I think that whoever owns the Internet can be the ultimate ruler over people. I mean, seriously. How many people are on the Internet? Billions…Of course it is unrealistic to expect that someone actually OWNS the Internet – that is false. But lets take a look at the power that can be gained by any entity that seeks to control the masses.
Latest Internet research data statistics has the world’s Internet users at 2.26 billion people. That’s a lot. If you look at in North America alone – the number is a staggering 273 million users (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm)
Let’s play a game of what if. Suppose that there was a hidden secret button somewhere, that if was pushed would shut down all Internet servers over night. That means no more search engines, no more social networking, and no more basically – anything.
How many people would leave their homes and walk around in a daze because they do not know what to do with themselves anymore?
How many people would feel like they are useless and have no impact in their communities, schools, and world.
With lack of cyber contact, would we then as a society be forced to deal with reality?
I’m not saying Internet usage is bad but our society is growing in ways that can seem scary – even for the most technological geek like me.
With the recent Sandy storm that swept the East Coast this week, these thoughts have me thinking about mobile Internet technology and how it may be actually a good thing. This week, people have shared their well being via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networking sites. It is in fact, a very efficient manner of communicating to lots of people at one time. With a simple click of a button all of your loved ones can know that you are safe.
However, what if the Internet did suffer a major catastrophe? Would people resort to picking up the phone to call and check on one another or even visit each other? Maybe retail businesses and other corporations would be forced to deal with customers directly instead of relying on massive distribution of email/social media marketing. Maybe employers would start treating their employees like actual human friggin beings. I don’t know. It’s just a guess. Remove the Internet out of the infrastructure of today’s society is almost like removing a heart out the body.
I am not a proponent of none of this happening of course. The Internet is my life indeed. I am on Facebook everyday, several times a day. Without it I know I definitely would not have a voice. I have accomplished some things (like my blog site) via Internet that I would never have an opportunity– had I not an open forum to do so. But my point is that people being so reliant on any one-communication system or information source cannot be healthy. Surely it served its purpose during the Sandy tropical storm and other catastrophic events but is it conceivable that there can be another way? Another way that will allow invulnerability for people to connect with each other. God forbid the Internet becomes regulated by some omniscient power. That power or entity would hold the keys to our very existence. Maybe its not that deep, but it sure makes me wonder.
The Information Age has been here some time now and its not going anywhere. But how can we optimize it for the future and catapult it to the next level – the next phenomena?
The answer remains to be seen, but until then I will stay plugged into the grid just as everyone else.