Dad Tech, Family Time, Popular

Is The Internet Ruining my social skills?

I’m not sure if you may have seen over on my twitter feed but last week I was without our broadband connection for just over 10 days due to massive incompetence by our provider… yes I will name and shame… BT. This is the second period of 10 days within just over 2 months and it was hell…but are we relying on it too much and is the Internet ruining my social skills?

Not only was I told a series of several lies by their contact centre, I was forced to email their CEO directly in order to try and get some action. Now I’m not the normal “complaining type”, I’m the one who will moan to others (definitely) but would rather just nod politely, accept poor customer service and choose not to go there, or use a company again. However on this occasion I had literally had enough. Since being with them, just over 7 months I have had around 5 issues with them and whilst I’m not going to go into detail of majority of them, (I told you I like to moan) I will say that my recent frustration had been intensified by the fact I have previously been left without Broadband due to one of their (BT Wholesale / BT Openreach / BT – I’m really not sure who blame lies with even now) engineers deciding to disconnect our broadband from the network cabinet box on the main road and closing down the port it went in to. This resulting in time wasted visiting my property to determine the fault didn’t lie here, visiting the network box to determine it didn’t have a port, a new port having to be installed, and then a further engineer visit to connect it all up again.


Well if that was bad enough to happen once, its just happened again and it sent me into meltdown….


I LOVE my gadgets, I’m crazy for them, however now we have children, and in order to be able to continue to suppress my addiction, I need to find ones which benefit the family before I can justify buying them as such, many of them now are enjoyed by all over us and they also have a massive dependance on being connected to the internet.

To give you an idea, the following are heavily reliant on having a broadband connection:

  • Hive Heating System – Heating controlled anywhere in the world via our smart phones
  • Netflix
  • Catch up / onDemand services, e.g. iPlayer (CBeebies)
  • Network Hard Drive, e.g. allows me to store documents on and access when I’m working away from home
  • Playstation 4 (ok, I don’t get to play as much as I’d like but a good gaming session is had from time to time)
  • iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches
  • General Internet surfing
  • My Blog 🙂
  • Working from Home during the day
  • Mrs F working from home at night as she isn’t able to stay late due to the little ones.
  • Music Streaming
  • Baby Monitor

So as you can see, we have many uses for the internet and to be without it was what can only be described as hellish. Normally having got the kids into bed, Mrs F and I will tend to either catch up on a bit of blogging (me) and lesson plans (Mrs F) whilst watching some onDemand programmes as live TV really doesn’t apply to us anymore having come to the realisation that the children own the TV when its on during daytime. Having no broadband meant we couldn’t do that, we also don’t have a TV in our room either so will normally go to bed and watch some Netflix via an iPad and chill (No-not like that, which incidentally I only found out what “Netflix and Chill” means to the youth population this week), however we couldn’t do that either.

Working From Starbucks

I couldn’t work at home in the daytime so was forced to go to a local Starbucks in order to actually get some things done, H couldn’t stream his favoured Minions, Home, Disney *Insert annoying song here* songs for a 400th time in a row whilst doing “Shows”… All of this resulting in us having to actually communicate with one another. Now I’m not saying we don’t communicate with each other as we do, and lots, we insist on sitting around the table each night eating our tea and talking about our days and is actually one of my favourite times of my day (both for food and family reasons).


It did make me think though that as a family, we have become MASSIVELY reliant on having the internet and need to think of other things we could do should our family experience another outage again… So far I’ve come up with:

  1. Board Games (both family and adult types) – We currently own no grown up board games.. not even Monopoly
  2. Books / Reading – They say reading is good for the mind so I’m going to look down the local library for some books which might suit me
  3. Visit Friends – Obvious but sometimes we don’t do it as we think we’ll be intruding
  4. Jobs – Rather than just let time waste away each night, whilst the children are in bed we could look to do things we might normally do when the kids are around, such as food shopping meaning that weekends can be solely dedicated to us as a family
  5. Exercise – I’m always moaning about my waist size, well exercising when there is nothing else to do is utilising time
  6. Drawing – I used to love drawing when I was younger, I might try and look into this again
  7. Evening Classes – I’m not the best with our dSLR so maybe an evening class will not only help to socialise more, but will also improve my camera skills too.

Those are just 7 but it’s a start and I’m actually looking forward to getting a few adult board games over xmas and maybe invited some friends around to partake in a few light beverages and some SOCIALISING! If you can think of any other things feel free to add them in the comments or tweet me them…


Until Next Time

Jim x