I recently wrote about the Internet of Things and how everything is becoming more and more connected for better or worse. Shortly afterwards I watched Transcendence, a not too bad movie with Johnny Depp, where – spoiler alert – the internet is eventually destroyed to save the world.
So this posed a question, what would life be like with no internet.
Let us put aside the massive disruption to the provision of core services, a period of anarchy, and fast forward to a time where we have returned to have very little to no reliance on the internet (so back to the early 90s – not that long a go, I was 13).
The withdrawal symptoms have faded, for some this would be easier than others. Poor Gen Zs?! Actually I can imagine a huge portion of the earth’s population would be lost for a while, sad really. What would be the benefits, and changes to our lives? There are obviously countless areas to cover and consider, debates to be had, however, below I have tried to focus briefly on some things:
- No more emails. Enough said. Work is work. Home is home.
- No more social media, all gone. Just imagine. No more selfies. No more food posts. No more random published articles from Kai on LinkedIn. Yes we can all switch off anytime we want, but we don’t – Narcissus smiles on. We would have to seek validation from those that actually matter to us, and would perhaps have a far greater sense of worth rather than depending on strangers around the world (yes, I see the hypocrisy here).
- Families and friends would enjoy so much more quality face time (oh the irony of remembering FaceTime would only make us smile).
- We would read again on the bus, or just simply think, look around, maybe even smile. No more Candy Crush, what madness?!
- We would take time to actually connect with friends by ‘talking’ to them and write letters. Imagine we would probably even develop photos again (yes kids we did this 20 years ago), and then force people to look at them. I miss those days.
- Board games would be played in the presence of the people playing them, crazy.
- No iPads, iPhones etc. Parents would be forced to actually parent and engage with their children (arggh?!).
- Attention spans and short-term memory would increase (hmmm, must check phone again for 200th time today)
- No one would say ‘Google it’ anymore, and debates would rage into the early hours of the morning. Friendships would be tested.
- We would walk the streets looking up, all the time.
- Print media would return, and there would be a delay in sensationalism. Might not be good for trees though?
- Hours would be spent making mix tapes / CDs instead of relying on iTunes. HMV would return to the high street.
- School bullies would have to eyeball their victims again.
- A vast amount of celebrities would disappear into oblivion (we would return to really only following movie and sport stars again i.e. people with talent).
- There would be huge queues forming outside the Tool Shed (if you’re in Australia you should know what I’m referring to).
- No more streaming, no more illegal downloads. You would have to pay for stuff again. We would also have to wait months for local TV networks to screen episodes of our favourite overseas TV shows — if we got to see them at all.
- We’d lose the sense of urgency and expectation that everything has to be done three seconds ago.
Just thinking about is eventually cathartic (after the initial shakes).
Please feel free to add your thoughts on what would be better, worse, come back etc if we had no internet.
Thanks for reading.