Thursday, July 11, 2013

What if the Internet would fall...

Some things are taken for granted: the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat. The Internet access is now part of that list as it is now a common service that anybody can use as talking over the telephone or watching TV.

What would happen if the Internet would cease to exists? It's not like we need a virtual life at all cost, but for some, it would be the end of the world...

News would be accessible thru the television, the radio and newspaper. The issue would be that we would be stuck at "old news" and pretty limited in news sources as only local providers would be available. No more New York Times for me, as I live in Quebec, Canada. People would have to wait for the next edition instead of monitoring news feeds coming directly from the journalists directly on the spot.

Games would have to be played at home. No more massive multiplayer games, no more "Best of the world". Wait, no more games also... These days, who is buying a Game at the store? That means that we would be stuck with whatever the local game store would be providing. Would Angry Birds or Candy Crush had been a planetary success without a global access?

Friends would be those surrounding us. No more status sharing, no more fans, no more subscribers. The word "blog" would loose it's meaning and we would be back at writing letters to the local newspaper to express our ideas.

Photos would be back to keep good old memories. Why take a picture of a flower that we won't care in a year? No more "artists" to admire, no more visual stories to tell. And those memories would have to be stored on physical mediums meaning that we would have to manage our backups.

Updates for our computers, smartphones or tablets would cease to exist. Anything bought would stay as it is, having almost no means to fix issues after the purchase. That would force companies to double and triple check their release to avoid massive recall on their devices.

Maps would have to be printed. Of course a GPS device could be available but would be outdated pretty fast. A paper map would be cheap and up-to-date when you need it. No more driving directions, no more POI, no more "I'm here!".

The list goes on... The point being that our lives would be changed in drastic ways...

On the positive side, it would force us to talk to each other, to gather in local communities, to wonder about our neighbours. No more late nights with our mind wandering on the web, watching dumb facts on Youtube. No more spying on our friends, forcing us to call them to get some news. No more silent family times with our nose pointing to a display. Our eyes would raise to the horizon to discover the world surrounding us.

The Internet has broken borders and united the world. At the same time, it has blinded us...

And you, what would you lose? What would you gain?

Patrick Balleux

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