A long time ago, in a place that might seem like another dimension, the internet did not yet exist. It was a sad place, a grim world where conversations took place over the telephone and in person. It was a place where people had to keep up the pretenses of being polite, respectable people, lest they be viewed as angry, raving lunatics. And as for information? Well, it moved slowly. So slowly, in fact, that documents were moved in things called envelopes and driven on trucks to their destination. Sounds like the damn dark ages, doesn't it?
Really though, what would happen to the world today if the Internet was suddenly yanked out from under us? I'm not asking what things would be like if it never existed, either. I want to know what so many internet-reliant people would do when faced with a sudden, permanent loss of instantaneous communication.
I've got a few predictions: 1. The global economy would take a massive, MASSIVE hit.
I'm no economic forecaster, of course, but it doesn't take a number-cruncher to recognize the how many companies are reliant on the web to make their profit. Millions would be out of work, and IT workers would find a major part of their expertise circling the drain. 2. There would likely be a sudden pregnancy boom.
With so many people finding that their favorite web hobbies are no longer available to them, it's realistic to think that people might start spending more quality time with their significant other's. Additionally, with the inevitable collapse of the pr0n industry, people will have to try harder to stay carnally satisfied, leading everyone to new relationships and lower expectations. Clicking and wanking will no longer be a replacement for a girlfriend.3. Support groups would spring up overnight.
Facebook withdrawal, coupled with numerous other forms of detox symptoms brought on by internetlessness will bring the weak-spirited to their knees. The mantra "Hi, my name is [blank], and I lost all my [insert social network here] friends." will be repeated thousands upon thousands of times. Pills will be popped, alcohol consumed, and coping will ensue. It will be a long, hard process for many.4. Slowly but surely, people will stop acting like assholes.
The internet has always had the unique ability to turn people who would normally be smiling, polite citizens into malicious morons with nothing better to do than berate their fellow man for a difference of opinion. The slower pace of information may also serve to keep people's nerves below boiling point. Without the barrier of anonymity that the internet provides, incidences of flaming should dissipate quickly and be left to the only place it really ever belonged anyway: Congress. 5. Obesity will gradually decline.
Usage of the internet also involves a great deal of sit-on-your-ass-itis, which means that without it, people will begin to use their legs more often and slowly venture outdoors again. Computers will still be useful for various activities, of course, but the idea of getting up to smell the roses will take hold more easily without the addictive lure of the web.
What would you do, or what do you think would happen if the internet were suddenly gone?