Point and click. It’s a pretty simple concept that, in the Internet age, has almost become a form of exercise for some people. In 1991 the World Wide Web was officially branded (that ‘www’ in web addresses had to come from somewhere). The following year, people began popularizing web-speak with phrases like “surfing the Internet.” Within two years, the number of websites online goes from hundreds to thousands, including offerings from the United Nations and the White House. From these baby steps the Internet has morphed into almost living entity, at least to some people. But what if it simply disappeared?
Some of the consequences resulting from an Internet-less world would be felt more by certain generations. An 85-year-old grandparent might still be more comfortable using an old-fashioned landline to call their grandchild rather than text them – an activity some people currently partake in dozens (maybe even hundreds) of times daily. So no texting, no more surfing websites, and of course say goodbye to social media. If you only knew the last tweet you sent out about Justin Timberlake’s outfit during the Super Bowl halftime show would be your last…
It is estimated that 85% of Americans use the Internet in some way or another. Not just for Facebook and Twitter – the global economy has shifted to an-ever increasing reliance on online shopping and financial transactions. E-transfers would be wiped out. People would have to step back to writing their landlords rent checks. Trillion-dollar losses would be felt by a variety of industries around the world. Countries that rely heavily on the Internet to help with their economic growth and stability would drag less tech-savvy countries down with them as trade channels built around the online world collapsed.
The Internet is still not the be all and end all of services available to mankind, but its disappearance would instantly change our world as we know it. There are steps in place to ensure that this scenario could never happen, but it never hurts to burn a few dozen of your favorite YouTube videos onto a compact disc just in case.
Story by Jay Moon