A couple days ago, a powerful line of thunderstorms blew through the New York City area packing heavy rain and strong winds. I was doing absolutely nothing at the time, procrastinating until the storm was over, hoping to get some photographs of lightning (I did not, as I had to physically barricade the makeshift cover over the part of the window not occupied by the air conditioner since the winds were so strong. If I had, you would have seen them this Thursday, but alas). Then I decided to start my homework and tried to go to my school’s website.
No internet. No landline phone or television, either – the storm had knocked the cable out. I had to call a schoolmate who wasn’t in my class for my homework (which could be found only on the school intranet, which I needed internet to access. At least I still had power – apparently quite a few in my area had theirs knocked out.).
That’s when I realized just how much we depend on the internet and how devastated we would be if the internet went offline.
OK. Maybe you think I’m stupid. You’re thinking, “He thought of that just NOW?” Or you think I’m whining over the loss of my internet service. Au contrere, my dear readers. No, I know that the world is highly dependent on the internet. But just think what would happen if it went kaput. No more instant researching. No more online videos. No more conference calls. No more instant sharing of information. No downloading anything for free. No buying things over the internet.
No more Facebook. OHMYGODICANTGETONFACEBOOKSOMEONEKILLME. (For the record, I don’t have one, but I imagine many, many Americans would have that reaction.)
Would it be disastrous? Definitely. The internet has changed our lives so much that if it just went kaput, everyone would be disoriented. It would take the world a long while to adjust. We would have to do a lot of things manually instead of tapping several keys or clicking a mouse. It wouldn’t be impossible, and actually might be a return to a previous era for those alive before the birth of the internet, but for today’s youth it would drastically alter culture and their way of life.
Just think about it. Buying CDs or vinyl to get music. Buying DVDs or Blu-Ray Discs for movies. Matter of fact, going to the store to get anything. Actually having to go to libraries to read and do research. More phone calling or (gasp) writing actual letters. Teenagers not spending every waking minute in front of the computer instant messaging or going on Facebook, and maybe going out and getting some exercise (GASP!).
You know what, maybe a modern world without the internet wouldn’t be so bad.