Social Question

Berserker's avatar

Can you function without the Internet?

Asked by Berserker (33548points) March 11th, 2014

If you’re on Fluther, chances are, you have access to the Internet whenever you want it, either by computer or handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. (or both, and more)
So many things get done online these days. Banking, some shopping, contact with friends and family, recreation…dope dealing, prolly. Quickly googling information, finding phone numbers and addresses.
My point is, we rely on the Internet for so many things. It’s a common element of modern society, and a big part of how a lot of people function. Even a lot of entertainment is done online now; music, movies, video games. I see movie rental places drop like flies. (at least all the ones that aren’t big chains) It wasn’t always like this, but in the passed decade, it has changed drastically.

Of course, not everyone uses the Internet, or even cares to, but it cannot be denied for a second that many people now use it in their every day lives.

If all of a sudden you no longer had your own Internet access, could you live without it? Would you feel detached from the world? I suppose it’s easy to say, yeah, I’d do just FINE. But remember that you would be giving this answer on an online website. :)

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35 Answers

hominid's avatar

Well, I’d be out of a job and a career, would lose my house and health insurance.

Outside of work, I’d also be lost. I outsource my memory to the internet, and it is my personal assistant. I have become so dependent on information at my fingertips, I really wouldn’t know how to function. Of course, if there were no internet, nobody would have it. So, we’d just be going back in time a few years ago – a time that I did not have internet and I was fine. But can you go back? I don’t know.

antimatter's avatar

I can go without internet for days even weeks, it’s the second time this month I that I logged in on fluther and facebook.

zenvelo's avatar

I would miss it, but I could survive. I’ve even been working on being disconnected for periods of time, although not a full 24 hours because of too much communication via email these days.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If I really felt I had to be connected, there are hotspots abound; Starbucks, McDonalds, the library, the Catholic church, etc.

longgone's avatar

I have before, so yes. Though I would definitely miss it. Planning my tutoring sessions would be harder, staying in contact with friends wouldn’t be as convenient, and Christmas shopping would be hell.

I hate shopping.

jca's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: My impression from the way that the OP worded the question is that you would not have access to the internet anywhere – no only just from home. She means if you had NO internet at all – could you survive, not just no internet access at home.

For me, I could survive. If I had to, if we had to, we would. It would require more telephone calls to places to find out their hours and stuff like that. I know before I had a smart phone, I would put a movie theater into my GPS and then the phone number would come up, along with the name of the theater and the address, and then I would call it to find out what was playing. I wouldn’t have as much information at my fingertips, I would probably have to go to the library like in the old days. I wouldn’t be able to look online at news and magazines. I would probably read more and talk on the phone to communicate with friends, like 20 years ago before I started really getting into the internet. I would send more cards and notes to people, via the US PS.

But could I function? Yes, of course if I had to. If something came along and knocked out our Wifi, we would all have to adapt to the new ways (meaning, the old ways) of phone, TV, books, newspapers, library reference desk, etc.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ I focused on: If all of a sudden you no longer had your own Internet access, could you live without it? part of the question.

Berserker's avatar

Yeah, in my details, imagine you could have limited access to the net, like public libraries and whatnot. However having a tablet or smart phone or anything portable that you can use to get signals from other places doesn’t count, because that’s what most people do currently, the ones with handheld devices, anyway. Imagine you no longer have them. should have probably worded that better, sorry

Winter_Pariah's avatar

A lot of the things I do day to day are done either in-person or via calls/texts (including banking matters). At worst it’d be an irritating inconvenience and would force me to plan further ahead for certain matters (like renewing dvs forms) but otherwise nothing terrible.

Anyway my porn collection is secured on multiple hard drives so I’m all good there.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I do not have “smart devices” where I can tap the Internet whenever I wish, I have to have a hot spot for my netbook. So, as it is, I don’t have Net access all of the time so if I lost it all together the adjustment would not be that hard.

Berserker's avatar

Haha really? I see people with their smart phones going online all the time, I thought it was pretty much like that for every hand held thing. Mind you, I’ve never owned any hand held internet devices, so I don’t have much experience there. Just the big bulky computer for me.

jca's avatar

OK. If I didn’t have internet access at home, then, I would simply use it at work, 8 hours per day. It would cause some inconvenience on weekends and nights but I would deal with it.

Cruiser's avatar

@hominid how quickly you forget your health insurance would be on the house! And with near unlimited unemployment benefits you would not be hurting for quite the while.

dxs's avatar

This makes me so thankful for my laptop. I don’t think I’d function without the world-wide web.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’d be fine, I’m a hold-out on the banking and thing’s unless on a secure network.

this_velvet_glove_again's avatar

I can, and I have. But if it happened again now, I’d really miss spotify.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

99 percent of my work involves access to the net. I could probably function with a lot of adjustments, but it would be way less productive. Outside of work I have some things I could give up, but life would be much less interesting.

Bluefreedom's avatar

As simply put as possible, yes, I could probably function without the Internet but certain things would be a little more difficult on the one hand and less entertaining on the other hand.

ucme's avatar

I dare say I could function, but i’d be a quivering shell of a man, bereft of any hope in life & living off memories of times that once were oh so beautiful.
Or, I could just invest in one of those loudhaler thingies & shout questions at people in the street recreating Fluther in the real world…yeah, that’s not going to be pretty.

bea2345's avatar

I was in my fifties when I encountered my first computer. I don’t remember missing it before then. So, my answer will be yes, I did once (do without it), and can again.

talljasperman's avatar

~ (NSFW) Not when I’m half way done. No. I can’t cope without the internet.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, I did for many years before it came along.

zander101's avatar

It depends on who you ask, I’m apart of the Generation Y cohort where internet became widespread and predominant, so unfortunately no I wouldn’t be able to function without the internet. I’m pretty sure that the generations preceding me can as they had lived in a life where it’s need was non-existent.

ibstubro's avatar

Socially and time-killing wise, I’d be lost. The internet is my day-to-day socialization.

Otherwise, I’d adjust just fine. Losing my cell phone would be much more of a disruption, even though I don’t use it every day, or many times a day. I enjoy the internet, but I depend on my cell phone.

The “I did without it before it was invented, I obviously can…” argument doesn’t hold weight, IMO. We none of us drove legally before 16, so we can do just fine without a car? I remember having black and white TV. Can you imagine a B & W monitor?? NO WAY!

Coloma's avatar

I have always led a pretty well rounded life, but ya know…I would be really bereft if I had no internet. Not just Fluther, but I am a knowledge seeking, researcher from hell, gotta know, type of personality and I LOVE the internet. Not to mention I am totally dependent on online banking and email.
Being a 50 something I well remember the days pre-internet but, yes, I am pretty damn dependent on it this last decade and a half or so.
I’d survive, adapt or die right?

Cruiser's avatar

I break into song and eat raw kittens when the internet goes down

Mimishu1995's avatar

I used to think I couldn’t, but now I think I can though only for a while.

Back in the time when I was in the military camp, there was no internet at all (there was actually a wifi gate, but it was locked and only my teacher knew the password and of course he wouldn’t share it to anyone). What’s worse, every night all students had to hand in mobile phones to my teacher (so that our phones wouldn’t be stolen), and I had nothing to entertain at night. But I still survived (much to my surprise), while many students in my room complain how miserable their lives were without the internet and mobile phones at night :)

Brian1946's avatar


Was the military camp voluntary, and are you now a trained fighting machine-of-war? ;-o

johnpowell's avatar

I went for months when I was living in a RV. No real problem. I didn’t have a tv either.

I did have a few computers running so I was able to do stuff like building websites and read and play games. If I didn’t have those I probably would have shot myself in the face.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Brian1946 Turning all of us into trained fighting machines-of-war is exactly what the teachers there want. The training is totally compulsory and anyone who don’t take it aren’t qualified to graduate.

I have forgotten everything they taught though. I hate politics, and the course consists of politics and politics :/

Berserker's avatar

On my end I just realized how much ass I suck at searching for information and news on sources that aren’t the Internet. Say I wanna know the latest on what’s going on between Russia and Ukraine, I have to wait until it comes on on the radio or see if they talk about it in the paper. I don’t have cable TV, but even if I did I’d still have to wait for a fresh news broadcast…while with the net, I can look it up, there’s always something about it, plus they tell you how long ago the article or video was put up, so you get fresh shit at all times.
For the passed week I’ve also been looking forward to a certain event, looking in the paper and like, going, the hell with this, and just googling it and there it is.
Phone books and newspapers seem so useless to me now haha. But if I didn’t have the net anymore, I’d have to rely on those again.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I use to spend hours and hours on the internet. Now, If I spend an hour I spend a lot. I have cut way back. I actually feel I get so much more accomplished now and feel more in the world than I did before.

NanoNano's avatar


I went without Internet access at home for a year, that I ended back in the fall of 2013. I did this out of protest from TimeWarner Cable for outrageous charges. I have since moved and now have service from a more reputable carrier.

During that year, I would just go to the library or to a coffee shop (I have both a laptop PC as well as a desktop, and a little android tablet) and use the Internet there. So I didn’t have constant access. Sometimes it was once a week, sometimes more.

I found that’s all the time I needed. Most of what we do online, as Andy Rooney once said, doesn’t really need doing.

bea2345's avatar

Our internet service went down on Friday last – 21st March – and returned today – Monday. I spent the week end re-reading Titus Groan, the first book of the Gormenghast trilogy. It was very interesting. Move over, Google.

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