SOPA Blackout, Family-Style

Around here, in this tiny apartment, we loooooooooove the internet. On January 18th, we tried to go one day without any internet usage at all. Here’s how we did.

Well, when my fiancee Viking woke early in the morning he wasn’t thinking too clearly and jumped online for some multi-player shoot-’em-up gaming. Oops. He felt bad about it once he remembered, and immediately logged off. Still, we’d known the Blackout day was coming, and we had planned ahead for it. Viking planned on experimenting with a gaming engine and I planned on playing a non-online computer game.

When my son came home from school, he was disappointed. I did tell him I went my entire childhood without internet access, but he looked at me like that was a stupid choice for girl-me to have made. He kept angling for permission to go to his kids’ sites, like SesameStreet.org. I redirected him to all those fabulous offline toys he has like Legos, and he had a pretty good if slightly whiny day.

My fiancee’s plans were more problematic. He’d hoped to learn more about a new program, but didn’t discover until that day that he hadn’t downloaded the manual. What’s more, he couldn’t: Carnegie-Melon had gone black for the day, and taken the manual with them.

Then it was dinner time. Oh crap! Turns out we use the internet near-daily for that, too. We had to guess/remember what temperature to cook our roast at, since we couldn’t just go look recipes up online.

You might think the easiest way to entertain ourselves without internet would be watching television, but we actually get our TV streaming through the internet over the XBox. In other words, every single thing each one of us does all day freaking long is online.

A safe, free internet is necessary. I hope you’ll take this moment if you haven’t already to sign a petition to Congress telling them you don’t approve of SOPA or PIPA. If you’d like to know more about these bills and how they would impact everyday net users like me and my family, I’ve attached a few good articles here, here, and here.

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