In recent years, the internet has become the single most important tool in the world. So what would happen to the internet if catastrophe struck? If it went down, how would we cope? Where would we go to look at cat memes? How would we keep up to date on what Kim Kardashian is wearing? And how would we go on without getting our daily YouTube fix?
Can We Survive?
The real question begins to nag at many is "Can this generation survive without the internet?"
As a part of this generation, I have a hard time believing that one could. Within the next couple decades there will be nobody who has navigated without using Google Maps or some other type of GPS device.
Before we get bogged down with the impending doom of life without the internet, let's imagine for a minute that the world was taken over by zombies. Is the internet robust enough to survive this, and what would happen to the endlessness of cyberspace if Earth were left with just a few scattered groups of inhabitants?
Let's keep in mind that the internet was originally designed to function in the event of a nuclear war. Surely the chances are that there would be enough surviving servers run on evergreen power sources to keep alive a small percentage of the billions of internet sites currently running. And presumably it would be the most important ones such as Facebook and pornography sites — no wait, I mean military web pages, government information sites, and HuffPost.
Is Our Knowledge Applicable to Survival?
At least if those sites were still running, anyone fortunate enough to have a solar power source, laptop, and fully operational satellite internet service would still be able to find out what's going on in other parts of the world, see what the government is advising, and log onto Yahoo to ask fellow survivors questions such as "WTF do we do now?" and "How late does Walmart stay open during a world catastrophe?"
Then one has to ask, "Who actually has a solar power source for their laptop?" If internet wasn't available, would some people go back to the Stone Age? Many people may just think of agriculture and gardening as planting roses, but when the availability of food depends on knowing how to farm, how would citizens of New York City or another concrete jungle fare? People would have to venture out to less populated places where there is animal life and soil for their food.
Who Has the Biggest Advantage?
All jokes aside, in the aforementioned situation where the world as we know it ceased to be, it's more than likely that the power would go out. Only those with access to solar, wind, and turbine energy would be able to power their computers in order to log on. And that would also be dependent on a large number of hosting servers being operational through these means.
Those already on farms would have a huge advantage. They would already know how to produce food, and many commercial and personal farms would be havens for refugees in case of a castastrophe. Would Facebook go to 10,000 active users in a matter of a couple of weeks?
Seriously — We Are Going to Have Internet, Right?!
A satellite internet service does seem like the most plausible option in such a situation, as it's more mobile and less reliant on mainstream infrastructure. The internet would still be fully operational of course, thanks to the concerted efforts of Anonymous, who would manage to keep it up and running just to spite the government and highlight their inadequacies.
What would happen then is that presumably with portions of the Internet still running, but almost no humans having access to it, our email inboxes would endlessly fill up with spam mails, reminders, Google alerts, and newsletter subscriptions until every server became clogged up with so much mail that they malfunctioned and caused a complete meltdown.
Either that or the zombies that had taken over earth would have gained access to our login details and started tweeting, Instagramming, and posting up new videos on Vimeo.
Joking aside, if you're somebody who relies entirely on the internet for your answers to everything, there would be real consequences if the whole thing suddenly collapsed. Some good old fashioned "know-how" could be the key to survival if a catastrophe or zombie apocalypse strikes. So, learn something applicable to the non-tech world.....just in case.