Addicted To Technology...

By John Holtz*


Have You Ever Noticed How Important Internet and cable Television Are To Expats?

Take it away for any length of time, for a day perhaps, and you feel isolated from the real world. That makes Costa Rica a little like Disneyland. A façade of truly nice things but we have not one idea what is going on behind the scenes. Who makes those $8.00 hamburgers anyway?

Today is one of those days.

  • Amnet cable has crashed and consequently Amnet Internet, since about 10:30am, and it is now after 7:00pm. I am a prisoner of technology and a prisoner of this country because I have no idea what is going on beyond our borders or what the football scores are. Less, the weather in Denver which is the source of our feed.

  • No SKYPE calls, in or out, no Craigslist to browse when all else is boring, not a clue as to the stock market today, no news about the US and European snow, no video conferencing, no diagnosis of x-rays from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, no, Facebook... all gone.

  • God! Emails also gone, payments to vendors have to wait…..the list can go on and on.

  • I cannot believe that I will miss the third re-run of “NCIS” with Abbey and McGee? But I will.

What to do?

Beside pout, I am going to finish reading an Isabel Allende book. (Island Under the Sea) A great writer and always a good read.

I will try not to snack, but that is not a promise. There is a lot of unhealthy but tasty stuff in our fridge left over from Christmas.

Rent a movie! A great idea! After all we can get rentals before the films actually hit the big screens. A bonus for living in the tropics.

We went to see Naranja or Narnia or something like that the other day and I liked it. (See? I Cannot look it up on Internet!) The best part is that the theatre was empty. No screaming kids and no cellular phones with back lights that catch your eye every ten seconds.

I asked Amnet if we could deduct one day from the cable and Internet bill. The answer was dead silence followed by a telephone disconnect. Even the tech seemed a little ashamed of the service.

For my home I pay almost $80 a month and have really crummy service with two televisions. Usually it runs for the computer 54Mbps which is nothing to brag about. I can live with that, but not with two outages in the same week.

I smell a conspiracy because ICE´s Acelera was down for 500,000 customers the other day. I did not know that ICE´s Acelera has 500,000 customers for that matter?

So what to do? Nothing just read Isabel Allende´s book and be shocked in the morning that my stock is down and my 80 year old brother is upset because I did not call and because the Lakers probably lost another game, but I do not have a clue by how much.

Ahhhhh! Life in the Third World. Does anyone know, and I intend to ask again, what is the Second World? I read the First World, then it seems to drop to the Third World countries. What's in between?

*John Holtz is the Executive Director of the Center for the Studies of Modern Management and can be reached at:


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