The internet is only about thirty years old. It is easy to think of our point in history as devoid of major innovation, given all the talk about the Renaissance, the cotton gin, the television, color photography, and all sorts of other revolutionary innovations that came about before 1950, but in reality, this innovation is still happening all around us. In less than thirty years, something unimaginable has so embedded itself in society that its absence is what is now unimaginable. But imagine that unimaginable: what if the internet had never been invented? Of course, even small changes thirty years ago could have drastic effects today, but assuming no changes of that scale, what would life be like without internet? What would my life be like?
As a high school student on my way to college, school is easily one of the largest parts of my life. As an ambitious homeschooler with an academic ability that is well above average, internet is one of the largest parts of my school—I take many online, college or college level classes, and I use the internet to research essays and the like. If the internet did not exist, I would not be able to take these online courses, and on the one hand, I would have more time to do what I really want to do, but on the other hand, I would not be as far ahead in my academic studies. Perhaps the largest scholastic effect of the lack of internet, however, would be the inability to obtain scholarships. The only way I can afford to complete a college program relevant to my chosen career of missionary aviation is to win enough scholarships that I can earn the rest. Without the internet, it would be much harder to discover and apply for scholarships, and many of them would not exist in the first place. In this case, I would take a much longer, more involved approach to my career training, by going to local flight and mechanics schools, and some of the training I would need would be impossible to acquire. The positive side of this is that my current school load would be much easier, because I would not be attempting to complete part of my college education beforehand, allowing more time to work and save up to pay for flight and mechanics training, but the training would be of a much inferior quality, would take much longer to achieve, and would likely be even more expensive in the long run.
The other main area that would be affected by the lack of internet is my personal life, much of which is due to the online courses I have taken in the past. Because of a course I took in 2014, I have edited a full length novel, started a science blog, met my best friend and closest confidante, and matured enormously and in many areas as a direct result of that friendship. Without internet, I would have no editing experience, no way to publish my scientific ideas, and I would never have met my best friend. Just the last of those has enormous impact. If I had not met this person, I would, more than likely, be in the pits of depression, as well as possessed of an altogether spoiled personality. Without internet, my personal life would consist mostly of reading. But what’s wrong with that?
The internet affects every part of our daily lives, and it can be both terrible and wonderful. This is readily apparent when imagining its absence. Personally, I have experienced many good and bad effects of the internet, but I would say its effect has been mostly good.