I have to say that when I first thought about the journey that Paul Miller took, I was confronted by my own inner demons of what my life would be without the Internet. You see, Paul Miller undertook to stop using the Internet for a whole year. No emails, no Google Maps, no Reddit, no Twitter, no Facebook, no reviews of the latest movie or restaurant or accommodation. He took a brave step back to 5 August 1991, into where we came from… the unknown time before we had the Internet.
On 6 August 1991, the Internet became publicly available. Tim Berners-Lee posted a summary of the project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup. This heralded the birth of a new phenomenon of the human race that changed the world as we knew it.
The Role Of The Internet Today
Can we even begin to imagine a life without the Internet. Think of it this way, a life without being connected to the global conciousness of the human race. When Osama Bin Laden was killed, news of his death hit Twitter before CNN and other news agencies got the news out. Firstly, Sohaib Athar who is an IT Consultant in Abbottabad unknowingly tweeted about the raid on the Bin Laden compound.
Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).
— Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) May 1, 2011
Then, Keith Urbahn (the former chief of staff for Donald Rumsfeld) tweeted that Bin Laden had been killed. At the time he sent his tweet, President Obama was still writing the speech in which he would announce Bin Laden’s killing.
So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.
— Keith Urbahn (@keithurbahn) May 2, 2011
Politics aside, it is clear that technology is shaping human history in a way we are yet to begin to understand. Take Facebook as an example of the history of the human race. Can you trace your ancestors back 5 generations? Heck, can you trace it back 4 generations? If Facebook is around in a hundred years, imagine the collective history available to your children’s grand children. It has even been cited that because of Facebook, the degrees of separation between any two users is 3.74 degrees.
So now we get back to Paul Miller. He certainly had more time to connect with people around him without using Skype or other Social Media platforms. I encourage you to watch the video clip below. It will surely open your mind a bit.
Reference: The Verge