We went to IHOP Saturday morning. Each of us was armed with an electronic device – cell phone, iPad, iPod and laptop – that we immediately opened up and turned on when we sat down.
Our eyes were glued to our screens when the waitress came to take our drink order. We had to move our devices out of the way when she brought our food. One of us – maybe the 14-year-old – said something about the video he was watching. The rest of us ignored him. We were too caught up in our own internet business to pay any attention to his.
IHOP is close by to where we are staying and we haven’t stocked up on breakfast foods yet. But we didn’t go because we had a hankering for red velvet pancakes or banana French toast.
We were craving free wifi. We were starved for social media, YouTube, the news, email and all the other entertainment and information we’re used to getting whenever we want.
Life without 24/7 unlimited wifi is definitely an adjustment.
Full-time RV’ers like us have few choices for wifi. We can rely on the campground connection, but it’s been spotty in all three we’ve experienced so far (it is working right now, but it’s 7 a.m. and everyone else is still asleep). There are satellite systems, but those come with a lot of limitations, to include having to be parked in a spot without trees or bad weather. Finally, there is the option of creating a hotspot that uses your cell phone data, which is the most popular and what we have chosen.
The hotspot works through a wireless router we got from Verizon. The connection is fast, steady and just like being at home. However, it also eats data
So you use it sparingly, only when absolutely needed. In the four days we’ve had our Verizon account, we’ve used 2.43 gigabytes of our 34 GB plan. We have been eking it out only when necessary, and have prohibited the kids from watching videos or uploading photos.
The kids will start school online in the next few days, and we expect that 34 GB data will go fast. We’ll likely have to upgrade, which will cost even more money. I see many more breakfast outings in our future – McDonald’s, Starbucks, Panera … anywhere with free wifi.
And we will all have our electronic devices out, front and center.
I’m pretty sure some of the people sitting nearby at IHOP looked at us and thought, “That poor family. They’re all on their electronics. They probably never even talk to each other, let alone spend any time together.”
If they only knew …