By: Kevin McDonnell
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- For the majority of students on our campus it is hard to imagine a world without the Internet. WiFi seems to permeate all aspects of our lives. It is connected to everything from our phones, to our watches, and even lightbulbs and doorbells. It becomes almost impossible to use certain services without a wireless connection as we seek to create a technology infrastructure that is increasingly connected. Students quickly discovered this as university services came grinding to a halt amidst a ransomware attack aimed at the university network.
I know from the beginning of writing this article that it will be met with some possible eye rolls and maybe an “OK Boomer,” or two, but it is this humble writer’s opinion that this WiFi outage was truly a gift rather than a punishment. While students across our campus lamented our inability to load Instagram and Twitter feeds, we missed out on the opportunity to capitalize on one of the commodities we have very little of as college students: time.
Rather than engaging in a list of complaints or launching into some monologue about the inconveniences of no Netflix access, we should’ve taken the vital time to spend with our friends who we typically scramble to fit in amongst late-night study sessions and a full day of classes. It may just be the very little wisdom of a nostalgic senior talking as he rapidly approaches graduation, but maybe in the aftermath of this WiFi outage, we should remind ourselves to take a step back from the rapid pace of everyday life and take a minute to appreciate the people around us. Rather than looking for a community online, we should engage in the community right in front of us.