Friday, July 06, 2012

A World without Internet, As We Know It Today

Imagine waking up one day, going through the works and then trying to access Facebook on your android phone only to realize that you are unable to connect. Forcibly stalling the bubbling panic in your chest you next try to use your computer broadband.

Later when you find out about the worldwide internet blackout wouldn’t you feel like curling up and dying somewhere? Come on, don’t tell me you aren’t an addict too.

The Ramifications of No Internet:-

A world without internet as we know it today would entail a world where snail mail would rage rampant again. And to some of us loyal internet fans the Return of the Letterbox is indeed a horror movie come to life. Because now instead of receiving mails in under a second you will have to wait for the postman to bring news in three days’ time. THREE DAYS? That’s like eternity in today’s time.

A world without internet would mean a world devoid of Skype or other such video calling services that has made international contact with family and friends as easy as shouting out, “Hi!” to your neighbor.

Not to mention the fact that interviews for jobs abroad would be closed forever and owners of MNCs would find it harder to conduct routine checks on their overseas operations.

Online shopping would become a myth and would join the ranks of fairytales you will be telling your grandchildren during bedtime. That means no more online grocery shopping, book browsing on Amazon, music downloads on itunes or fashion catalogue run-throughs on the website of Prada.

Businesses would suffer mightily as they would lose a chunk of customers living in foreign nations. And clients would suffer too as they would lose instant services during product malfunctions. Not to mention the loss of reviews that always helped us decide if we should buy a Sony Viao or a Dell Inspiron laptop.

Add to this the unfortunate chain of events that would crush a common man’s avenue for cheap advertising and you have a world reverting back to the days when billboards and TV Ads ruled the roost and were controlled solely by the elite. Not a sunny prospect for healthy competition, I say.

Google would no longer be there to help you finish your assignment the night before submission. Dusty tomes and nooks and crannies of libraries would house such information that once used to be at your service only a click away.

And if you are one of those inquisitive kinds who thrive on extra info and trivia then you better be prepared to scan the Britannica yourself since you wouldn’t have those cool websites anymore that have fascinating facts that pop out at you.

YouTube videos that once used to be the answer to your boredom wouldn’t be around to give you endless laugh riots either.

Shakira, One Direction and Eminem wouldn’t have the scope for enticing international audience anymore. And neither would you know about the newest singing sensation, Shady Chacha in the US if you were a resident of Cambodia (the name doesn’t exist in reality if you are confused).

Mark Zuckerberg and his brilliant creation would no longer be causing the buzz in the hive. And the tweety birds of twitter would have died a sorry death as well. So you say you are an introvert? Guess what, you just lost a thousand friends on Facebook. Now you will just have to be satisfied with the 1 you have in real life.

Blogging would no longer be an avenue for non-violent rantings and ragings about the universe in general. So you better be prepared for nervous breakdowns, fistfights or the possibility of a really poisoned crowd who can’t handle the fact that now they only have their moms listening to their misery. And not even that most of the time if you know your old lady.

Gone will be the safe and ecofriendly mode of work and communication. Banks would become battlegrounds again. Train and airplane ticket bookings would become a pain.

And you wouldn’t know that there were 10 more hotels better than the one you booked a room in over the phone for your three days’ vacation with your family. So in short the world will be doomed if internet ever stopped existing on this planet.

But just like every bad calamity has a silver lining hiding somewhere the lack of internet would also entail a lot of positives.

The Pros of Not having Internet:-

All the lazy couch potatoes who didn’t want to move their butts off the chair to even buy groceries would finally have to jiggle into their jeans and jog down the block. I know that you can still call in home delivery but there is a limit to that. So I guess it’s safe to presume that there will be a marked decrease in the obese population of the world.

Artists, musicians, authors and a myriad other professionals wouldn’t be losing a chunk of royalty since online piracy and free downloads of copyrighted stuff would finally be shut down for good.

Children will venture out of their homes more and play in the sun and rain as they should instead of staying glued to the chair before their computer screens playing World of Warcraft with a kid in China or Germany or whatever. But then lack of internet wouldn’t mean lack of traditional computer games or TV so I don’t know how far this positive will actually work.

Knowledge will be hard to get and thus will be respected.

Net addictions will finally go down. Do I hear parents in China sighing in relief? Maybe. I just hope cold turkey doesn’t drive the kids to drugs or anything worse.

There will be a marked improvement in social skills. People would stop hiding behind their laptops and would interact with the world more because now they would have no choice but to go in person and get what they want.

Most importantly illegal pornography and terrorist manuals will no longer be easily accessible. So you wouldn’t have to worry about a simpleton eco-terrorist making bombs using a recipe off the net because he thinks he can save the planet by blowing up a tanker transporting tons of crude oil in the Pacific (irony thou name is eco- terrorist).

People will not be scammed as easily anymore. Nor would they have to fear hackers worming into their computers and stealing credit card information or worse installing viruses.

Also people will stop taking advice during medical conditions from websites whose writers don’t know the difference between a lung and a kidney in real life. I know that your neighbors and family can easily replace the How to’s section of the internet but self-medication disasters will nevertheless go down.

The Final Judgment:-

Considering all the pros and cons of living in a world without internet as we know it today I will say that the cons are far more than the pros, which we already saw aren’t really pros all that much.

Thus I will conclude by saying that I would rather face Armageddon and go off quick that live without internet and see the world deteriorate from lack of advancement. Because at the end of the day internet is a symbol of evolution and we all know that evolution is always for the best.

Ria Majumdar is a writer from India. You can find her on her blog Spyglassviewer, which is a humor blog focused on observing the real world and laughing at the quirks of the people living in it. She is also a tough-skinned internet addict.

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