“What If the Internet Vanished Tomorrow”

Emily Johnson ’25

Staff Writer

Most of the world is much too dependent on the Internet. I know that I am. Education, shopping, communications, and even relationships can be done online. This is convenient and has made life easier, since the days when we had to drive to the library to find scholarly information or go to the mall to buy a pair of shoes. However, the Internet has also caused too much vulnerability in our society. The more we rely on it, the worse our future will become. So, what would really happen if the Internet disappeared tomorrow?

After being in areas with no service for long periods of time, I have an idea as to what it would feel like to have no online contact. The entire world might as well start shutting down. Communicating with others online would immediately cease. I would finally have to learn how to dial a phone number on one of those old rotary phones. I would have to drive to the bank to withdraw cash rather than sticking to Venmo with a cute message. I would have to re-familiarize myself with writing and mailing real, physical letters, as well as speaking to people face-to-face in the grocery store rather than ordering Instacart. Using an emoji to describe what I feel would be out of the question. My backed up iCloud photos of my dog, Chloe, would mean nothing. We might as well be in the Stone Age.

The economy would definitely take a hit. Every online company on which I depend on a daily basis would close their doors instantly. What would I do without Google answering my questions about the cough I have had for months? Without Microsoft Word correcting my grammar? Without Amazon Prime delivering my last-minute Halloween costume? I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about the possibility of losing Amazon.

Thinking about the loss of the Internet makes me realize how much information I have gained from it in my life. Simply looking up a question to which you are unsure of the answer is dangerously easy. Sharing knowledge would become much more difficult, and overall intelligence, especially in developed countries that depend majorly on online resources, would diminish. Moreover, in addition to the millions of people walking around without jobs, there would also be millions of people walking around with a massive decrease in common knowledge–this is unsettling to wrap my head around. Humans are already confusing as it is. We definitely do not need the loss of the Internet to make it worse!

I am developing a stress rash as I write this article. I am so fully dependent on the Internet that if it were to disappear tomorrow, I would sit around, twiddling my fingers until it returned. Hopefully, that plan would work in my favor and I could cause it to come back. I have no idea how the world functioned without it for this long. Honestly, I feel bad for the people born before its invention.

Featured image courtesy of ID 23595455 © Ayeletkeshet | Dreamstime.com

Categories: Opinions

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