“Would it help if I connected to the school’s wireless?” asked our guest speaker. “No, that’s even slower than the open wireless” was the response from students in my class, which is why we spent a third of the Creative Director’s presentation time waiting for his commercials to load. My Advertising, Media and Society class was fortunate enough to have a professional ad executive share his expertise with us, but the presentation was hindered by a slow internet connection.
As a student at a top-ranked business school, I often think in business terms. Waiting on a slow internet connection, then, is opportunity cost. Simply put, my time could be spent more productively elsewhere if only the internet worked like it should. My parents are paying a lot of money for my undergraduate education and I expect the network to work 24/7. I admit that I often take the internet for granted because I grew up with it. Because of this, though, I understand how it should work and then become frustrated when it doesn’t.
My frustrations peak when I am on campus and cannot access my school email. To put things into perspective, students at my school send more emails than text messages; you can imagine how much an 18-22 year old texts (hint: a lot). At my school, it is an unwritten rule that you are expected to send and receive emails at any time. For me, not being able to connect to the internet means that I am out of the loop and thus, falling behind on important communications from professors and colleagues.
The issue of internet connectivity is brought up every year as student government elections roll around and then ignored as the semester progresses and students get wrapped up in group projects, papers and presentations. I was reminded of this fact last night as my Facebook page was bombarded with the request: “Vote for me and I promise to fix the internet!” If only my school’s IT team could experience these problems with the same visibly as the students affected, they could really make a difference.