One of the blogs I read last week. Sorry I can't remember which one - there's a huge list of them on the BEDA blog site - the link to that site is in my other interesting blogs section on the right Anyway that blog asked what life would be like without the internet.
I'll be showing my age well and truly then in this post - as I come from a time before the internet *Gasp* I know shocking isn't it... So I can honestly state that I know what it's like to have a life without the internet. It was a lot slower and you made a lot more use out of books like encyclopaedias to look information up. I know the concept of opening a book for information really blows some peoples minds. In fact I can remember a time before personal computers (Ohhh really showing my age now!) My parents got a PC when my brother was in his final year of high school many years ago. It was top of the range with 4Mb of RAM... I know what you're thinking WOW 4MB of RAM!! - I mean with 4MB of RAM it was lightning fast... They upgraded it to 8Mb of RAM 18 months later and my god it just went at warp speed!! Alright I'll step down from my sarcasm filled soapbox!
Life before the internet was more personal I guess. You had pen pals you physically wrote a letter too, then waited patiently for the next two weeks waiting for them to reply to your letter. You spoke to people on the phone more, and you actually hung out with people. You had no other choice but to go to the Cinema to watch the new release movie as there was no such thing as 'steaming media'
If the internet suddenly went 'off-line' tomorrow - well I'd not get to finish BEDA which would be a bit shit! However I'd also loose that freedom to literally have access to anything I wanted within reason at the end of my fingertips. From e-mailing friends (The new age pen pal which has a quicker turnaround than two weeks), Access to 24hr news. However the biggest infrastructure of the internet is online shopping. The amount of things I buy online today is unbelievable, because it's not only more convenient with online stores such as Amazon, Fish-pond, JBHiFi, Ezydvd etc which have so much more range than a 'store front' shop can provide. Obviously because a warehouse can hold much more, it has less overhead costs etc (Insert long list here) I can do all this shopping from the comfort of my own home, have it delivered to my door like pizza and not have to deal with people who out of no fault of their own will undoubtedly piss me off somehow. (This is why I dislike grocery shopping soooo much!)
Will we get to a point in the future where everything is online, distributed from warehouses somewhere in some country? Yes I honesty believe that the days of 'retail assistants' in the flesh so to speak will become obsolete in the future. Sure there will always be some form of 'human interaction' required re processing orders, being on the end of a phone line for customer assistance etc. But eventually retail will be taken over by computer programs which will automate things more than they already do now. Will I see this in my lifetime? Probably not, however I think my nephews grandchildren probably will.
That's all I've got