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The Wifi Welcome Mat

Welcome to the 21st century, when welcoming a guest into your home should consist of indicating if they can keep their shoes on or not, taking their coat, showing them where the bathroom is… and providing them with your wifi password.

Earlier this week I visited my parents’ home with the intent to crash overnight before taking my son snowboarding. I had my laptop in tow, fully intending to crank it up and knock out some work during the evening.

Except I couldn’t. When asked, my parents weren’t immediately sure of the name of their wifi network. That was quickly determined, but then the matter of the password caused a bit more delay.

This is the new normal.

As someone who works almost exclusively over an internet connection via smartphone, tablet, and laptop, I had to take a moment to collect myself and recall that not everyone lives and dies by wifi. And that’s perfectly OK. If I know the names of both wifi networks and their passwords at my home, that doesn’t mean I’m a better hostess. What it probably means is that I need to put the tech down way more often than I do.

The day following this evening of internet elusiveness, I found myself at a ski lodge watching my son’s snowboarding lesson. Amazingly, once again I was met with no wifi (not even paid access). As a result, my plans for knocking out some work with the laptop I had toted along went out the door. Another result was that I was able to focus more time toward watching my son experience a day of learning a new sport which may become a regular activity in his life.

Going without a solid wifi connection can cause problems, sure. But I’m finding lately that it leads me to reassess some priorities and shine a light on areas where I need to perhaps back away from the electronic device and focus on the real life right in front of me.

It’s not like the internet is going away, right?