Monday, 15 September 2014

Surviving without the internet

Hello everyone,

When I am writing this, the internet is down. Now, there is nothing more frustrating than being unable to get onto the internet when you are not able to. Internet being readily available is something that is just accepted in society today, and if many people don’t have access to internet then they don’t know what to do with themselves.

It is sad how little ‘switch off’ time most of us have. If we aren’t glued to our computers, tablets or laptops, then it’s our phones, or a TV. We are constantly glued to screens, and the internet is an integral part of this. Even my university work suffers from this, as most of my essays are handed in online. And many of my readings are shown online. Even when I am not actually using the internet, I normally I am logged onto Facebook or some other social networking site.

What would happen to the world if one day, the internet just stopped working. There was no internet anywhere in the world, and we had no idea when it was coming back. This sounds a bit like the start of an apocalypse film doesn’t it. How would the people react to losing the internet? Children would be crying because they couldn’t get to the next level of Angry Birds or Candy Crush? There would be riots and chaos in the streets as people slowly went mad because they were unable to load Twitter. You’re laughing at this now, but think about it? How do you react when the internet is down? You get frustrated, irritable, and are likely to lash out. I personally feel like smashing up my computer (and often pretend to do just that) when I can’t get internet signal. Imagine that on a global scale. How would the government deal with this problem? How would people contact people? Would it be like that movie ‘The Purge’ when anarchy reigns because all crime is legal for one night only? Or would we return to a time before the internet, when we would chat to one another face to face, telephone calls would be the communication of choice and in order to watch a movie you had to actually buy it in a shop? I’m not sure which way humanity would go.

When the wifi signal went down for a couple of hours the other day in the dorms, I was ‘relatively’ calm about it, and went to do some studying and reading until I could get back online again. However, when I had exhausted my reading and bookwork, I began to get frustrated again. I had work to do for an online course (so no internet meant no work and pretty much no course) and being unable to get to the internet was putting a drain on my time that I felt could be put to better use.

We, as humans, have never been so reliant on one of our inventions for societal interactions and for finding information ever before. Having no wifi signal is a bit like there being a power cut, and having to sit in and play board-games with the family all night. We hate it at first, but if we don’t have it for a prolonged period of time, then we revert back to what we were before and adapt. We don’t always need to be plugged in, sometimes it is nice just to be completely cut off for a while. We talk about the power of the internet, but what about the power of humanity? We don’t need the internet to lean on, we can stand upright by ourselves. Go on, try it. For one day, just don’t use the internet. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no BBC News, nothing. Just complete data silence. See what you can do without the power of the internet.