Life Without Internet
Posted by yangj0705
“It is assumed that the whole world is wired, living in a state of electronic connectivity, and that’s just not the case. There are places in the world, such as much of southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, in which internet access, computers, and even electricity are seriously scarce” (Chayko, n.d.). These two sentences at the beginning of Chayko’s book, Superconnected, was something that had completely slipped my mind until I read them. The way that people in our society has stayed connected over the last couple of years has dramatically evolved, in both good ways and bad ways. The way people communicate has changed as digital communication became more and more diverse has had an impact on our society. This has just become a matter of fact that I had forgotten that there is still places all over the globe that does not have access to the internet nor are they connected by this planetary wide imaginary web of communication. About 52 percent according to Chayko, live without internet connection as well as people within our own country. This is mostly due to social or cultural differences.
I have spent the last few years living on a college campus or near one where internet access is a must in order to complete assignments. It also becomes a must in staying connected with friends from all over the state. The internet let me stay in contact with my niece and nephews that lives two hours away, or with my high school friends who I love as though they are my own brothers. Of course, there was also a point in time where my new friends and I would be messaging each other through Facebook while we are literally in the same room of our college dorms. It was definitely an interesting time of my life adjusting to having all of this freedom at my disposal.
Whenever I take a trip back to visit my family and friends, I am often reminded of what my life was like before I had the internet. My mother lives a poor life, barely able to pay for bills, which means having things like the internet is not a necessity. I always found it difficult readjusting back to that life of not having the internet when I am visiting home. Chayko’s sentence has made me think about the rest of the world and how their life is like as well. Does it impact other people who do not have the internet? Does it even matter at all for societies that never had it in the first place? These days it is a necessity for me to have internet connection in order to work on assignments as well as in the wake of the Corona Virus, keep me connected to my courses from a safe distance. It has made a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend much easier when I can video chat with her whenever I would like with the touch of a button. But for societies that never had internet in the first place, that never needed it and are able to function perfectly as well as our own society, how do they stay connected?
My mother used to tell me stories of her time living in the mountains of Laos. There, people were only connected with the people within their direct vicinity. If you wanted to visit a family member in a completely different village, you would have to walk for hours, maybe even days. She would tell me how dangerous it was, having to watch out for predators, or evil spirits as she would say, that would come to take away their souls. But from the sound of it, she, and many of the elders that fled the war-torn mountains, were completely content with that isolation. Staying connected with people in other villages wasn’t as important as being connected with the people in your village, as being connected with nature, or as living a minimalist lifestyle. I would use to ask if she preferred a society where she had internet and all of these technologies, or would she prefer living in the mountains. She would always say the mountains.
Chayko, M. (n.d.). Superconnected. Retrieved from https://platform.virdocs.com/r/s/0/doc/423917/sp/17980017/mi/59926898?cfi=%2F4%2F2%5Bs9781506394879.i225%5D%2F8%5Bs9781506394879.i233%5D%2F4%2C%2F3%3A161%2C%2F3%3A446
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