A World Without The Internet [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 26-06-2012

A World Without The Internet [INFOGRAPHIC] charlesdickens Seems hard to imagine, doesn’t it?  A world without Internet (or as I like to call it, The Dark Ages).  A time when the latest technology consisted of a Sony Walkman cassette player and a VHS video recorder (or Betamax, if you are REALLY that old to remember that far back).  A time of newspapers instead of Google News, and a time of posting letters through a mailbox instead of email. I know, scary stuff which you can use to make horror stories to frighten the kids with on Halloween.


Although it’s hard to believe, it’s only been less than 20 years since the Internet hit the mainstream, and during that time, the world has irrevocably changed forever. Revolutions have been fought over Facebook and Twitter. Political wars (under the guise of SOPA and CISPA) are still going on, and thanks to the web, the MakeUseOf staff have a job. I guess the only people who wouldn’t be sad to see the Internet fail would be the post office. Then we would have to go back to mailing our letters again, instead of using that new-fangled email technology.

Let us know what you think of the infographic in the comments. What do you think the world would be like, without the Internet? Would it be better or worse? Has the Internet improved or worsened the state of the world we live in today?

A World Without The Internet [INFOGRAPHIC] world without internet

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  1. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    December 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I can't imagine living in a world without internet, but possibly life would be a lot more relaxed ('laid back', not necessarily unproductive). Nowadays we're living in anxiety over emails, notifications, and else. No more surprise when you receive a letter, things like that.
    Living in a country without gadgets for a few weeks will cure you from internet addiction...or make it worse.

  2. Kylee Kanavas
    August 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Totally off subject, What does leveling up do? Like what is so special about becoming a geek apprentice. Im still going to try and lvl up though.

  3. Peter James Escobar
    July 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

    This is true if the world has no internet it looks like nothing and no civilization!

  4. Mayur Godhani
    June 29, 2012 at 8:45 am

    An amazing and accurate info-graphic on the topic of "A world without the internet"
    Well,.... we can't imagine the world without the internet, i never think so,.. and if you force me to answer my opinion about A world without internet topic..
    My answer would be "We will go in stone-age again, without an internet "...

  5. Jane Beckman
    June 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I remember when the net was flat... But I was an early adopter of so many things internet, including Facebook. It has allowed me to connect with far-flung connections from childhood, and Usenet brought me a husband and multiple boyfriends were met through the Net. But those were earlier days. The internet has changed many thing, but I now look at it in terms of being too big for its own success. Noise to bandwidth has become almost unworkable, in terms of search results. Once you step outside something like Wikipedia, you find it almost impossible to find information--or separate it from marketing, which is constant. I wonder if we are rapidly reaching the point of CB radio in the late '70s, where there were too many people using it for it to be effective. I don't think we'll ever be able for function without some version of email, or electronic archive or whatever, but from an information-delivery standpoint, the internet is a victim of its own success. We are going to have to find a new paradigm, to keep functioning with any degree of effectiveness.

    • Maureen Miller
      June 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      I agree with both Jane and Perspicacious, being old enough to remember life before the internet, which really came into my scope in the late 80's as I was getting out of college.

      I have long thought that the internet has not brought unadulterated enjoyment and well-being to all, by any means, despite its many benefits and conveniences. Certainly, I am on it enough every day, but having the memories of life before, I find the need to look for balance in my life.

      I used to be an avid reader of books; now I find myself on blogs and forums, etc. This to me is not always the obviously superior choice. Recently, I have started carving out more time for books. I am in particular avoiding any kind of online reading/book forum to do so. Additionally, I read a few ebooks online that I don't own, but again, on my own.

      I enjoyed things being slower and smaller to a certain degree, and to my mind, a bit more manageable. When I look to see where the internet appears to be going, I only see it picking up speed from here on out; seemingly a primary directive for itself. As mentioned, I believe the internet started off as a very useful tool and has since, I believe, became a daily taskmaster of sorts that many people's lives, mine included, revolve around.

      What I think would be really neat is if there were widespread classes in public school aimed at teaching children how to manage their internet time and how to merge that better with real life activities.

      I certainly agree with Perspicacious that online retailers often treat brick-and-mortar stores as 'show rooms' and have done so myself. But, indeed what happens to online shopping when brick-and-mortars are largely gone, due to the success of online shopping. How will the desire for at least some shoppers to see in person what they might be interested in buying be treated or ignored by the internet. I have seen many amazing tools offered by online stores, such as the ability to 'try something on' but it falls far short of actually trying something on, at least in my experience.

      Jane mentioned the need of a new paradigm. I look forward to one with great interest.

      • TtfnJohn
        July 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm

        A agree with those who say that the Web, perhaps more than the Internet itself, that needs the new paradigm. (Remembering that the Web is not the Internet, only protocol running on it.)

        Perhaps we are the ones that need the new paradigm. We made the decision to be always "on". We're the ones that poke about looking to see what's happening on some of our favourite sites and chats in case we miss something "earth shattering". At least that's how a large number of us treat it. Myself included.

        It's a decision many of us faced when cell phones first appeared. A great number of us suddenly felt the need to be reachable at every hour of every day in every circumstance. So we carried the damned things with us all the time, always turned on, and treating it and the person calling as more important than the person we were with. I think most of us have now got boundaries around what those things we'll allow to interrupt, smart or not. though far too many of us still allow it to interrupt when we should be paying attention to the job at hand like driving or using potentially dangerous power tools.
        Will we get there with the Web and the rest of the Internet? I think so. And some day we'll draw boundaries around that too. Amazon can be the place we buy a ton of things but soon the reality strikes that it can't FIX any of it should something go wrong. And that the store that could have fixed it might have just closed because it lost traffic and profit to Amazon and the like.
        I use Amazon but not to the exclusion of local businesses. I still much prefer that strange thing called human contact.
        As for sexual predators, bullies and that sort of creature. They were around pre-Internet. Harassing phone calls, for example, bully boy bosses who far to often became bosses only because they were good at being bullies, stolen credit cards, stolen trash, so the crook could find out lots about us and on it goes.
        Maybe I'm the one that needs the new paradigm. Maybe I'm the one that needs to turn the thing off every once in a while. I won't be the worst for it. That's for sure. I might even be better for it. I'd find better balance in my life if I did. ;-)
        As for the infographic, it was a bit too long, there were places in it that I'd wished had a few down-arrows or the word continued every here and there. Or broken into sub-infographics when subtopics like social and economic impact were being presented.
        But a world without the Web and the Internet it rides on? Unthinkable now. It's just changed our economies, social relationships and ourselves too much to ever go back.
        We could learn to turn it off though.

  6. Perspicacious
    June 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Of course, we also wouldn't have internet child predators; the guy convicted in Minnesota of encouraging people to commit suicide while in online chats with them; identity theft to the scale we have seen; companies of the Facebook ilk seemingly dedicated to ripping the concept of privacy to shreds; publishers, book sellers (Borders, B&N, etc.), newspapers, and brick and mortar stores facing economic disaster because of anti-competitive, state-tax free activity of the's of the world; etc., etc., etc.

    The economic benefits in the infographic are completely overstated. What has been seen is a shift in where employment is found and the money that follows that. It doesn't necessarily mean that is "better".

    Don't get me wrong. I think we're better off with the internet than without. But, please, let's not use rose-colored glasses to look at its effects. A bit more realism in examining its impacts would be more helpful.

    • Doc
      June 26, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Bullies and predators still existed; they just met someone by phone or in person.

      Identity theft also predated the Internet: it's called swiping the credit cards out of somebody's wallet.

      There were still privacy problems: it was called junk mail lists.

      There have always been those screaming bloody murder because of new technologies; how many blacksmiths have you met in the past year? There used to be one in every town (several in large towns); the invention of the automobile put them out of business. (Amazon, BTW, pays state sales tax in several states, as do any other Internet businesses who have warehouses or offices in any given state. Amazon has voluntarily started collecting sales taxes in several other states as well.)

      A bit more "realism" in criticism is warranted as well.

      • Perspicacious
        June 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm


        Wow. I was simply pointing out that the "new technology" just didn't come along with benefits solely. I gave some examples. You want some more pre-internet examples of "badness"? How about murder? assault? etc.

        I even noted in my closing paragraph that I thought we were better with the net than without. Guess you skipped over that.

        And I know Amazon collects sales taxes in a very few states; but it got a huge leg-up by not having to do so in its early years, allowing it to undersell the brick and mortar stores - and that pre-internet "low tech" mail order catalog. It and other entities like it now use the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world as their show room, even providing apps for smart phones so people can do all their window shopping and education at those latter places and then go place an order Amazon, which doesn't have to be responsible for such burdens as floor employees, show room space, etc. Perhaps that seems like a good thing for consumers. Short run, maybe. But long run? When the show rooms die, what then?

        Perhaps along with some "realism" for me, you might take reading courses so you could understand the thrust of my post - tell both sides of the story, not just one.

        • Bumferry
          June 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm


          Right behind you buddy.

          For all the WOW factor that Infographic had, There is another side to the story as you say.

          I think the moral here is "don't believe everything you read online"


  7. Manide
    June 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I don't know how world would be like; I only tell about me:
    -I would be slimmer (approx 40 lbs less);
    -I would read more books;
    -I would have more REAL friends (maybe);
    -I would take a walk daily (not weekly or less);
    And we are 2.3 billion worldwide!

    • Achraf Almouloudi
      June 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      You eat in excessive way so you will not be slim as I'm an Internet geek but I do not have any diet problems as I know what I eat and when I do .

      • Manide
        June 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm

        Not slim, but slimmer than I am right now (not necessary a healthy weight). However, I have to admit I eat too much.

        • Mark O'Neill
          June 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

          Me too. All that sitting in front of a computer screen, not enough exercise and having my office too close to the kitchen fridge :-)

    • Jeff
      June 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      The thing about tools is that they are the to use and abuse as you choose. (no, I'm not a poet)

      • Mark O'Neill
        June 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

        LOL! Thanks for that laugh (the poet gag, not the observation) :-)

  8. Tiki
    June 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I would remove the part about postage costing 80X more than internet service. Wouldn't want to give ISP's the idea they aren't charging us enough.

  9. Rotharsis Sero
    June 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Infographics are only practical if they fit on the screen without us having to scroll. I've never read an infographic that i've had to scroll through. Of course I don't know how others react. Just my 2 cents....

    • Mark O'Neill
      June 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Sorry but with the size of our post area, having it on the screen without having to scroll would be virtually impossible.

    • Jeff
      June 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      And yet you had the will power to scroll to the comment section... funny.

      • Truefire_
        June 27, 2012 at 3:25 am

        Lol. But he does have a point. The more you can see at once, the more effect it has.

    • Jack Beanstalk
      June 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

      I actually found its length to be suitable for its purpose as a summary. Had no problem with it whatsoever. Just my 2 cents.

    • Mike DeGeorge
      July 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      You would've scrolled anyways. :P but awesome infographic