How much would you miss the Internet if it crashed for several months?

I lived quite happily without the “Internet” for the first thirty years of my life. Even when computer bulletin boards emerged they never were much more than a minor interest in my life.

Could society go back and carry on without the Internet? What if it crashed and burned like this article talks about?

We would still have computers and printers at work and home. Office work on spreadsheets, word processors and other software would still continue.

How much would you miss the Internet?

I voted a “Mildly inconvenienced”.

I have a few friends that keep in touch by Email. I shop at Amazon and Ebay maybe once a month. I’d miss posting at the Dope and other boards. But, I could easily live without the Internet. Focus on my other hobbies, exercise more, and phone friends instead of Email.

I don’t use online banking, I still pay bills with a stamp. I can live without the Internet jut like I did in 1988. No big deal.

Well, my job pretty much goes away, so yeah I would miss it.

A fucking lot. I couldn’t do my job with net access. It’s how we enter tournaments, exchange information, hold virtual meetings, assign and collect homework, etc.

I’d be annoyed at first, but probably much happier and more productive without it in the long run.

In my personal life, it would be somewhat annoying.
Especially since I would suddenly have lots and lots of free time, due to my job going away.

I would have to kidnap all my neighbors and force them to emulate the websites I surf. On pain of death!

No need to resort to kidnapping. I’m sure that if you look in enough bedroom windows you’ll find find someone with the same fetish.

Like a girlfriend had dumped me.

My job pretty much depends on the internet, so I can’t even imagine getting by without it. On a personal level, I might go one level lower, but just barely. I’d still be lost without it.


I use it for everything, and it’s my primary source of entertainment, via watching videos and whatever mmo I’m playing at the moment. (Currently SW:TOR) Cheapest entertainment, ever!

Job searches/resume updates/ Unemployment paperwork would suddenly be extremely difficult without it.

Considering my work has IP phones, all my applications are run through Citrix and nothing is hosted locally, my workplace would be severely screwed and would probably just close down until the problem was resolved… Wait, I’m suddenly not seeing the down side here.

I’ve also got a 2 foot stack of video games I’ve bought and never played as well as an equivalent stack of DVDs and a 6’ stack of books. I think I would be fine, personally.

I would think if the Internet goes down for several months, why it goes down is probably important. And the “why” could mean we would be in for a world of hurt.

quivering mas of jello in the corner whimpering.

Actually I can go for days with no internet, and I have been known to have to do without when we had the power and cable lines down on both sides of the farm back in last year - twice [one summer outage for about a week and a bit, and one winter outage for a week]

I am reasonably happy sitting and reading, and I have an ipod for music - my cell phone and ipod are kept charged in the car, though I did end up getting a solar charger that will do both the ipod and the phone, and we actually have a generator for the house [but that doesn’t get us internet if the wires are actually pinned to the ground under trees.]

I do freelance work online and without the Internet, I’d be more than screwed.
It is also my primary mode of entertainment, but I can always read the backlog of manuals I have in my library. Yeah… that sounds like loads of fun.

But, my own personal problems would pale in comparison to the societal catastrophe that would likely ensue. Many, if not most, companies rely on the Internet for commerce. Even the local mom-n-pop stores have to buy their goods from distributors that are reliant upon the Internet. I know that alternative communications would reappear and assuming cellphone systems were not affected, then we probably wouldn’t see major rioting and food shortages, but it could get dicey.

Although I voted “mildly inconvenienced” I suspect it would feel more than mild initially. I love instant access to things like IMDB.

I too was happy and productive before the internet. In my home there are over 50 books in the “to be read” pile, and countless more in the “keep forever” shelves. There’s also a ton of yarn begging to be knit, along with other craft and art supplies, and jigsaw puzzles and games.

My primary use of the internet is for entertainment. I use it at work for banking and ordering, but I did both of those things for many years without the internet so I’d be okay going back to it.

Of course I’d miss all of you. You’re my best friends.

Dealing with with the internet going down for everyone seems to be a completely separate issue from dealing just not having internet for myself.

If the internet suddenly went down for everyone, it seems like the effects for society and the economy as a whole would be pretty catastrophic. Millions would be immediately out of work, to begin with. And while I don’t require the internet to do my job, I’m guessing with exploding unemployment, the companies that sell the stuff that the parts I make eventually go into (cars, RVs, furniture, etc…) might have a hard time moving product. So while not being able to read a new “10 most terrifying/awesome…you won’t believe…” article on Cracked, would be annoying, it might be the least of my concerns.

On the other hand if the internet went down just for me (or I got one of those Kevin Mitnick style “don’t touch a computer” punishments), it would still suck. I don’t get the paper, or magazines, I don’t have cable, my radio gets exactly one station, I don’t own any CDs, or DVDs, and no books I haven’t read, and I do nearly all my non-grocery shopping online. So I’d live, but it’d be a huge hassle.

Our internal CONUS network is on leased lines, but much our our international connections and a whole lot of ATMs are tunneled through the Internet. So, your bank accounts will still be where you expect them to be, even if you do have to go to a physical branch.

On the personal side, it would be a terrible but hopefully temporary inconvenience as my telephone lines are all VoIP, and my “cable TV” is also IP-driven, all coming in on a 50-meg VDSL line. Plan B would be to get in line with all of the other AT&T customers who lost their service to revert to standard phone lines, and similarly get in line to have traditional cable TV or satellite installed.

I live out in the middle of nowhere 20+ miles from the nearest human, so the extremity of the of the following isn’t exaggerated:

Just a couple of months? No problem. I’ve got an 80’s era set of encyclopedias that would keep me busy for probably several months. If I’m still allowed to use my computer locally well there’s plenty of offline stuff to use.

More than a couple of months though, that’s a big problem.

All of my sources of income would be gone. Market would be crashing so all my investments would be blown up too and no way to get out of them. I’d have to get a job, and a brick-and-mortar one at that. Better hope the car works to get to that job, because there’s no way to get parts for it now. And no way to do research for how to fix the thing because sometimes Haynes/Chiltons books just don’t do it.

I wouldn’t be able to order groceries from Amazon and thus would be limited to that which is growing on my land, or whatever I can tote back from the nearest town assuming the car is still functional at all. Hope there’s a way to order more seeds next year. I think directory assistance would make a fortune during all this.

Basically, my life as I know it would be over.

I hear they make this thing called a phone which would alleviate some (but not all) of the issues. I may have to get me one if the worst ever happens.