This morning, a series of DDoS attacks disrupted access to a handful of the internet’s most popular websites, including Twitter, Reddit, Etsy, and GitHub. For those of us who depend on Twitter for our jobs (or for those of us who are merely addicted to it and the other sites), this induced an immediate panic. How will I find my morning news stories? How will I broadcast my stupid jokes or buy cutesy jewelry or comment on PreggoPorn or…do whatever it is people do on GitHub?
But following the panic was a feeling of serene hope that maybe the internet should go away forever. Sure, I’d be out of a job and my only marketable skill would be worthless, but think of how great it’d be just to be disconnected. What follows are five good things that would happen if the internet went away forever.
1. No One Could Find You If You Didn’t Want Them To
Yes, it’s technically possible to disconnect now, but only the insane or independently wealthy are fortunate enough to actually do so. As it is now, between email and Slack, your boss can reach you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, you know exactly where your friends and colleagues are, what they’re eating, who they’re with, and what they’re thinking (and vice versa). Imagine being free of all of that? Having to rely on letters and phone calls and…face-to-face meetings over coffee or beer to find out what your friends or enemies have been up to. Heaven.
2. Video And Record Stores Return
As great as it is to have instant access to nearly every album and movie, there’s no replacing the experience of going to a real, brick-and-mortar store run by people who actually know what they’re doing. Instead of Netflix’s shitty algorithm predicting your taste in movies, you could receive recommendations from a real life human with actual informed opinions (or at the very least, a distracted teen who could point you in the right direction, which is still better than iTunes).
3. Concerts Won’t Be Filled With Amateur Photographers
Instead of every motherfucker jockeying to take the perfect photo of the band with their smartphone so they can post it on Instagram or Facebook, you’d only have to deal with maybe a few photographers from the press taking pictures while everyone else watched the concert without constant distraction. Imagine!
4. Fewer Ways to Get Yourself Fired
You don’t need to tweet every stupid thing that comes to mind, but that doesn’t stop millions of people from doing it every single second of every single day. Inevitably, some of those dumb thoughts get people in trouble, and even fired. Without the internet, we’d all be forced to keep our shitty thoughts to ourselves, or at least to the people within earshot.
5. Less Bad Content
I wouldn’t even have to be writing this.