One of the writing prompts this week: Could you live without the internet?
Of course I could live without the internet…I did it for a good long time before Al Gore did us all the tremendous favor of inventing the darned thing. I also lived for quite awhile without my favorite red slippers; I lived before I met my husband; I lived before I learned to make cinnamon rolls. But I don’t want to go back to those days.
I jumped on the internet bandwagon pretty early, back in the days of BBS systems. I had a 300 bps dial up modem and thought I was the shit. A friend who ran a BBS took pity on me and gave me a 2400 bps modem…oh, what heaven to watch the screens flip by so quickly!
When I finally went back to college and was exposed to the articles available in research databases, I was perfectly happy to sit in the library printing pages and pages of anything that might be useful. I had two three inch binders filled with articles when I was writing my favorite paper (it was about how the great plague changed society in the areas of religion, commerce and medicine). This was back in the day when students could print unlimited pages at no charge. My daughter has to pay to print in the library, an idea that makes my blood run cold. Most of what I printed I never used, but it was all interesting reading and exposed me to ideas that were helpful in developing ideas of my own.
And today? I spend hours a day on the internet, if you include e-mail, reading articles and of course, Facebook. If I pull a couple chicken breasts out of the freezer and can’t think of something new to do with them, I’m as likely to consult The Google as I am The Joy of Cooking. When I decided the price of laundry detergent was absolutely ridiculous, I looked up how to make my own. When I read a great article about worm farming and decided I wanted my own worms, I spent literally HOURS researching the idea. I would have never been a chicken farmer without the help of the community at backyardchickens.com.
If the internet died and stopped feeding us all this glorious information, life would certainly go on. We would have more face to face conversations and spend more time in physical libraries. My long distance bill would increase ten times. We’d subscribe to the best newspapers we could afford and perhaps be more careful about the news we watch on TV. But for those of us who have tasted the fruit of the net, life would not be as sweet.