Weekend Open Forum: What if the Internet didn't exist?

By on August 6, 2011, 2:25 AM

Have you ever wondered what would life be like if the Internet didn't exist? The Internet as we know it had its early development in the 1960s as a point-to-point communication between mainframe computers. Then the TCP/IP protocol was standarized in the 80s, and by 1995 it was revolutionizing communication worldwide.

This tidbit of information from Wikipedia really caught my attention: "It is estimated that in 1993 the Internet carried only 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunication, by 2000 this figure had grown to 51%, and by 2007 more than 97% of all telecommunicated information was carried over the Internet."

Sure, people had already lived long and well without the Internet, just watch an episode of Mad Men and you'll get the drill, but for us, tech and computer enthusiasts that almost feels like going back to the stone age.

I remember with particular fondness the early days of connecting to the net using a dial-up modem and waiting an hour or two for the latest version of Netscape to finally download. Waking up in the early morning (4-5am) to download the latest game demos before my ISP's lines got too congested. Add to that your fair share of positive experiences using Amazon, Google, your instant messenger of choice, and most recently social networking sites and the on-the-go capabilities of today's smartphones.

But aside from all that, remove the Internet and I'd be left without TechSpot, my true and only full-time job in the past decade. Heck, without the Internet I may have become an architect or a doctor instead.

What would you do if the Internet never existed, or why not, if the Internet somehow ceased to exist? Discuss.




User Comments: 79

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chaboi390 said:

What if there is no internet?

Hmmm well, i wouldn't be able to type in "FIRST" in the comments

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Weekend Open Forum: What if the Internet didn't exist?

Al Gore's claim would be merely puzzling.

Guest said:

I've worked in Dell for the last 17 years and without the internet Dell would probably not have grown as big as it did and I may have never have worked for them

thewind said:

The world would implode!

Mindwraith said:

we would still have to get up at 6am and drive to a building to attend our jobs every day =_=

ramonsterns said:

There would be a whole lot of bored people to deal with.

And we all know what happens when a lot of people get bored, right?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If the internet didn't exist something equivalent would have been invented.

bakape said:

ET3D said:

If the internet didn't exist something equivalent would have been invented.

A new addictive drug perhaps - HTTP?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Internet never really influenced my career so I would still be doing exactly the same things in exactly the same sequence.

Now that out of the way, I think without internet

a) world's population growth rate would have been umm far greater

b) we would still be playing games like Prince of Persia / Pac Man (and the likes)

c) securing computers would not have been an issue like it is today

d) we wouldn't have any open source stuff

e) we wouldn't have facecook

f) we (probably) wouldn't have any malware + spyware

g) and importantly Obama would never have been able to become president

yorro said:

Hint1: Just ask people who lived in the 80s.

Hint2: Its not anything like the dark ages.

edison5do said:

bakape said:

ET3D said:

If the internet didn't exist something equivalent would have been invented.

A new addictive drug perhaps - HTTP?

Add in Some FaceBook Pills, And MMORPG on Veins.!

Guest said:

World would have been saved from Justin Bieber ;)

dedparrot said:

Without the internet, I'd be so stupid.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Guys would still know what a telefax is.

Girls would still be told the virtue of making short telephone calls.

Aliens would still think we're all ******.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

without the internet... i'd have hobbies such as cycling, playing the guitar, wood crafting, metal fabrication...

now all i do is learn shit and play with computers... what good will this do me in life?! hahahah

Guest said:

Easy, there would be someone else.

cmolinap.

M1r said:

Without the internet, I'd be stupid - I use the internet for like 90% of my research.

Guest said:

When I think "the world without internet," I think broadband-internet. Before the broadband era, it really wasn't the internet as we know it today. It was an expensive, pay per minute luxury that few people could afford and only people who really needed it for job purposes had an internet connection. Gamers were still gathering for LAN parties at this point. Nobody I know does that anymore, apart from these massive anual events. I could say I remember a time when nobody knew what the internet was, but I can't say I remember it well. I was born in 1979, and I didn't get internet until around 2000 when broadband got big in Norway. Before that, it was all about the LAN parties. I got my first apartment when I was 19 and my friends lived at my place for weeks at a time. I was buying computer-magazines with attached discs to get patches for games. That's the world without internet. Lots of hazzle + squatters. If the internet never existed, I'd still have friends living at my place and we'd all still be virgins. :P

nismo91 said:

i agree with most people here. and then console and split-screen games would be popular.

BMfan BMfan said:

Without internet game developers would have to finish the game properly before selling it to people.

Guest said:

We'd still be typing in long code examples from magazines instead of downloading them from a website. Remember those code examples that covered multiple pages?? :)

hitech0101 said:

A-holes like Mark Zuckerberg wouldnt be billionares & off course i would toast doing my college assignments without google books which i consider to be one of the biggest copyright breach in history, yup words of a hypocrite.

Scrub206 said:

No internet?

i would probably be doing a little better at life...

Guest said:

We'd be using pen and paper!

Guest said:

We would survive.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Perhaps it would be a similar dynamic to that which occurs in human interaction. You can't actually miss somebody you've never met.

Guest said:

Without the Internet I would have never wrote this, neither would anyone have read it.

Guest said:

Instead of point and click......We would open and flip

Guest said:

I would have passed grade 8 math because I wouldn't have blown off homework to play Diablo.

0192837465 0192837465 said:

what if electricity didn't exist?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

what if electricity didn't exist?
Since we're well into hypothetical absurdity, what if we never figured out fire?

BMfan BMfan said:

Since we're well into hypothetical absurdity, what if we never figured out fire?

What if we couldn't figure out what to do with that thing on men?

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I'd still be downloading my porn from a BBS at 56kbps (well 52k in Canada).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

What if we couldn't figure out what to do with that thing on men?
Then arguably, the species that arose after we died out, will have had to have had their forensic anthropologists laughing their heads off at every archeological dig site on the planet. The scary part is, that many women know what it's for, but opt for alternatives.

Speaking of which, I just lost an erection trying to figure out the mood and tense of that verb sequence. Ow, my head hurts. I think it's correct for the species that comes after the next species.....

I'd still be downloading my porn from a BBS at 56kbps (well 52k in Canada).
God, can you imagine? 1000 pixel images would seem huge and take forever.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

BMfan said:

Without internet game developers would have to finish the game properly before selling it to people.

OH NOES!!! THE HORROR!!!

abe10tiger abe10tiger, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Without the internet.... I'd be

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'd have to stand on a street corner holding a sign that said, "YOU'RE WRONG!"

gooderguy gooderguy said:

We'd probably have thousands of CDs and DVDs of stuff, like I used to have years ago. And I'd be spending less time sitting on my ass.

vegasgmc, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'd still have a library card.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I'd have to stand on a street corner holding a sign that said, "YOU'RE WRONG!"
Either that or, "piracy will bring on the end of the world"...!

(Sorry Tom, I just couldn't resist that).

Disclaimer, "The opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily those of its author".

(I just wrote down the first thing that popped into my head).

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Without the internet, I'd still be racking up huge phone bills keeping in touch with my brother and sister who live and work in other countries since Skype wouldn't exist. Without Google, I'd still be doing my research in the library. Most of all, without the internet, I wouldn't have been able to meet all the interesting members of the Techspot family .

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

captaincranky said:

(I just wrote down the first thing that popped into my head).

Wait, I must have never gotten the memo; I thought this was always the case, cap'n...?

T77 T77 said:

you wouldn't be asking this question and I would not be answering! :p

perhaps life would have been much better............you know all the addiction stuff...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Wait, I must have never gotten the memo; I thought this was always the case, cap'n...?
There is quite a bit of truth to that. However, sometimes the first thing that comes to my my can take the form of an blunt, unsharpened pencil. Accordingly, and with some mood dependence attached, I may sharpen that pencil to a very sharp point, before I publish it.

Sometimes, and I admit that this a perhaps a character flaw, I follow the species wide human trait of attempting to "weaponize" everything we can get our hands on..... All that aside, blunt actually works pretty well in its own right also....

Guest said:

Well for the internet addict withdrawal symptoms would ensue. Ha ha anyone remember the south park episode where there was no internet lol....... For me i have only been using it for maybe 5 yrs max no loss to me if it all ended. it would give libraries a needed boost lol.

Guest said:

WWW and the Internet are truly great technologies, no doubt about it.

But let's not forget good old ADSL which although often overlooked has also been a powerful driver in making the net what it is today.

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

Guest said:

We would survive.

This. We would be a lot more intelligent actually because we would be out experiencing the world instead of being shut ins whose sole entertainment comes from watching videos and trolling cyberspace. We would be reading books, hanging out with people for real, playing games with friends together, and just generally being better people. That said, some of the joys I experience with the web would be shot. Like chatting online in TeamSpeak with friends who were since out of touch, or playing games with people online, or doing research for a complex subject for a college paper, or getting breaking news. It would be a good entertainment and information source gone.

The internet has done a lot to help the world, but it has done equal amounts of foul things that degraded the human race as a whole. So it's a real toss-up what the world would be like with or without it and whether it's a good thing it exists.

bushwhacker, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Archean said:

Internet never really influenced my career so I would still be doing exactly the same things in exactly the same sequence.

Now that out of the way, I think without internet

a) world's population growth rate would have been umm far greater

b) we would still be playing games like Prince of Persia / Pac Man (and the likes)

c) securing computers would not have been an issue like it is today

d) we wouldn't have any open source stuff

e) we wouldn't have facecook

f) we (probably) wouldn't have any malware + spyware

g) and importantly Obama would never have been able to become president

A) You're probably right.

B) No internet = no useful comments on timely manner, and relies on the snail mails.

C) The only security we have to worry about is some B&E and stealing the hard drives.

D) Right.

E) uhhh... same as B)

F) Look out there, there's much more serious than just computer things.

G) Perhaps, whadda have against him anyway?

I have lived my life for few months without technologies, and I could tell that it's little tough to keep in contact via mail writing without finding out that there is a reader stalker out there, reading my love mails to my wife.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have lived my life for few months without technologies, and I could tell that it's little tough to keep in contact via mail writing without finding out that there is a reader stalker out there, reading my love mails to my wife.

Ouch .... I know what you mean, sadly I haven't bothered to write any letter (let alone a love letter ) to anyone in about 24-25 years now.

Look out there, there's much more serious than just computer things.

Indeed that is why I fought few elections (but not for any public office lol).

Perhaps, whadda have against him anyway?

Firstly he has the most hideously evil smile I've ever seen.

Secondly, he over hyped the 'change', then did totally opposite of what 'change really means'.

Guest said:

Lower electric bill!

;)

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