What if the internet had never been invented?
While I was helping clean the house, there is a particular podcast I love listening to: How Did I Get Here? W/ Jae and AleXa. At the end of each episode, they always answer questions posed by the fans and this particular one piqued my interest: What if the internet had never been invented?
Personally, I feel as though there are pros and cons to the internet. Now more than ever, we have more connection to not only local news but everything happening across the world. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have discovered Alive Vibe and met some of the most amazing people I now know. It helps us become more aware of pressing issues that we wouldn’t normally access through the daily news. The internet also allows for the answer to our question with just a click of the finger.
Contrary to all this, you’re more prone to negativity or a toxic mind frame. It sucks you in and you never really know how to get out. You feel an obligation to include your opinions of situations even if they aren’t the most genuine. There has been the recent growth of toxic behavior and it’s honestly the most awful concept to ever exist.
These are the two things the internet means to me. Therefore, when I ask myself what if the internet never existed, I have to exclude all of this. Growing up, I wasn’t excluded from the internet. In fact, my dad works in the computer field so I grew up electronic proficient. But I still had limitations. Social media was off-limits, the types of games I played had to be approved by my mom, and I didn’t even get to properly text my friends until high school.
What did I do with my time away from electronics? Well, one of the things was that I read a lot more than I do currently. My imagination was a lot more active and my self-criticism did not feel as strong. Without the pressure that I now face while being on the internet, I was a lot more present for my family. I listened earnestly without worrying about responding to a friend or wondering if my Instagram post gained more likes.
In fact, this weekend, I decided to take a vow of silence. This is something I have always been interested in but finally decided on a whim to just do it. And honestly, I have learned a lot. So many things that I might write a separate post about it. But concerning the internet, I cut myself off from social media and I decided not to answer my texts. This one act helped me become more present in my surroundings immediately. All of a sudden, my cloudy mind began to clear.
I also noticed that even within my daily speech, I am prone to reflexive responses. Not everything I said had real meaning, I was just reacting so that people knew I was there and listening. However, I learned that people aren’t expecting a response. They just want to let out their emotions to someone who is actively listening. This fostered more of a loving and compassionate family around me. When the pandemic is over, I would love to try this in a more public space.
Along with that last point, I realized maybe my need to react to stuff online was also affecting my speech patterns in real life. Therefore, without the internet, I wouldn’t have at-the-ready knowledge whenever I want or have grown a connection with others across the globe, but I would be more loving and compassionate towards others. Maybe I would have a chance to foster an even deeper connection with those around me.
However, we do live in a world with the internet. Therefore, we need to learn how we can find a balance between both experiences: online and offline. For me, where I want to start is with not feeling as though I need to respond to everything.
What do you think life would be like if the internet was never invented?