If These Webs Were To Break
Should the Internet fall to pieces, or service be interrupted for extended periods of time, or I find myself in a land without access, I would miss it. I would be without all the phone numbers and addresses I save in my Google contacts. Photographs stored on Flickr and words from this blog would be inaccessible. Recipes, museum information, and maps online would vanish. The social networking tools I use to stay in touch with friends would be gone.
Yet so much remains in a life without the Internet. My family, dogs, and gardens exist firmly in the real world. My kitchen, center of my home, remains in constant use with or without computer assistance. I can write letters on paper, make notes in cookbooks, and print pictures. Newsletters, books, and yes, the much maligned Yellow Pages, convey much of the same data found in online search engines.
The information super highway is indeed a powerful tool. But it's only that, a tool. There are other tools that can be used to form community, publish stories, and research information. Indeed, magazines and newsletters, novels, and photo books, maps and printed guides held together communities for many years before the world wide web was invented.
I encourage those I meet online and in person to live simply and engage with the physical world. Get dirty. Watch birds. Eat from the earth. Walk your dog. Talk to your neighbors. Catch rain. Grow something. Preserve your experience in a jar of jam, a photograph, or a story.
If we ever find ourselves in a time and place without the Internet, I am convinced my life and yours will remain rich and full.
This post is an entry in the Mabel's Labels BlogHer'10 contest. Their writing prompt was 'Electrical storms are going to wipe out the Internet (perhaps forever). You have one day left to write about your passions: what do you want to say to the blogosphere in 300 words or less?' If the judges choose my post, I win a trip to BlogHer '10 and a year long blogging contract.