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Life Hacks: 

How to deal with an internet outage

"There's your problem Hank - the letters are all foreign. Let me order in some English slabs, but it won't be cheap..."

“There’s your problem Hank – the letters are all foreign. Let me order in some English slabs…”

The internet has gone down!

Panic! This is not a drill people, repeat: this is not a drill.

Only clearly it is. You’re reading this in a web browser for starters, so take a deep breath, sit yourself back down, and carry on. We’re sorry for scaring you like that, but what if it wasn’t a drill? Then you’ll be needing our comprehensive instruction manual that details everything you need to cope with an internet outage.

Coping with an internet outage if you’re at home

Panic. This internet outage is literally the worst thing to happen to anyone, ever. You have our permission to be anxious.

1. Restart your router

Come on magic box, why won't you do your job?

Come on magic box, why won’t you do your job?

It might be okay. Routers like to go on strike periodically, but usually you can tackle this industrial action without the negotiating table, tackling the problem head on. Turn off the router for 10 seconds, and let it restart.

While you wait, don’t do anything useful – this means your router might not realize the gravity of its actions. Instead sit at your computer or laptop and hammer the F5 button, a steely look of determination on your face.

1.5. Do it again

That didn’t work? Oh. Try it again, and press harder. Look really determined and frustrated. Maybe restart your computer while you’re at it. Restart anything you can, who knows how these things work?

2. Shout at your ISP

This won’t really accomplish anything (especially if you don’t phone them first) but shouting at your ISP might make you feel a bit better.

3. Is your smartphone working?

Come on, one of these things must work...

Come on, one of these things must work…

It’s a poor substitute, but maybe you can get your fix of Reddit using your cellphone data? If not, you can phone up your cell provider and repeat step 2… assuming it can still make calls. You might feel better.

4. Were you prepared for this nightmare scenario?

Hopefully you thought ahead a bit and downloaded some podcasts or articles before disaster struck? Instapaper and Pocket allow you to save long articles for offline reading later, and now is probably the time to catch up on those articles you didn’t read when you had internet access.

Didn’t think ahead, huh? Okay. Try the radio: it’s like Podcasts, only with less mentions of Audible and Mail…kimp. You could read a real life book at this point too – books are great, and they have a battery life that puts even the mighty Kindle to shame.

5. Watch TV

No Netflix? No Amazon Instant? No YouTube? Time to see what’s on television. If you can find that infernal remote control.

Two things you need to remember about traditional TV: 1) You’re going to be advertised at, and it’s not going to be creepily tailored to your interests like it is online. 2) In a quaint old-worldy way, finding a program you want to watch is like arranging to meet up with friends. Look at a TV guide, and make a note of the time your program comes on at. Meet the TV back at the pre-arranged time, and…

Oh, really, who has time for this? Time to move to Point Six:

6. Go outside

It probably won't be *that* bad...

It probably won’t be *that* bad…

High risk, but potentially high reward. Maybe you can catch a glimpse of the familiar blue Facebook navigation bar through someone’s window.

Without seeming creepy. We can’t stress this enough.

7. Buy a newspaper

How do you get the latest news? Go to a shop, and in your most authoritative voice demand to see the “news papers”. A lot of the articles you’ll have heard about yesterday, but you’ll no doubt find something worth sharing.

Offline sharing works a little differently too. If you want your friends to see something you read, make copies and stick them to their house’s windows. They’ll no doubt comment on it in time, in their own unique way.

8. Take Vine to the real world

Your WiFi down too? I hear ya, buddy.

Your WiFi down too? I hear ya, buddy.

Miss those Vine videos? We’ve got you covered. Head to the local zoo and stare at the animals in six-second bursts. It’s basically the same thing.

(You might also want to take some video yourself so you can share the magic when this living nightmare comes to an end.)

9. Emulate Instagram on the cheap

But how are you going to cope without viewing Instagram? Our advice: head to a food market and experiment with different colored lenses in a cheap pair of glasses. It’s basically the same thing.

10. Move house

That internet clearly isn’t coming back. Time to cut your losses and move. You could put your house up for sale before you go, but doing that without real estate websites… who has the time?

Coping with an internet outage if you’re at work

Go on, admit it. One of you sabotaged the router.

Go on, admit it. One of you sabotaged the router.

Don’t sweat it. Not your problem – or to quote our favorite Polish aphorism, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

You should probably call it a day. You work hard, right?

Okay, well, you work, right?

Okay, well, you show up, right?

“Sometimes”. Close enough. Go home, champ. You’ve earned it.

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