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WHEN WIFI STOPS WORKING. by daphneklee

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· @daphneklee · (edited)
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WHEN WIFI STOPS WORKING.
<center><a href="https://ibb.co/cPgWbk"><img src="https://preview.ibb.co/if3zU5/alejandro_escamilla_1.jpg" alt="alejandro_escamilla_1" border="0"></a></center>

### - Home in Medellín, Colombia -


**“Oh. My. God. Where’s the candle?! Did somebody die over there?! Somebody? Anybody? Please help us!” my roommates dramatically screamed.**

Needless to say, they have natural talents in theatrical performance. No, we didn’t run out of electricity. Nothing was on fire. No one was really jumping out of the balcony beside ourselves. We simply lost our WiFi connection for two minutes while we’re busy swiping down our news feed or typing fiercely into our WhatsApp conversations. It was an emergency: a kind of millennial withdrawal or nomad addiction. We gasp the moment WiFi signal is lost as if we’ve been diving underwater for too long. **Do we even breathe properly when we stare at our smartphones?**

### - Next Day in Pergamino Cafe -

I was sitting in the nomad row, as Emma calls it. There’s no rule posted in the cafe but we all know that you need to have a laptop to sit there, because that’s the only spot that has electrical outlets. We were all quietly typing away on our laptop, either on a coding platform or in a word document. I barely knew what their faces looked like. Who cares? Everyone needs to get work done.

Then, all of a sudden, the WiFi died. There, all the nomads shared this quintessential moment of looking up, away from their laptops, and breathed for a second. We quickly looked back down at our screen — no, the WiFi’s still not working. We clicked around thinking we could somehow fix the dead WiFi from our devices. 10 minutes passed. Screw it.

I looked at the guy next to me and said, “so WiFi’s dead, huh? I bet they just shut it off so we can get the hell out. ‘Go home and use your own WiFi!’”

He laughed in agreement. It turned out he’s also a fellow New Yorker and we had a nice chat about his experience with the licensed Apple store in Medellín. We didn’t exchange contact at the end, but I was glad the WiFi was dead for us to have that human interaction. I wouldn’t have talked to him and gotten a few laughs if the WiFi wasn’t dead.


### - Afternoon in Hija Mía Cafe -

I ordered a Guanabana juice and sat down at my usual afternoon spot in Hija Mía. The WiFi here didn’t work, either. Great, now I’m stuck with having to finish this juice. Knowing that the WiFi’s probably dead for the next few hours, I took my drink and sat at the bar seat instead. I never sat there because I was always on my laptop ignoring the world. Then my friend walked in and sat at the same bar near the cashier. He started telling us how the cafe owner Shaun used to make penis-looking flat whites and we all laughed hysterically. The story made me thankful for the dead WiFi again even though I didn’t get any work done.


### - One Day in Cafe Zeppelin -

It’s my first work day back in Medellín. All the cafes seemed so much more crowded than usual because four remote programs were in town this month. I walked into Cafe Zeppelin, normally a quieter place, and immediately saw this cute Asian guy sitting in the corner. He’s on a conference call of some sort, but he looked up and smiled… at me? Not sure if he’s just smiling about his conversation, but he smiled in my direction anyway.

“Unreal,” I thought, intimidated by his radiant smile.

I sat down and opened my laptop. Here we go again: I couldn’t connect to WiFi for a good five minutes. Medellín, do you just turn off WiFi for the sake of connecting people? I turned around and asked the boy if WiFi’s working for him. He said yes and smiled again. We didn’t really have a conversation as my back’s facing him the whole time. As magical as Medellín is, I ran into this person three more times after that brief encounter. We finally spoke at the fourth time and surprisingly he remembered me asking him about WiFi.

**Perhaps, our first connection began with the disconnection of WiFi.**

**Perhaps, human interaction today starts when we disconnect from internet and electronics, when we put down our phones and listen to each other intently, or when we simply look up and smile?**


-----------


Click [here](http://www.writtenbydaphne.com/wifi-stops-working-digital-nomad/) for the original article on my blog.
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