It could happen.
I’m not talking about Armageddon or the end of all civilization, though that would certainly get the job done. No, for the internet itself to go away without a corresponding loss of all electricity/technology/global civilized infrastructure, it would take some serious doing. I won’t go into the details, but if you’re curious, read up on it here. In addition to those physical-destruction paths, we can’t entirely count out the possibility that intense nation-to-nation cyber warfare could make the internet unusable.
So I’m not claiming it’s likely, but I like to plan for all eventualities. You should see my binder on “What To Do If Donuts Go Away.”
I’m a little nervous about posting these options, because they are MY specific plans, and I shouldn’t be giving away my secrets. But I want you to succeed under difficult conditions. So here it is, my options for life if the internet goes away. (And just to be clear, I mean all internet and internet-related tech: no smartphone operation, no apps, etc.)
1) Find Elon Musk.
I’m pretty sure this guy has an entire secondary internet accessible only to him, his top people, and family members. I want in.
2) Mount an armed assault on the nearest library and use it as my new headquarters.
Want to know the distance between the Earth and the sun? Which president came after Grant? The volume of the Pacific Ocean?
You’ll have to come to me for that now. And it’s gonna cost you.
3) Avoid nature at all costs.
It will be clogged with tourists rediscovering what they so long ignored.
4) Build the Walker Center for Newly Bored Young People™.
It will tough enough for me to learn how to be bored again, but I grew up with boredom, so I know how it works.
Those under the age of 25? Ouch.
I can teach them how to live with nothing but their own thoughts for hours at a time. How to be perfectly still and stare into space with a minimal amount of drool. How to not care what other people are thinking.
If you are over 30 and want to help, reach out now (because if the internet goes, you won’t be able to).
5) Capture land near a major city and set up a feudal farming/serf-lord arrangement.
I know this sounds like more of an apocalypse thing, but here me out. Atlanta (and most big cities now, I think) is lousy with super foodie-natural-locally-sourced-fancy chef and farmer types that rely on internet and social media advertising. If the internet goes, they may be out of work. And I’d love to live in a castle.
6) Get more cats.
I have one, and he’s a superior being. But the internet has conditioned me to expect a certain quantity and variety of daily cat entertainment, so I’d have to make up the difference in an analog way.
7). Get more hobbies.
This one is self-explanatory.
8) Capture as many paper maps as I can find, hoard them.
I’m pretty sure no one knows how to get anywhere anymore, so those maps will be worth their weight in blood. I mean gold. Definitely gold.
9) Keep writing.
People will want more books, theoretically, so this makes sense. I’ll need a typewriter—unless internet-less computers are still a thing—and some binders, three-hole punch, that kind of thing.
That’s it. Choose what you like, dump the rest. I doubt the internet is going anywhere unless everything goes nowhere, but it’s fun to speculate, no?