Top Ten Things Not to Do If Your Internet and Cell Service are Down

Top Ten Things Not to Do


The inspiration for this list came from living without the internet and very spotty cell service for the last two weeks. It took me a while to get used to the fact that I could not do what has become everyday activities with my devices.

10 If your internet and cell service are down, do not try to send emails. If you do, at best you’ll never get an answer. At worst, you will convince yourself that you have been cut off from the word and will start filling bottles with notes. (Forget the fact that the biggest body of water is the dog dish, Barnaby.)

9 If your internet and cell service are down, do not look for “likes” on that last selfie. If you do, at best you’ll think no one saw it. At worst, you’ll think no one actually liked your selfie and could spiral into a black hole of self-doubt. (Your raging FOMO is about to overtake you huh, Barlow?)

8 If your internet and cell service are down, do not think youย can poach off your neighbor. If you do, at best they will have a secure connection. At worst, your neighbor’s brother-in-law, Tiny, the WWF champ, who just returned from survival school will notice you crouched in the bushes close to the house. (That scream you are hearing was taught to Tiny to throw off the enemy he is about to pounce upon. Guess who, Bartek?)

7 If your internet and cell service are down, do not think you can sneak into a coffee-house and use theirs without buying anything. If you do, at best the manager is sixteen years old and afraid of you. At worst, the manager is a retired Marine who has just been told by a twenty-year-old District Manager that they will be fired if they allow poaching of the WiFi. (Looks like you made it out of there unscathed. Too bad about that flying laptop. The landing was not pretty right, Bastian?)

6 If your internet and cell service are down, do not try to meet your book publish deadline in spite of the difficulties. If you do, at best you will be forced to set a new deadline. At worst, you will end up bald and with a bad case of PPSD. (That’s Post Publish Stress Disorder.)

5 If your internet and cell service are down, do not try to stream a movie that you have wanted to watch. If you do, at best you’ll have to watch an old Harry Potter DVD. At worst, you’ll refuse to believe that the “LOADING” sign is a lie.(So after watching the LOADING sign for two hours maybe it’s time to call it a night, Bub.)

4 If your internet and cell service are down, do not keep picking up your phone after every little noise. If you do, at best you’ll be continually reminded that it’s gone. At worst, you might develop a tick which will require long-term therapy. (Try explaining to the doctor that your illness is cell phone related, Berkley.)

3 If your internet and cell service are down, do not put your life on hold until they return. If you do, at best you’ll miss out on trying new things. At worst, your family will begin to wonder if they need to orchestrate an intervention. (Sitting in a chair all day will not bring the internet and cell service back faster, Bixby.)

2 If your internet and cell service are down, do not lay out sheets in the backyard spelling the words, “Help, I Have No Internet.” If you do, at best a passing helicopter will drop some supplies in your yard. At worst, the Channel Six news team will hover above you and broadcast a story about the shallowest individual on the planet. (You could have guessed the story would go viral right, Bojan?)

1 If your internet and cell service are down, do not think anyone will miss you on your social media accounts. If you do, at best your feeling of isolation will drive you to books. At worst, you take to standing at the traffic light with a sign that says, “Will work for Tweets.” (Notice how many drivers look away when you get near, Benny?)


  1. But what if #1 is true? ๐Ÿ˜œ Amazing how these two things have become such necessities.

    1. I know right? Wait, I gotta check my retweets.

      1. Don’t forget about reblogs, likes, shares, and all those emojis. So many ways to give attention without actual words.

  2. #0 If your internet and cell service are down, do not go to the nearest McDonalds. No, seriously, don’t.

  3. Wonderful, dear John! And very wise! For those who stuck in cyber space for ever! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. With no way back. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Number two cracked me up, John. Great job!

    1. Thank you, Jill. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I had to chuckle at them all – but you know I laughed the hardest at # 7 !!

    1. Made me laugh when I wrote it. Thanks, GP. I’m glad you like it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. These are great, John. I’m sorry that they’re based on first hand experience, and I hope you only heard the story from Tiny when you bought him a coffee at the little shop. I was wondering about the deadline, what’s a few days? I wouldn’t want your producer stepping in to call you off the ledge.

    1. Ha ha ha. I drove to a coffee shop yesterday (30 miles RT) and got the book loaded into Amazon. I’m not ready to give up yet. Thanks, Dan

      1. You may need to update the Acknowledgement section ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I know right? Island Joes is the name.

      3. Horsefeathers! Now *that’s* determination, John. Tiny better not mess with you! Holy Hannah.
        But I guess with 2 whole weeks of hardly any Internet, any of us would have been looking for an excuse. Great list. Have a terrific Tuesday. Hugs.

      4. Thank you, Teagan. Wonderful Hug to you.

  7. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Hilarious post from John who is having internet and Wi-fi problems.

    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

  8. The area for miles around should be warned if Tiny graduated from survival training. He could be classified as a weapon of mass destruction. I love the Dory meme at the top. My wi-fi provider just found out my modem wasn’t functioning and replaced it after days of problems. ๐Ÿ˜€ — Suzanne

    1. Don’t you love when the problem is fixed? Thanks, Suzanne. Mine is still out of service

  9. Good morning, John!
    And what would the #1 priority to do be? Maybe getting some carrier pidgeons?! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    When I think of the Internet: it’s really amazing how much we have come to depend on it, and not always because we want it. Sometimes – in our “modern” world – we’re just forced to.
    Enjoy your week,

    1. Thanks, Pit. Modern is as modern does.

  10. Another great list, John – goes to show that truth is stranger than fiction sometimes! Hope your Internet and Cell service are back and steady.

    1. Nope no service on the internet. Cell is doing better.

      1. Good grief! Hang in there good sir!

      2. I know right? At least the fridge is working.

      3. Wow. I’m happy you didn’t lose your home, but I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

      4. Me too. There are so many who have nothing left. Some are tenting on their lot since their structure i gone. Heartbreaking.

      5. That is heartbreaking, John. I can’t imagine what that’s like. And the hurricanes aren’t finished yet.

  11. Gwen Plano · ·

    “Will work for tweets!” hahaha When I go to the shore, shall I look for bottles filled with notes? LOL
    You know how to add levity to a bad situation like few others. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Yes. Look for notes in bottles. No telling where that dog water dish ended.

  12. I burst out laughing at #2!

  13. Ha ha! A great way to deal with the demise of relied on services.

  14. If you live in Almost Iowa and your internet and cell service are down – walk out into the middle of the nearest bean field. You might get reception there. Out here, the only way to get internet is through your phone.

    1. I’m using my phone hotspot. The problem is the service keeps going down. The need to do that to repair things.

      1. That is all we can use here – but it works great for traveling and in your case, it works well when the infrastructure is hurting.

  15. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Enjoyed this list and have been a part of it many times. I have tried streaming a moving and watching the upload hopefully… Lol I have ended up visiting some patient friends and relatives with laptop in hand, of course. But, losing phone and internet does give me time to get those photographs and hand write that poetry in my journal…. And maybe clean out the pantry. Hope you get all back to normal soon.

    1. We should be able to find time to do what we want to do to catch up. Thanks, DL

  16. I think you’ve coined a new disorder, John: Post Publish Stress Disorder! I bet I know a lot of people with PPSD ๐Ÿ˜‰ Number 3 is my favorite on this list. One of the best things about not having internet is rediscovering reading or playing with my cats or writing (handwriting) letters. There’s so much to do when we’re not online ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. So true, Marie. There is a lot to do. Thanks for the nice words.

  17. Wonderful list. It’s amazing how much time we dedicate to social media these days. Hope everything is functioning for you now.

    1. No internet or phone. No TV either. All I have is in and out cell service.

      1. This is why cowboys used to carry harmonicas.

      2. And why beans make music.

  18. This one’s a hoot, John! For a while there, every time the wind would blow, our power would go out (until they finally took down one of my neighbor’s trees that seemed to be the problem). I certainly can empathize. It’s awful how accustomed we’ve gotten to all this technology!

    1. So true. I guess the old way of mailing a galley to the printer wasn’t so much fun. I think I’ll take technology.

  19. Oh, I can relate to these! We had our cell phones but didn’t want to use them much to save the batteries as we had to recharge them in the car. I did feel disconnected! You seem to be getting the job done even if you had to drive 30 miles round trip. Hope you are back to normal before too long.

    1. Me too, Jo. Thanks.

  20. Priceless, John! Love your sense of humour. Cheers!

    1. Thank you, Natalie. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Wise counsel. I wonder if “go get a life” will strike anyone experiencing such issues ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It does occur as a fleeting thought.

      1. Lucky it was only a momentary weakness…

  22. Hahaha, a regular occurrence on trains offering free wifi, London shops are actually quite good for wifi, it’s no joking manner to be offline for a long time though eeeekkkk.

    1. Well for me it is.

  23. LOL! Loved the Dorrie comic!

  24. Ah, ha, ha! Great list, John! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I know how stressful and frustrating it could be. I had a great laugh. Thank you! โค

    1. Laughter is the best way to look beyond your troubles. Thanks, Vashti.

  25. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Here is a humorous post from John Howell’s blog on what not to do if your lose your wifi and Internet. Those of us that have gone through the recent hurricanes can resonate with this.

    1. Thank you, Don ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. Thanks for the best laugh in a week, John. Do you know how good bust-out-loud belly laughing is for the soul? Well, it’s really good.

    1. It is very good and that’s why I write like I do. Thanks for the validation, Jeanne.

      1. You are most welcome, John. Best to you. -Jennie-

  27. I always get a kick out of the names you come up with. I’d never use the sheets. That would require more laundry. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. This is great, John. A writer and blogger’s worst nightmare – no internet. I nearly went nuts on holiday as the loading of photographs was so slow.

    1. Now you can feel my pain. Not supposed to be over until after the 24th

  29. Sobering reminders, John! I wonder if life could ever go back to “normal” before Internet? I remember our library having to wait anxiously for a Postnet connection to America and then when we did get connected, trying to rattle requests and/or information off as fast as possible – after all, we were almost bankrupting library funds! Did I mention the year … 1986 … another lifetime ago.

    1. I remember that year. I got my first computer. An Apple IIe. I was totally amazed at the technology. ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Wow! At least you had a computer. I worked on one which had a disk which I could just lift up and carry to a very icecold room while doing a backup and writing the longest “keys” and codes in, which you can possibly think of! No mouse – yet …๐Ÿ˜ฑ

  30. My worst nightmare, John. No internet. I wonder if Alexa could fix it for me? She seems to know just about everything there is to know about me and everything else.
    Hope you’re doing OK, and that the internet service has been restored and is working its 24-hour day.

    1. You better be careful with Alexa. I have it on good authority she works for the government. Thanks, Hugh.

      1. Come to think of it, Alexa does sound like Theresa May, John. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      2. Ha ha ha. ๐Ÿ™‚

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