Could we survive without technology?

Published 9:31 am Thursday, June 20, 2019

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Sitting in a coffee shop this week, I came to an overwhelming conclusion: Our society would be in trouble if technology went bye-bye.
It was impossible to count how many people were talking on their cell phones, texting, working on laptops, listening to their iPods or doing a host of other things that involved electricity or Wi-fi.
And it wasn’t just teens or twenty- and thirty-somethings, either.
Oh no, far from it actually. I saw grandmas and grandpas just Twittering away (well, I really don’t know exactly what they were doing on their phones). I saw teens pecking away on their laptops and tablets. I saw businessmen and women chatting away with their Bluetooth headset devices tucked behind their ears.
Don’t for one second think that I’m throwing stones. I was right there with them, cell phone in hand, laptop on the table.
In full disclosure, the reason I was there in the first place is because we lost internet service at the newspaper office.
But these observations got me thinking about a somewhat morbid scenario.
What if it all went away? What if most of our technology and our digital communications systems ceased to function for one reason or the other?
There is plenty of source material on the subject. You don’t have to look far to find Hollywood films, video games and novels that portray an apocalyptic future where society as we know it ceases to exist.
Whether it is a massive disease epidemic, nuclear war, an asteroid hitting the earth, the zombie apocalypse or some other far-fetched scenario, the reality is that something could happen that causes a massive breakdown in the societal infrastructure on which we have all become so dependent.
So, how would we fare?
I have a strong feeling it wouldn’t go so well.
Many of us — myself included — feel lost when the cell phone or laptop battery goes dead.
Take away the Internet, TV or our telephones for a few hours, no problem. But it doesn’t take long before we start feel disconnected from the world.
Now, take them away forever. That is a much scarier picture.
What if our government ceased to operate? What if businesses and corporations were forced to close their doors because their computers and suppliers were shut down? What if banks couldn’t give us our money and our credit cards didn’t work?
Do we — most of us would be considered pampered here in America — have what it takes to overcome adversity like this? I don’t know the answer to that.
Could I be a survivor in some bleak future? I would like to think so, relying on my belief that the most powerful tool in existence is the indomitable human spirit.
Hopefully we won’t ever find out and we can all keep tweeting, clicking, chatting and texting away.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. He can be reached at (859) 759-0095 or by email at .

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