There are times when the Internet’s asleep. Okay, well, so maybe that’s overstated, but if you have my hours you’ll quickly find the things you can’t do online well before 9 a.m. For example, just the other day I wanted to check out one of my accounts that I only vaguely understand. It’s with a company my employer contracts with, and it has an innocuous name that tells you nothing about what it really does. Still, I had to check in. After looking up the password, and going through the usual 18-step confirmation of my identity (it didn’t recognize my laptop), I landed on a page stating that it was the routine maintenance period for the website, and would I be so kind as to check back in later. This is not an isolated incident. In fact, I often awake around 3 a.m. to find that my laptop’s also doing routine maintenance, although I’m using it nearly every day at that time. Smart tech, indeed.
You see, the ultra-early riser has a different view of time than the rest of the world. After about 4 p.m. I don’t have the sharpness that was evident twelve hours before. Oh, I can still function, but it’s on auxiliary power. No warp drive that late in the day. I realize I’m the weird one here. After visiting friends and family and staying up to the obscenely late hour of 10 p.m., I’ll take an entire week to get back on track with days passing in a fuzzy haze of timely confusion. I’ve been trying to break the habit for over a year now, but I still occasionally have to go into New York City, and those days require ultra-early awakening. Knowing such a day is coming up, my body doesn’t want to be vulnerable to that shift. So I wake up naturally when many others are just getting to bed.
The problem with this is that if you have to get some business done before work hours, many websites are undergoing their maintenance. They don’t want to be interrupted when I’m actually alert. There’s a lot of talk about diversity these days, but the person trapped in the early rising net is not a protected category. It is frustrating to have people say “why don’t you just go back to sleep?” when you can’t. I’ve gotten used to all that. The early bird, they say, gets the worm. That depends, however, whether the worm is on the Internet or not because, believe it or not, the Internet slumbers in the middle of the night.