What If the Internet Stopped Working

What if you woke up to an unexpected Internet breakdown Would you be able to survive without checking facebook for new postings first thing in the morning? With no Google Maps to find your way in a strange city with a credit card unable to pay for lunch if You’re watching this video. It means the internet is still going but what if someone or something shut it down This is what if and here’s what would happen if the internet stopped working You could argue this kind of digital detox would be beneficial We’d take our eyes off our screens and strike up real-life conversations with each other. We’ve discovered that our smartphones can actually make phone calls We bring back fax machines and start making notes by hand Well, maybe not fax machines and hey, we’d still have TV to entertain us the world would not fall apart In fact with almost 4 billion people having no access to the Internet worldwide Half of humanity wouldn’t notice a difference in the short term But not you mighty internet user you would notice right away If the internet suddenly flatlined social media users would start calling each other on the phone Overloading the working telecommunication systems Unless cell phone towers and telephone lines were also shut down Then you’d go back to writing letters and sending them via post Forget about Wireless file transfers with no Wi-Fi. You’d have to use a physical cable to connect to computers or a CD remember this Now think about the economy with financial data generally stored on a server banking services largely depend on the Internet Each transfers would be impossible Your credit card and debit card would become a useless piece of plastic and what about all those bitcoins? You worked so hard to mine Well, you know the answer On top of that large companies like Google Facebook and Amazon would go out of business losing their combined revenue of almost four hundred and forty billion dollars with Google itself having 80,000 full-time staff hundreds of thousands of people would be left unemployed Even companies that only rely on the Internet as a means of advertising would be affected Developed countries would lose entire industries and face economic crisis What about those countries with just a small internet presence? They would be affected too as international trade is dependent on the internet. So is the world’s transit? With no internet access between airports planes ships trains and commercial trucking we’d go back to tracking goods on paper This would raise the market value on transported products as it would be more complicated to deliver goods to stores At least you could still travel. However, you won’t have Instagram to share your travel selfies anymore Wonder if the internet shutdown is even possible. Well, not on a worldwide level Some countries have actually introduced a kill switch to intentionally shut down the internet and telephone communications But killing the whole internet is harder than just cutting off a couple submarine cables The Internet is a global network of many other computer networks. It doesn’t depend on a single machine Even if one part of it went offline others would remain functional. So don’t worry. You’ll still be able to order pizza for dinner tonight

Danny Hutson

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