Life lessons from the Chrome dinosaur game

Whenever you lose a connection to the internet and are using Chrome as a browser, a little dinosaur appears, looking very 8-bit, just above a note from the nice people at Google informing you that despite what you may believe, "you ain't got no internet son!" But did you know that this little dinosaur was a game?!?

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Yep. The next time you see the little dino, instead of ranting and fuming and complaining about your awful luck and how your project/report/facebook post absolutely needs to be posted right now, just push the space bar. 


A distraction!

So yes, the Chrome dinosaur game is pretty low tech. But maybe you can not think about that whilst leaping over cacti and pterodactyls. Maybe, whilst you distract yourself attempting to beat my high score, your computer and wifi router will take a moment and fix the problem all by themselves whether or not you fume and rant. 

But probably not. 

Because, if you live in much of the world, the part with crazy good internet (here's looking at you Singapore), you losing the internet isn't a momentary possibility... it is an indication that you need to call the internet company to either pay your bill or complain about an outage in your area.

When I first used the internet, with the aid of a 14.4 modem bought separately, I usually was never quite sure whether or not it was even working. 
"Wait, did it disconnect? Maybe I should wait another five minutes..."
These were typical thoughts. So, whenever I "surfed the web" I typically brought a book. And consistently, nearly until the 21st century, I would get more reading done physically than electronically.

Turns out, in much of the world, this is still sort of the norm.

Except now you, the fearless traveler, get to deal with a wifi hotspot with a shaky connection and a limited bandwidth capacity AND and 50 other people also using that same hotspot to watch Netflix, download music, post on facebook, facetime with family in China, and any number of other bandwidth consuming activities.

Yes, if everyone using this hypothetical hotspot simply used it to check their emails in HTML format (requires less bandwidth) and some light searching ("What's my favorite blog that doesn't use pictures up to today?") then we'd all be good.

But that isn't going to happen. Not with a new season of Stranger Things available!

So, you, fearless in your travels, are occasionally bumped off the hotspot for reasons only a magician knows and presented with the opportunity to play the dinosaur game. But in this case, the medicine comes with a little sugar, since you also know that by the time you complete the game your connection will have been reestablished and you'll be reconnected to whatever silly political drama happened in the last five seconds and is waiting in your facebook news feed.

I've been playing this game a lot recently. And, you know what? I think it is starting to teach me some stuff. Besides how to jump over cacti and pterodactyls (is that the plural? Any paleontologists out there with some insight?).

First - You need to occasionally take a break. "Connection lost" might as well say "Disconnect bro".

We all know this, but frequently we confuse "take a break" with "waste some time." 

We work until we are fried in the brain and then instead of getting up and doing ten push-ups, refilling our water bottle (you should probably be drinking more water after-all), and grabbing a snack, we find ourselves staring off into space for thirty minutes trying to see if we remember all the lines to Princess Bride.

Scheduled breaks are... okay I guess. But you know what's better?... 

Second - Surprise breaks are better! 

If you don't know when there are coming, you don't ramp up and ramp down throughout the day. You just work when you can and don't when you can't.

Monica (one half of us) likes to say that morning people are just people who get up in the morning. People will use the "I'm not a morning person" to justify being a jerk... but they are still being a jerk. And jerks can excuse all they want but (as the famous song almost said) "jerkers gotta jerk jerk jerk jerk jerk."

Do you think you work better in the morning? The afternoon? The night? Well, if you can't rely upon one of those times always being available, then guess what... you're gonna work whenever you can, not when you want.

And what you will find is all those stipulations and limitations you put on yourself were mostly imaginary. A great writer writes whether or not they in the mood or have writer's block, a great plumber shows up to fix your leak even at three in the morning (without coffee!), and a great fireman better darn-tooting be ready at anytime of day!

You can do it too if it is the only way to meet your deadline. Oh, and speaking of deadlines....

Third - You shouldn't get too close to a deadline!

In a world of perfect internet, waiting until an hour before your deadline is due is fine. Heck, waiting until the day your deadline is due is no biggie!

But, if you are finding you play the cute little dino game more than once a day, waiting until the day of a deadline is pretty dangerous. 

Did you know Armenia once lost the internet because of a Georgian woman with a shovel? Yep. That happened.

Besides being hilarious, it is a great example of the unexpected crap that can happen just before your deadline.

That little dinosaur is a little reminder that maybe you should go ahead and finish your project a week early this time (and then maybe take a week off to try and beat my high score!).

And that's it!

If you are reading this from the comforts of constant high-speed internet land, the I would like to point out that the woman next to me who is currently facetiming with her mother in China says "hi," and if you are the sort of person with will power and drive and imagination then you could probably use these lessons from a dino and apply them to your life somehow. 

I would help you figure it out, but I've got a dino game to play. There's no WiFi.

Oh, and what is my high score?

Not super impressed? Well, I never said I was ever any good at it.

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  1. Great post! I never even knew the dinosaur game existed... Will stop thumping keyboard next time and try to score some dino-points : )

    1. I know right? It's actually surprisingly fun for such a simple game. Not as fun as having access to the internet though!

  2. No wifi games Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.


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