News. You are mildly shocked to find that it’s not another political scandal. Instead, your eyes are scanning the headline: ‘Breaking News: A power cut is coming. Will any of us survive it?’. You find yourself pondering what this means for mankind: no heating, lighting, oven, fridge, kettle, etc. I mean, that’s tough and everything, you think, but it’s not the end of the world. At least you still have – wait. Hold up. Does that mean…No…Wi-Fi? A long silence commences. Your eyes widen in disbelief. You put your hand to your forehead. You emit a highly dramatised sigh. Your knees begin to buckle and, just like that, there you are: passed out with your entire body sprawling flamboyantly across the floor. You regain consciousness and are immediately struck by the revelation that you need to seek instant, top priority assistance from your local GP. Surely that’s not normal, right? You grab your phone to book an appointment but before you’ve even made it to Google you get a notification that someone called sexysteve495 has commented on your latest Instagram photo. You panic as you realise Sexysteve495 has posted ‘send nudes’ followed by a series of eggplant and fire emojis that you must now urgently delete before your grandma asks you if you’re sure ‘this Steve with the six-pack in his profile pic’ is definitely ‘the one’. 1 hour later and you find yourself desperately trying to keep up with an escalating Twitter feud between Piers Morgan and, well, any celebrity to have ever existed (like, ever). 2 hours later and you’re knee-deep into a heated debate with your friends about whether a viral internet dress is black and blue (wrong) or white and gold (correct). 3 hours later and you have a fleeting thought whilst trying to beat your record on Fruit Ninja that you should probably get back to booking that appointment. But, wait…isn’t the NHS totally inundated right now? Like, completely flooded? Yeah, that’s what I thought…I should just leave it for another time.
This is how I imagine (in perhaps a concerning amount of detail) the worst-case scenario could have gone when Storm Eunice caused a power cut for all the houses in my village last night. However, besides the obvious inconvenience of having to wear a coat around my house and driving to my nearest city in search of some breakfast that didn’t consist of cereal with warm milk, I found the power-cut – if only for its natural removal of WiFi – oddly refreshing. It was like a forced digital detox, launching me into the moment, the present, the here and now, as they say. Even though I pride myself on having a relatively low screen time and would not consider myself overly reliant on technology, it nevertheless made me realise how much time I waste each day aimlessly scrolling on my phone when I could be doing things I genuinely enjoy or completing jobs that technology ultimately distracts me from doing. I suppose if I’ve learnt anything from Storm Eunice it’s that 24 hours with no WiFi is surprisingly invigorating, and maybe we should all reserve a day every now and then for a scheduled digital detox.
That being said, now the Wifi’s up and running, who’s up for signing a petition to cancel power cuts? Power’s great. I love heating, I love working ovens and most of all, I love not having to use up all my 4G, okay, Storm Eunice? Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know? In fact, nothing will grow on trees anymore if you keep blowing them all down.