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The Internet is a key ingredient in the lives of many people. This series of tubes is so pervasive that the MakeUseOf readership would rather give up alcohol, caffeine, and assorted body parts Internet Valued More Than Alcohol, Caffeine, Random Body Parts [We Ask You Results] Internet Valued More Than Alcohol, Caffeine, Random Body Parts [We Ask You Results] The Internet ranks pretty highly on a make-believe list of life's essentials. But how highly? We sought to find out in last week's We Ask You column, and the results were illuminating. Read More before they gave up access to the Web. That’s commitment for you.

The problem is, however much a person loves the Internet, a solid connection can never be guaranteed. The Internet does, on occasion, go down, at which time everyone affected by the outage screams at whoever is in earshot in frustration and longing. And then…

The Internet Is Down! What Now?

We want to know, What Do You Do When The Internet Goes Down? This is a very simple question with a mindboggling array of different possible answers. We want you to give us just one each, detailing your normal course of action when your modem suffers a brainfart.

You may just switch to using your smartphone to access the Internet, which is fair enough. If this is your first port of call then tell us how that changes your browsing habits. Do you limit yourself to only doing certain things?

If you don’t switch to your smartphone then what do you do? After first panicking, of course. Perhaps you prepare for the downtime 6 Things You Can Prepare For Internet Downtime 6 Things You Can Prepare For Internet Downtime The Internet’s down, everybody panic! If you’ve ever said that, out loud, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare for outages. Read More in various ways, like some sort of obsessive Nostradamus type?

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Do you take the practical approach and try to fix things, turning everything on and off again (always the first step to take)? Do you get angry, shouting at family members and kicking the cat? Do you take the positive approach, and take the opportunity to do something else instead?

As Akshata discovered when she went offline for a week What Happened When I Went Completely Offline For A Week What Happened When I Went Completely Offline For A Week Living in the Internet era has changed us to such an extent that the idea of having to live completely offline even for a little while sounds like a prison sentence. But it really isn't. Read More , a break from the Internet can be a good time to explore other interests; interests that you have let lapse because of the hold the Internet has on your free time.

If that is what you do when the Internet goes down, what activities do you undertake? Do you read a book, watch TV, go out for a walk, sit twiddling your thumbs, or something else? We want to hear from you, no matter how banal or bizarre your response may be.

Have Your Say

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will win Comment Of The Week, receiving a geeky T-shirt for their effort. We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. Laura
    November 6, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    1. Turn wifi connection off then back on on whatever device I'm using.

    2. Unplug modem/router

    3. If it still doesn't work, get out my iPad and use cellular on it and stay in denial about any possible overage charges. Then try the wifi again later.

    Honestly I'm fine without internet (even though I'm a millennial). I work four hours a day in a building's basement without internet access (though we do have movies). I enjoy socializing or reading, too.

  2. Jaber W
    May 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Internet goes down? What demonic place is this you speak of? Sounds like hell. I'd never wish that on anyone in the entire world.

    Now... I'm in fear of ever going to that place. Please tell me where it is so i can mark it on google maps with a big red X so I never go there. :D

  3. Bob
    January 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Dear Mr. Parrack,

    When your primary internet connection goes down, it could a local (premises under your control) local area (neighborhood) or general area (anyplace between you and the ISP). If you can't repair it, then check backup connections. If there are no back up connections, prepared to hunker down.

    It's a minimal generalized list of categories of things to do with a list of generalized what to do's.

    I wrote the comment during a snow storm with power and cable out. Hard wired phone worked and I have a dial up connection.

    I am a radio amateur, CBer, GMRS licensee, FRS and MURS user. I deal with emergency communications, which also includes emergency survival. Yes, my wife and I have GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) kits which we can use to supplement our house normal supplies, evacuate in our car or exist for 5-7 days with only the kit.

    Bob

    On 01/28/2014 00:15, MakeUseOf wrote:
    >
    > Please note you cannot reply to this email - please visit the URL below to post your response
    >
    > Your comment on the post What Do You Do When The Internet Goes Down? [We Ask You] has a new reply
    > Here is your comment:
    > The internet is another communication mode.
    > Communicate
    > 1. Ensure the problem is not corectable on your premises.
    > 2. Check with other entities to learn if it is an internet problem.
    > 3. Check off premises WiFi.
    > 4. Non Internet phone (hardwired and cellular) and facsimile (hardwired)
    > 5. 2 way radio (business radio, FRS, MURS, GMRS, Amateur & Satellite Radio).
    > Be/Get prepared.
    > 1. Water
    > 2. Shelter, Heat & Clothing
    > 3. Food (that doesn't need to be cooked).
    > 4. Medicines & First Aid
    > 5. Light
    > Get Informed & Entertained
    > 1. AM, FM & Shortwave Broadcast radio
    > 2. Scanning (Fire, Police, Medical, Utilities, government & commercial services.
    > 3. Books and the like
    > 4. Board Games and cards
    > 5. Battery/windupgenerator DVD player
    > Bob —— 2014-01-23 20:49:01
    > Here is the new reply:
    > Wow, that's an extensive list!
    > Dave P —— 2014-01-27 18:36:12
    > Visit: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/internet-goes-ask/#comment-1381297
    >
    > Thank you for your commenting on MakeUseOf :)
    > http://www.makeuseof.com
    >
    > No virus found in this message.
    > Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
    > Version: 2014.0.4259 / Virus Database: 3681/7038 - Release Date: 01/27/14

  4. Saikat B
    January 28, 2014 at 5:21 am

    First reaction: Panic
    Second reaction: Checking if I am the only one who is having the problem.
    Third reaction: Calling customer support
    Fourth reaction: See what odd jobs need to be done around the house.
    Fifth reaction: Opening my "to-list" and wondering why the hell I am procrastinating...oh, yeah..it's because of the Internet!

  5. Buffet
    January 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I truly hope that the sissy depicted in the video above was fictional.
    What do I do when the internet is down?
    The same thing we all did before there was any bloody internet - something else. DUH!

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      I have to believe that video is an act. If not then I worry about the state of society lol.

      Duh, perhaps, but you'd be amazed how many people let the Internet dominate their lives at the expense of everything else. Hence the question :)

  6. Aibek E
    January 24, 2014 at 11:31 am

    i do all kinds of stuff that I planned to do for the day/week that doesn't require internet connection like going shopping)

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Do you save these things up in case and until the Internet goes down? :)

    • Aibek E
      January 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      @Dave,

      sometimes, i do: )

  7. A41202813GMAIL
    January 24, 2014 at 9:46 am

    A - I Catch Up On My Long Overdue Sleep For 2 Hours,

    B - I Try To Connect, Again,

    C - If It Is Still Down, I Go To ( A ).

    Cheers.

  8. Jo-anne P
    January 24, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Ok, I am going to be very honest. I love the internet if I could I would marry it, I have asked but it still has not replied. I am on Bell and I have the whole bundle, phone, mobile, satellite and internet so when someone runs over the Bell box two doors down (placed at the end of a driveway) I am dead in the water. Everything is hooked up through my Wi-Fi so no phone, no internet. It's just me, my son the cats and the tv.

    The first thing I do is look out the front door to see if the box has been run over yet again. Then I turn off the modem. By this time my son who is a huge gamer realizes that its not lag it's dead. He comes in and resets the modem yet again. We stare at the lights both saying a little prayer. He is concerned for the other members of his team in whatever game he is playing. I am thinking about all the contests, coupons, twitter parties and freebies I am missing. We watch the lights on the modem and it's not looking good. I pick up the phone and call Bell. By now we are both sweating/stressing does this mean we are going to have to talk to each other?

    I jest we talk all the time just not when gaming, couponing, contesting, tweeting. Bell says they will have a technician out between 8-12 the day after tomorrow. Gasp! We manage to get through the two days, I catch up on some reviews, read a book. He dusts off his psp and plays a few oldies. We watch a few shows and muddle through.

    It was not pleasant and this is our 3rd go round with the Bell box but they have installed a steel pole beside it in case anyone else wants to run it over. Sadly they put it on the wrong side so the box is going to get nailed again only this time they will be removing a car from the box as it will be stuck on the pole.

    Bottom line we live but we whine and biatch a bit.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      I'm amazed it gets run over so often. It's amusing they installed the pole the wrong side though. How idiotic can you get?

  9. Bob
    January 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    The internet is another communication mode.
    Communicate
    1. Ensure the problem is not corectable on your premises.
    2. Check with other entities to learn if it is an internet problem.
    3. Check off premises WiFi.
    4. Non Internet phone (hardwired and cellular) and facsimile (hardwired)
    5. 2 way radio (business radio, FRS, MURS, GMRS, Amateur & Satellite Radio).
    Be/Get prepared.
    1. Water
    2. Shelter, Heat & Clothing
    3. Food (that doesn't need to be cooked).
    4. Medicines & First Aid
    5. Light
    Get Informed & Entertained
    1. AM, FM & Shortwave Broadcast radio
    2. Scanning (Fire, Police, Medical, Utilities, government & commercial services.
    3. Books and the like
    4. Board Games and cards
    5. Battery/windupgenerator DVD player

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Wow, that's an extensive list!

  10. Leah
    January 23, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Kick, scream, cry, and wonder what I could have possibly done to have the internet taken away from me like that.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      You obviously did something bad in a former life!

  11. Hildy J
    January 23, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Assuming both my phone and WiFi internet connections are down.

    Time fillers:
    Read books I have downloaded from my local library with Overdrive.
    Do crossword puzzles I have downloaded from various sites via Shortyz.
    Do a variety of randomly generated puzzles Simon Tatham created.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.overdrive.mobile.android.mediaconsole&hl=en
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.totsp.crossword.shortyz&hl=en
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=name.boyle.chris.sgtpuzzles&hl=en

    And to relax me until I can get back to MakeUseOf:
    LBV Port
    Cigars

    Everyone should install Simon's puzzles. I first ran across this fan-freakin-tastic program as a PalmOS port on my Palm III. I suspect that it has been ported to every platform everyone here has running at home and if someone told me there was an IBM mainframe version it wouldn't surprise me. It does a better Sudoku than any other program I've found (although for copyright reasons it's called Solo) and if you're bored with that there are 33 other types of puzzles. It's open source, totally free, no ads, and minimal permissions.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Port and cigars? That combination would certainly relax you! :)

  12. Helena F
    January 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I start to read a book that I haven't finished because of internet >.< or I'll just go see TV (It's really rare tho) :P

  13. Robert M
    January 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    I stare at the monitor and mumble.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      What's the record amount of time you've sat staring at your monitor wishing for a miracle?

  14. David M
    January 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I go geocaching.

  15. dragonmouth
    January 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Back in the days when i was still gainfully employed, the network at work would occasionally go down. Made for a lot of extended lunches and shopping excursions (there was a shopping mall across the street).

    At home, I try to figure out what the problem is. Usually it's just a dropped connection. Sometimes I need to reboot the modem. If the TV and/or Phone are also out then I know the problem is on the provider end. If I can't get back on the 'Net, I reach into the Honeydew jar and do some useful work around the house until the 'Net comes back.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      You actually do something productive like housework with your downtime? Wow, I should take a leaf out of your book...

    • dragonmouth
      January 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      "You actually do something productive like housework with your downtime?"
      Let's not get carried away! Housework is for housewives. I try to fix things around the house. That's the least I can do after spending days on the 'Net posting answers to silly polls.

      "Wow, I should take a leaf out of your book…"
      Maybe you should but, then, why do something out of character. :-)

  16. Tom W
    January 23, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Since I work from home, and pretty much everything I do relies in the internet in some way, I have to at least try to get the it working before giving up and calling it a day off.

    First thing to do us to try and work out what the problem is. Usually it's the router playing up, in which case a reboot usually works, or my isp's DNS server is down and I switch to the Google public DNS. If neither of these work then I use mobile internet to check my provider's service status webpage for issues. Finally, if no issues are showing up, I wait 30 minutes and try again before giving up.

    Once I have given up, I'll meet up with friends, watch tv or a DVD, read a book, or do some other offline activity. There are plenty of things that I do offline, even when internet is available, but having to stop work when you're in the middle of something is always frustrating.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      As a fellow home worker I can attest to the frustration felt when the Internet goes down. For me it always seems to coincide with the moment I sit down to write, leaving me wishing I'd got on with it earlier in the day rather than waiting until midnight.

  17. Hovsep A
    January 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

    When Internet Goes Down I Go Offline :)

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      And just sit twiddling your thumbs waiting for it to come back online? ;)

    • Hovsep A
      January 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      well I Just Watch Again Ferris Bueller Day Off:)

  18. Cristeena J
    January 23, 2014 at 7:53 am

    if i get a break from internet, i will spend my time with my friends, family, and i will try to read books.. etc.

  19. svnm
    January 23, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Most often I read a book (I have huge libraries of both paper books and e-books)
    I can use the time to write some things that are on my mind. Another thing is to go out for a walk and take some photos if there is anything interesting. I also meditate, listen to music, exercise and many other things.

  20. Eric J
    January 23, 2014 at 4:39 am

    i usually read books when internet goes down. and its like having a break too.

  21. Jeremy G
    January 23, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Pick up a book / Go for a walk / Cook a meal / Get a good night's sleep
    All these are things I should do. Instead I switch between the Wireless connection and the Mobile connection - or vice versa - and continue my net activities.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      So you know you should go and do something else but don't anyway?! :)

  22. Chad
    January 23, 2014 at 3:26 am

    I live in an older neighborhood that was built about 50 years ago. Lots of trees cause me a lot of outages over the past 10 years. I have a somewhat unique setup since I work on networks for a living, so my "Home Network" is a more than adequate router…with cable modem, which fails back to a DSL, and then if both of those are failed, then fails to a 4G LTE provider, all automatically. All of these are with different providers, on different types of connections (coax, analog copper, and cellular). In the event that I lose power, there is a battery backup on the router, and the wireless access point is PoE from the “more than adequate” router.
    While this will only provide about 45 minutes of battery life, I do have two backup generators, one whole house natural gas and a backup gasoline generator. In the unlikely event that the whole house generator, and the gasoline generator both fail, then I suppose I would be without power therefore internet would be pointless, but if just a typical internet outage happens, I feel like I've got that covered.
    BTW...chances are if all three internet services are out, AND in the event that BOTH generators failed...it's very likely the hotel I evacuated to would have internet...as I do live in south Louisiana, and we have a habit of always having a backup plan. If all that is planned for fails (router, power and internet)...and all else fails...then I make like a Cajun during Carnival (Mardi Gras)...beer, and liquor are always the answer.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Wow, it seems like you have backup plans on backup plans on backup plans!

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