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June 8th: The internet has suddenly stopped working. What’s the world like, after?

Staring at my laptop, nothing works… icons reduced to useless but pretty little boxes on the screen.

I’m left with a handful of documents I forgot to save to the cloud, gathering dust on my desktop… an outdated CV from ten years ago, a resignation letter, and some school work for my daughter from the early Covid lockdown days.

My husband is lost. His artificially intelligent world of data science is suddenly lifeless. Extinct.

But my daughter is fine. We play. We laugh. We talk. We celebrate the novelty.

We read books. We visit local shops. We save money.

We live a simpler life.

That’s my version of the story anyway.

My husband’s version is a little different.

I asked him what the world would be like if the internet no longer worked.

“It would be apocalyptic.

Our global supply chains, life as we know it, are all underpinned by the internet.

Imagine this… You can’t use your bank cards, so you go to withdraw cash, but oh, you can’t, so you live with the possessions you have and…

(The rest was a blur — It was bleak. I was back in my days of reading dystopian fiction for fun at university. Only this wasn’t fun.)

… the world would descend into anarchy, it would be ‘dog eat dog’, it would be brutal.

Hence, apocalyptic.”

I needed a deep breath after that conversation.

I asked my daughter the same question:

“Oh, so the TV wouldn’t work.”

I couldn’t help but hug her for that beautifully simple response!

So, I’m more than happy never knowing what the world would be like if the internet stopped working. But perhaps we can put it down from time to time. Just step away from it occasionally. Play with the concept of an internet-free life once in a while.

Key Message: Disconnect to reconnect. The internet will still be there but perhaps we can explore life without it for a while. How would that be?