I like to see the opportunity in everything–especially in situations that seem, on their surface, to be the most troublesome. And Playstation’s outage has definitely been troublesome.
The Playstation Network outage has been more than a little inconvenient for my family. My 10-year-old son had been really excited about being able to play Transformers online with his friends during the week of Easter break. But on Wednesday, April 20th, just a couple of days before Easter break started, that the Playstation Network went down. And it stayed down.
So for the last couple of weeks, my family hasn’t been able to play any online Playstation games–which is pretty much the main kind my 10-year-old is into right now. And we can’t check out any new demos. All this comes as a bit of a blow when you’re used to doing these things on certain days at certain times. In other words–when it’s become a habit.
Which brings me to the first bit of silver lining in the cloud of annoyance the Playstation Network outage has caused.
Silver Lining #1
Because my son is no longer jumping on the game the instant he gets home from school on Friday, he’s had more time to do other stuff that’s fun.
Things To Do With the Time Not Spent Playing Online Games:
- getting caught up on housework
- talking to a friend on the phone
- visiting with a friend face to face
- writing a letter
- planting an herb garden (these can be planted in indoor containers, or outside in a garden)
- catch up on paying bills
- do general house maintenance that always seems to get put off — such as touching up chips in appliance paint, cleaning the oven, cleaning out the freezer, detailing your automobile
- read a good book
- learn a new recipe
- spend time playing a board game with your kids
- talk to your kids about their day–every day
- start a long-term cooperative project with your kids–something you can do together on a regular basis (like maybe starting an online business to make money)
- learn a new language at home with a program like Rosetta Stone
- get caught up on homework or a class project
- talk to a friend on the phone
- visit with a friend face to face
- organize your room so you can easily find what you use the most–and in a way that looks attractive to you
- get caught up on your chores
- spend time talking to your mom or dad about things that are on your mind
- read a good book
- practice sketching, painting, or other art-related skill
- sing to your favorite CD
- play outside or take a walk outside with a friend
Even worse than the inconvenience of having no online gaming, however, is Sony’s announcement that the private account information was stolen from many millions of Sony Playstation Network customers. You may be wondering how this theft can possibly have a silver lining….
Silver Lining #2
We now have an 0pportunity for renewed vigilance about financial and identity/privacy-related matters. The truth is, there’s always been a risk that our credit card and bank card numbers are being stolen, that our passwords are being hacked, and that our private information is being procured illegally to be used for nefarious purposes. And unfortunately, most of us live such busy lives that we often let important things slip that we shouldn’t–like checking to make sure our credit cards and bank accounts, as well as our identities, have not been compromised.
Now may be a good time to start monitoring your credit report, if you haven’t already been doing so.
U.S. residents are legally entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. To get yours, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228. If you prefer, you can check each of the three bureaus individually:
Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Since you can only get one free credit report per year, you may also want to consider contacting whatever credit card company you used on the Sony Playstation Network and ask for their advice, given the possible theft of your account information by hackers. You could also ask your credit card company that your card be canceled and a new one issued.
Silver Lining #3
Sony Playstation Network may be inspired to embark on a path of renewed customer service and commitment to excellence.
Perhaps this will take the form of better security for our information (we can only hope!)–or more (and better) free or reasonably priced services. Perhaps Sony will come up with some different ideas–but one thing’s for certain. They’re going to be under plenty of scrutiny from their customers (you and me) to see that we’re being treated right (hopefully, better than right) in the weeks and months to come. So Sony had better come up with something good!