I realize it’s a bit ironic to declare ‘The Internet is Overrated’ on the internet. I certainly think it’s a bit ironic whenever The Archdruid Report disparages the internet on an online blog.
But every The Archdruid Report, I encounter at least a hundred people claiming that ‘the internet is tHe AWesOMe!!^!!’ online, and another fifty offline.
Perhaps people are inclined to overrate the internet because the internet is where we like to ‘kill’ so much time, so we may notice it more than, say, the drought (unless your livelihood depends on rainfall, or you are in one of the parts of California which lost its water supply, or you are a consummate gardener, etc.)
The internet also does not affect everyone to the same degree, and I can think of groups of people who have been particularly affected by the internet, in good and bad ways.
I suspect that it may partially because we have been conditioned to expect new and flashy technological wonders to appear as time goes by, and the internet got promoted to the status of a technological wonder due to a lack of competition.
When I was travelling in Japan (and sometimes even when I was travelling in Taiwan), I lost internet access for days, sometimes even for more than a week. What did I miss?
– I was most concerned about email access, particularly to tell them that I was okay, and to tell them approximately where I was. However, when I felt I had to communicate to them and I didn’t have internet access, I could use a phone (unless I didn’t have cellphone reception either, ha ha ha ha)
– There were also some people who I wanted to keep track of, and internet was the most convenient way
– I also sometimes wanted to check details about where I was travelling, or to help make travel plans ahead. However, details of where I already was could generally be checked locally, without the internet, and I could save the advance planning for when I happened to have internet access.
– I sometimes wanted to book accommodation, but I often had to book accommodation without the internet as well
– I also wanted to keep this blog going, but I didn’t need regular internet access for this.
– And I am finding it hard to think of anything else to put on this list
In other words, I didn’t particularly miss the internet when it was gone. For pretty much everything I wanted, I could find a way to do it without the internet, and it wasn’t even that hard (need travel information? Buy a guidebook, and talk to the local people).
It might have been different if I went months without the internet (for example, this blog would become inactive) … but ultimately, I can see myself having a life as fulfilling as what I have now without the internet.
I’m not saying the internet is bad, I’m just saying it’s overrated.