How to Survive Without Internet for 48 Hours

how to survive without the internet for 48 hrs

Remember the dial-up days? To access the Internet, you’d stretch a phone cord from your computer modem to your phone jack, then listen to that egregious screech-and-gurgle for several minutes before the connection finally cleared. Then you’d sit there looking at your old Yahoo! Classic inbox, waiting a full minute for every new email to load. (Thankfully, I only got about five emails back then.)

When I Was Your Age the Internet Went Skaweeerureeweert

The day I finally got WiFi is still imprinted on my brain: websites loaded in seconds! I could watch movies! I could stream music! my speed in reading and deleting emails was limited only by my twitchy mouse finger!

Nowadays, I tend to take the speed and ease (and upgraded IQ) of the Internet for granted. Except when it’s not there…

No Internet for 48 Hours: A Survival Tale


Last Tuesday, my Internet did something it likes to do every other week: it crashed. Except this time, it did something it only does every once in a while: it stayed crashed.

Unfortunately, the Internet guys couldn’t make it out to fix the satellite (which, according to my suspicions, sustained damage in that fun 60mph windstorm the previous week) until the next afternoon.

This is normally reason enough to panic in itself. But I hit red-zone panic level right off the bat: on Wednesday, I was scheduled to host Bryan Cohen’s Sell More Books webinar, which was already booked nearly solid. Cue much brainstorming on my part, which led me to the semi-solid backup plan of using a telephone connection to join the webinar. I had my assistant email Bryan about my status and my plan.

Selling for Authors Bryan Cohen Webinar


I went to bed, secure in my plan, only to wake to a call from my assistant, passing along Bryan’s message that, nope, the phone idea wasn’t going to work. (I think there might have been a moment there where I was running around like the circus bugs in A Bug’s Life, trying to find the water to put out a flaming P.T. Flea.)

I packed up my laptop (and my lunch) and buzzed off to the library, where I locked myself into a swanky study room, which was a decided upgrade on my office.

2-16 Bryan Cohen Webinar at Library

(It seemed incredibly appropriate to be hosting a webinar for authors while sitting in a library, surrounded by books. Whenever I looked at the book racks through that big window, I kept imagining I was seeing the future publications of everyone attending the webinar.)

The webinar came off beautifully. The librarians were awesome and did not kick me out of the study room, even though I overstayed the designated time by, ahem, two hours.


I hurried back home, hoping to find Internet guys on my roof, working on the satellite. But… nope.

With five o’clock approaching, word finally comes that, whoops, wires got crossed and the repairmen have forgotten all about me. They promise they’re going to come at 8:30 the next morning.

And they do come on time (all right, more like 10AM, but who’s desperate?).

Yay! Internet is back. All my webinar-related scheduled posts and emails went off without a hitch, so there was little enough chaos to mop up on my return.

But then…


Skype No Internet ConnectionRoundabout noon, the little “no connection” swirlie symbol on my Skype app starts spinning ominously. Sure enough, I’m out of connection again.


Breathe, breathe, breathe, darlin’. Visions of changing my permanent address to the library are swirling through my brain. Dare I return to that study room after overstaying my welcome so long yesterday?

K.M. Weiland Laptop Scared

Very calmly, I make myself some chili and… restart the router.

Faster than you can say “gurgle-screech,” my connection to the wider world is back.

(And librarians everywhere heave a sigh of relief.)

The Moral of This Tale

The moral is actually kind of scary: it’s really hard to live without Internet these days. The toilets still work when it’s out, but that’s about it.

However, I’m also happy to announce I’m now living proof it is possible to survive without your own Internet connection for as much as 48 hours.

If this tragedy ever happens to you, take heart, be strong. If I can do it, so can you. But, please, don’t even think about trying to go for 49 hours. That’s just asking too much of anyone.

Let’s chat! Are you as Internet dependent as I am? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. It’s funny how dependent we are on it for business and social life. But the most important thing in life is humans, and the internet’s primary purpose is communication of information from human to human (and machine to machine in the background). So it makes sense that we would be dependent on it. Fortunately, with the plethora of internet bars, starbucks, and libraries around, if your personal internet crashes, there are options. The only problem is if you need the internet for something you can’t move from your house! It pays to be mobile.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      To be fair, I could probably live without it for quite some time if it weren’t for the work that would pile up in my absence. It’s an incredible tool. Amazing how deeply it has penetrated ever corner of our lives.

  2. Yowsers,

    Glad you survived the drought. But 48 hrs, man, that’s downright insane. You had quite an adventure. Or, misadventure. It spices things up though doesn’t it? ? Without them life would be pretty bland.

    I vividly remember the stone ages of dial up 56k modems, AOL, yahoo, floppy disks etc And let’s see what else, neanderthals, dinosaurs, hunter-gatherers. Mid 90’s flashback. Wow. Now the net is virtually everywhere, the speeds are snappy with everything at your fingertips.☝???Literally. (sidebar, do you put a period after an emoji? It just seems weird).

    But yeah, the Internet is hard to disassociate from. Your internet service sounds pretty shaky. I think we should dispatch R2D2 to check things out. *sigh* Don’t they know the official business of a Jedi can’t be interfered with?

    At any rate, if my internet goes out I cheat and use my cellular service. BRROOUHHAAHAAHA

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Oh, yes, floppy discs! I used to have a mountain of floppy backups. Now everything’s in the cloud or on a thumb drive.

  3. That’s a great post. Might make a suitable topic for a short story in fact!

    I was talking to my grand daughter the other day saying how people are so connected to each other and the big world, but honestly believe that we’ve lost something in the process. People don’t have proper conversations anymore. I mean actually sitting down, face-to-face and speaking – using actual vocal chords instead of a tip-tap on a key board.

    That said, I think you managed quite well. Hope your pulse rate and blood pressure are back to normal and you didn’t pick up any grey hairs

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I agree that we’ve both lost and gained something. The superficiality of Internet relationships can’t help but cheapen them in some respects. But, at the same time, the Internet has allowed me to meet many wonderful people that I never would have been able to connect with otherwise.

  4. LOL! Yeah, I’m pretty internet dependent. I get twitchy when I’m without it. It doesn’t happen too much in town here, but when we get out of town and there’s something going on, it drives me cra-a-a-a-a-a-zy when all I have to access the internet is my iPhone since it’s not as easy to do what I need to do quickly, i.e. in the very limited time I have a strong enough signal to make a comment or whatever.

    While I want to move out into the country, the internet thing is probably going to drive batty since I need a good internet connection to do podcasting and such. *sigh* Trade-offs. And there’s always going into town and visiting the neighborhood Starbucks. 😉 Unless we end up so far out of town that the nearest Starbucks is 200 miles away…

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Yeah, my Internet connection would probably drive townfolk crazy. I would love to get it hardwired, but it’s not an option right now.

  5. Behold! The cautionary tale of an industrious millennial without an internet connection. Let us all be thankful that libraries are still a bastion of internet service. 😉

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      See? Proof to all those people who fear for libraries’ existence in the Internet age. They’re still vital!

  6. Lorna G. Poston says:

    Yes, I’m very Internet dependent. I grew up without Internet so one would think I could survive without it, but it has become so much a part of my daily life that going without is like going without oxygen.

    The longest my Internet as been down was 4 hours and that nearly killed me. We don’t have a library nearby. The closest one is 25 miles in one direction, so just running to the library is not a practical option. Not sure what I’d do if I had to struggle with 48 hours like you did. I might just have to camp at the library.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Yeah, I was getting ready to camp there. I have a feeling the librarians might not have thought too kindly of that. :p

  7. I know the feeling. I’m internet dependent because of my work too and a few hours with no connection may take a few bucks from my pocket. Work projects come on a day to day basis and if I do not respond to the offer **immediately** they move on and take another translator. So, I really cannot afford to not being online. 🙂
    Besides, some of the projects are actually done online, on their online translation tools… so, half an hour with no internet is something really scary for me.
    This is why I decided, weeks ago, to hire one more company and, guess… Today one of them is off! I’m using the backup line.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Last year, I actually started a new routine of no (or almost no) Internet in the mornings, while I do my writing. It’s blissful.

      But you can’t live without Internet these days, especially with an online-based business. The workload just piles up while you can’t access it!

      • Well, for me there are the weekends. I do everything I can to avoid working on weekends, although sometimes I can’t escape the occasional urgent work, as was the case last Saturday.
        But when I go hiking (and hiking season is coming…) up the hills there’s no internet, no mobile networks, no nothing. And yes, it’s delicious.
        Maybe this is why I sent my protagonist hiking up one of the hills in my hometown on one cold evening to take some pictures of the starry night. But I did not send him far enough and—the cell phone rang. :o)

        BTW, your stories are so imaginative! Ohmygod, it’s raining people! 🙂

        • K.M. Weiland says:

          Hah. Yes, well, when you live in drought country, you have to get your rain wherever you can. 😉 Great to hear you’re enjoying Storming!

  8. I’d like to say I can love without the internet for 48 hours. And sittinmg here, I believe I could do it no sweat. But life would back up to an over whelming degree. So, Am I dependent one it? Yes. Can I ignore it for a couple days? Yes, but it might be quite a race catching up on living.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Yep, that’s pretty much how it is for me. It’s not that I can’t live without it. It’s just that there’s chaos afterwards.

  9. I’ve just had 72 hours and no internet. Had contractors in the house and the home router was damaged. I lived….

    One positive came through tho’ – I resorted to working offline and with pen and paper and I actually managed to get a lot of Outlining completed.

    Everything DOES have a silver lining

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Sorry about the router. I know that’s no fun. But congrats on the outline! I love outlining by hand.

  10. Beginner Novelist - Sarah E. Gabor says:

    How To Survive With No Internet As A Writer:
    Get ahold of a notebook and pen, or go even further back in time and try to get ahold of a typewriter! I’ve got one and I’m currently using it to improve my typing (of course lol), and sit like a machine and wildly grind out a first very rough draft. I wrote 10 pages today on that typewriter…spelling errors, forgotten paragraph indents, words joined by mistake and all…lol. 79 (I have 11 😂)more full pages to go to get 180 pages when full size pages folded sideways 😛

    Or there’s always Plan B:
    Stare like a goggle-eyed goldfish at the “no wifi” speech on the google homepage, give up eventually, and stalk the internet guys while they are on the roof trying to fix it ;p

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