Could You Live Without The Internet?

Yesterday Tesh posted a very interesting article entitled “Cutting the Umbilical” with the umbilical referring to, as you’ve no doubt guessed, the Internet. Apart from being fascinating, the article struck a cord with me because I’ll be moving apartment in a few weeks and I’m currently trying to get an Internet connection for my new home sorted out. The prospect of moving in without an Internet connection (or my dreaded unrealistic catastrophic thought of being unable to get it all for some extreme reason) fills me with terror.

As Dblade pointed out in one of Tesh’s comments, MMORPGs are very habitual and for me, that habit has been carved into me for over 10 years. Although I don’t play anywhere nearly as much as I used to (and sometimes not at all), the idea of not being able to play for an extended period of time makes me really quite anxious. I would never say I was addicted to MMORPGs because I can easily not play them but I feel like my reliance on the Internet is more than that and MMOs are just another component of it.

I’m not sure why I feel nervous about living without an Internet connection. I could still tweet on my phone, upload blog posts from my work and even play World of Warcraft at my mum’s. I guess in many ways the Internet has become my safety blanket. I moved out of my family home when I was 19 and lived alone for a total of six years that I think I’m just so used to it as a source of entertainment, information, communication and, of course, habit.

This whole experience has left me frustrated because I hate the idea of being dependant on anything and I’d like to break this habit. I don’t like feeling neurotic and, in many ways, I feel like the Internet controls me. It’s like some sort of poisoned chalice – giving us so much, yet making us so dependant on it.

So could I live without the Internet? Yes, I could. Should I lie without the Internet? Yeah, I probably should. But do I want to live without it? Hell no.

Could you live without the Internet?

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24 Comments

  1. Carthalis says:

    I couldn’t possibly live without the internet, its become so much a part of everyday life, from checking out the news, downloading music from Amazon, ordering items, playing games, chatting with friends who live in other parts of the world. If it suddenly went down tomorrow and never returned I think I would go crazy.

  2. Longasc says:

    I think I could stop: reading blogs, online gaming… but surfing the net? Not really. Of course I could live without it… but I would really miss it, and I do not want to miss it anymore.

  3. Blue Kae says:

    I would sooner give up television/cable than the internet. I could live without the internet, but a lot of my daily activities and hobbies revolve around using the internet.

  4. Shamutanti says:

    I think the thing with the Internet is that it provides us access to so much information, more so than anything else, and thus once we’re used to that and knowing the world’s at our fingertips, to simply remove it would be shattering for many of us – knowledge is power and all that.

  5. Rivs says:

    I think you put it great. Could I live without it, yes. Do I want to, hell no.

  6. Jason says:

    In all honesty, I could easily live without the Internet. I’ve done in a few times over the years, either by choice or when a big storm comes through and knocks everything out for a few days or a week. I’d prefer not to because I enjoy it, but I don’t go through withdrawal when its gone.

  7. I’m in line with you Gordon. I probably could but I wouldn’t want to. Especially now that I’m familiar with so many people in our little community. That would be one of the things that I’d miss the most, even if I could never play an MMO again. The discussion we have are really enjoyable and make a great way to pass the time.

    I’m with Kae. I’d probably give up TV before I’d give up the net.

  8. Tesh says:

    The internet is certainly my information portal of choice, but increasingly, it’s not my entertainment portal of choice. That’s an important distinction, methinketh.

    Also, yes, I can and have lived without it, obviously. If anything, it’s done me good. ;)

  9. JC says:

    I just moved last weekend. Won’t have cable in the new place until the 25th. I have internet at work, but only work M-Th, so there’s still the 3-day weekend without it. The horror!

    But.. not a big deal, really. I don’t play much anyway and I spent last December to last June without internet at home either. But after the 25th… we’ll see how it goes then.

  10. Jeff G. says:

    Could you live without running water? Electricity? Shelter? Clothing? Yes, but it would be difficult and foolish. There is no shame in relying the Internet just as there is no shame in relying on flush toilets.

    Now if you are unable to function at all without the Internet that is one thing. But it is foolish to think you should or would want to live without it. It is a tool just like air conditioning and pliers. Nobody should feel ashamed for improving their lives through the use of mankind’s inventions.

  11. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    Short answer: No. Long Answer: Hell no.

  12. Ogrebears says:

    I need the internet……. Live just not worth it with out it… But i’m lucky, being that i live near Google Head quarters i can always get some of there free wifi

  13. Stabs says:

    It’s Tesh. No -c-

    And yup I could but don’t want to.

  14. My fiancee keeps telling me that I’m not going to have my iPhone with me on our honeymoon. I keep telling her I am.

    I’m an internet addict, and I hate it.

    When my iPhone got doused earlier this year, I realized that I have never been away from “being connected” longer than a few days, and never more than a week, I started to go insane. I’m constantly checking my tweets, my Facebook, my email, everything. I even check my RSS on Google Reader’s mobile site. I’m addicted.

    I chalk it up to being one of the first Gen Y’ers to actually have a cell phone. I got it when I was 16 when they were still the size of a microwave, and I could only use it in my car. Since then, I have always had one on me–on my person–no matter what. I feel naked without it, and since I started in with the whole smart phone thing, it has only gotten worse. I now understand why the Hitchhiker’s Guide was so useful and they freaked out if they were ever not around it.

    I am an information junkie; I have to know things exactly when I want to know it. And the internet–wireless internet specifically–has made me all but a zombie. I’m plugged into my own Matrix. Were I disconnected for an extended period, I’m not sure I would know how to function.

    You said it best with your last paragraph: “So could I live without the Internet? Yes, I could. Should I lie without the Internet? Yeah, I probably should. But do I want to live without it? Hell no.” Sums up my feelings perfectly.

    • Gordon says:

      I’m with you completely. I got a mobile phone when I was a teenager too and I’ve been connected all of my life. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a computer or the internet – even if it was only some primative form of dial-up and only 5 webpages (4 of them being porn) to surf.

      I think we’re so used to being “connected” that it’s scary to lose it. I totally feel like the Internet is like a security blanket to me.

    • Gordon says:

      Oh and about the iPhone on the honeymoon thing…

      I took my iPhone to Japan on my honeymoon in August and ran up a bill for £500/$825 just from data transfer!

      Ooops.

      I blame the mobile internet speed – because it’s so fast, you have no idea of how much you’re downloading. That and checking my blog every 5mins.

  15. Marchosias says:

    Well, I could -live- but I don’t think I’d be happy about it. However, I did find out that I can happily live without TV as long as I have internet. I moved to my new place last year and had my cable internet connection up and running on Day 2 of the move-in. I didn’t get a TV, even with the basic digital cable coming in for the internet, until a couple months ago…

  16. Bushra says:

    Well, I could -live- but I don’t think I’d be happy about it. However, I did find out that I can happily live without TV as long as I have internet. I moved to my new place last year and had my cable internet connection up and running on Day 2 of the move-in. I didn’t get a TV, even with the basic digital cable coming in for the internet, until a couple months ago…

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