Waking up in the morning, the first thing many do is check phones for notifications, texts, calls, etc., but on February 27—all mid-Michigan Verizon customers including residents in Okemos and Haslett—were left in the dark.
According to the Lansing State Journal, the outage lasted through the day until around 6 p.m. “after a fiber optic cable to a third-party vendor’s network was cut.”
Essence Bell, a resident of Meridian Township and Michigan State student, was affected by the outage.
“I am a design student and do a lot of work from my phone,” said Bell. “Not being able to use my phone is very nerve-wracking because how am I supposed to navigate through the day if I have important work to do.”
Global News published an eight-part series unveiling how technology affected Gen Z and how this new generation navigates through the world.
“It’s not an addiction; it’s an extension of themselves,” said MaryLeigh Bliss, chief content editor at Ypulse and a Gen Z research consultant, to the publication. “Are you addicted to your right hand?”
While some Gen Z residents may feel as though the outage affected their day negatively, Okemos resident Dante Booker, negated that narrative.
“I felt relieved to take a break from my phone and just people overall,” said Booker. “Although it can become very difficult to do so with everything going on and around us, it’s not impossible. This time before the break has been stressful anyways, so the opportunity to unplug felt amazing.”
Working through the day without even having to glance at his cellular device, Booker was able to get more work done than usual and gain “peace of mind.”
In the midst of a busy semester and trying to become level-headed through it all, some of these Gen Z residents took this opportunity to reflect.
Jala Jackson, a township resident and student, was able to reflect and gain more outlook on how she wanted her break to be during the outage.
“I’m usually always on my phone so disconnecting can be hard,” said Jackson, “but I was able to just sit at home and reflect during this time. I even got the chance to organize and sort out some of the plans I have for the break.”
With some Gen Z residents using the phone outage leverage and others realizing how much they need technology an employee at Verizon, Alex Allen, was shocked to see the number of calls they received in the time span of an hour.
“I commute to work up here in Meridian occasionally,” said Allen “but the outage saw the most call volumes we’ve seen in a while. We even had people come in to try and trade in their phones to see if that would fix the issue.”
All in all, Verizon was able to restore service to every one of its customers in the mid-Michigan area. Allowing for Generation Z to plug back into their service or become more willing to just, take a break.