An interesting question in an age where the Internet plays an integral part of everyday life, business and society! So what are the implications of a life without the internet?
Well firstly we should ask the question in a more specific circumstance. What would life be like with no Internet if the ‘plug’ was pulled today? We’ll be looking at this topic from this angle, rather than trying to imagine the world without the Internet had it never been invented.
Life without Internet – Pulling the Plug on the Internet.
How exactly the Internet Plug could ever get pulled is a complicated question, due to the expansive infrastructure that makes up the Internet. It would probably require the shutting down of every server and local DNS around the world. Some people have spoken about a major virus infection spreading through all servers and computers, rendering them / the Internet in a paralyzed state. There is also another wild theory where by the wind generated by huge solar flares will disrupt anything that carries current, from telegraph wires, anything metal, computers, servers etc. You can read about this theory if you Google “Carrington Event of 1959” This theory is said to be predicted by Nasa.
Life with no Internet – Personal Users
How would having no Internet affect the general personal user? Well apart from every teenager screaming because they can’t log on to Facebook, it all comes down to how much we personally use the Internet and what for. Some of us hardly use the Internet, where others pretty much live their life around it! Equally some actually live a completely New Life within the Internet like those who use Second Life.
I asked a few people their initial feelings towards not having the Internet, here’s what they said;
“So many people use the Internet that if whoever banned it from the world everyone would complain that much and so many people would sue them that they would be forced to put it back on to regain all their money, or everyone should just move to the planet mars.” Charlotte – 16
“Well, people would have to start talking to each other more, like they used to, and the whole morning chat at the post office will return. Kids would have to used the library to find stuff out instead of using Google, which will get them out of the house and learning to do things for themselves. People will receive letters instead of emails.” Melanie – 28
“It would affect me greatly in work because of our regional offices that relay information, policies and procedures to one another quickly. Personally I don’t have the time to go out as much as I’d like to and without the Internet I’d loose valuable socialising networks and access to friends and family far away.” Debbie – 45
“Boring life! We would not be able to shop online, which helps a lot of people like me who find it hard to get around” Sylvia – 60+
Socialising – Can our Youth Socialise without the Internet?
Many of us use the Internet to communicate, especially those in the lower age brackets above 10 years. From email to chat forums, social networks, dating sites and even virtual worlds our demands on the Internet for social communication and networking are huge. So it’s easy to anticipate that a life without the internet would force people to turn back to grass roots and socialise and communicate on a very basic level. My worry with this though, specifically within the lower age brackets is will the people who’ve grown up with the Internet around them be able to embrace social engagement on a grass roots level and know how to socialise? Would this better enhance communication skills and language in relation to studies on how ‘Internet slang’ has merged into our language skills? Would our ability to meet new people outside our immediate area be severed and thus affecting who we meet, socialise and interact with and above all whom we spend our lives with? How did you meet your partner? Was the Internet involved in the process?
Life without Internet – Communication
We use the Internet to communicate more than ever and it’s become an integral part of any standard means of communication. So with no Internet our means of communication would have to adapt. I very much doubt we’ll be sending smoke signals, but letters would fulfil the hole e-mails left and phones would fulfil the gaps that instant messaging, chat and social media created. An increase in posted mail and phone calls would surely benefit our local postal services and telephone network providers, but what we loved about the Internet was that communication was free! So it’s a possible exaggeration to assume we’d all crack out the pens and paper, start licking stamps and calling everyone we know. Further more we would probably resort to basics, that remain free and simply go ‘talk’ to friends and family.