What would modern life be like if the internet had never been invented?


2 Answers

Otto van Zanten Profile
Otto van Zanten answered

I personally think we will/would always look for ways to connect stuff and people. I think we would still have bluetooth on phones for instance, so we could still wirelessly connect a headset or a speaker to a phone. It makes sense that we would also use that to connect 2 phones (and thereby 2 people) to each other for chatting and sharing files. It wouldn't take long before somebody would build something like a bluetooth-router which would make it possible for a bigger group of people to all connect to eachother and share media and ideas. I guess it would be logical that those small networks would be connected to other networks and in the end you would end up with the internet, just a little bit different. I think it was inevidable that something similar would be created!

But I don't think this is exactly the answer you are looking for. Let's say nobody thought about anything like this. I think technology would have progressed quite a bit slower in comparison. We'd probably be years behind. Also there would be much less knowledge of other cultures and other ideas. Before the internet there were just a handful of companies that controlled all the media in the US for instance, but now everybody can build a news site. So I guess there would be much less interest in alternative views and we would know much less about poor countries that are being exploited by the richer countries. Civilization would ask less questions because there wouldn't be too many answers if certain people wanted it so.

For people's happiness it might have both up and downsides. More cooperation in technology can mean a higher standard of living and cooler gadgets, but spending much time on social networking sites actually makes you less happy according to several studies. You see all these people around you having more fun then you and it's so easy to maintain friendships that you actually spend less time with them. People now spend more time on their smart-devices then sleeping. If you were to spend that time doing fun things you might be much happier. But realistically, you will probably spend a lot of that time on the coach behind the TV because after a long day at work you're tired.

I do think we would be a bit less tolerant. Television and newspapers didn't care too much about equal rights for gays, women and minorities until it became a really big deal in social media. Where I live homosexuality has only been legal since 2001 for instance and most places it was even later then that. In just a few years opinion has changed a lot (although there's still plenty of room for more progress in most places) and without the internet I feel like it would have taken ages.

So these are just a couple of examples of how life would be different. I could go on for many hours, but this reply is getting kinda long ^^

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