The average person around the world checks their email on their phone or tablet before they even get up to drink coffee or brush their teeth. Imagine for a second if you woke up and the internet was gone. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Google email, no social media, no work or any other online access. Most people would go straight to checking their router or phone connection.
After checking every possible scenario and issue first, how would you react if you realized the internet was gone? A world without internet access would traumatize a good portion of the population. As impossible as it may seem, many economists, futurists and IT workers spend a great deal of time contemplating this exact scenario.
Even if all internet communications were down for just a few days, the economic impact across the globe would be significant. On a grand scale, businesses would be without ways to conduct business through the most common applications online. Major phone carriers utilize internet activity for communications and call routing. This means that most people would have no means of communicating with their friends or family during this time.
Credit cards? You can forget about those as well because you need internet access to use them. The idea of a complete internet shutdown in the 21st century does not seem as far-fetched as it should. There are businesses around the world that have backup plans to withstand losing the internet for as long as a month at a time.
A shutdown of the modern internet would mean massive destruction across the world and would eliminate everyone’s ability to perform any activity online for a practically indefinite amount of time. Most people and businesses have no idea what they would do if the internet was down for more than 30 days, however.
It is simple to believe that no internet access would send the world into panic and frenzy very quickly. While it may not be a zombie apocalypse or a huge flu pandemic, it would rock neighborhoods, cities and towns across the world just as tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes do.
Devastation such as this would highlight and call into question anything already troubling a community as it was. This is why it is important to repair infrastructure before any type of natural disaster, including a loss of internet, to help people find ways to get back on their feet quicker. Essentially, a plan in place for loss of the internet is more important than natural disasters because we rely on social connections to recover from catastrophe.