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user-inactivated  ·  2222 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Stephen Fry's Blog post on Social Media.

If I don't have the Internet I cannot do my job, and I don't get paid. I have friends, some I have never met in person, in four countries and seven states. Without the Internet I'm have never met them. You, for example, and I would never interact without an online forum.

The issue you address was not the issue I was addressing, so I take a step back.

    No way in hell you can do anything offline now. Even the art students need to use computers.

This comment was in the context of kids going to college. Just about every class, yes even the art students, requires online access and access to the college intranet. I have coworkers taking online classes and then they have to show up with a laptop at the final; no laptop no grade.

So, going with the offline theme, let's say you decide to abandon the online world and move out to the middle oh nowhere and be a farmer. They no longer fax weather reports here in the US, so you need some way to get the NOAA alerts online. If you live in a rural area and are building new construction, good luck getting land lines unless you already have telephone lines running along your land; here in the rural areas they use phone calls over wifi and cell phones and are going to stop laying copper to new construction in "low population tracks" in 2018. Even still there is a multi-thousand dollar hook up fee if you want a land telephone. You can buy older farm equipment that is not online enabled, so at least there you can pull off your goal. But, then stuff breaks. Parts, depending on what you are using on your farm and its age, will almost certainly have to be bought online, or at least ordered online and shipped to the guy who is going to do the work. Living on 40-50 acres isolates you more than most people realize and we being social animals, you will need some form of social interaction. That means hoping you get along with your neighbors or talking to people online. The new tractors even use GPS to till and harvest, requiring map uploads via the internet. Is it still possible to live in the first world without the internet and online connectivity? Possibly, but it will take a lot of effort.

Where you live looks like it is way out in the middle of nowhere, yet is still a modern connected city. The reason I posted this link is to still a conversation on how to move online communities to embrace the good that they can do while being on the lookout for the dangers of 'hug boxes' exclusions and the other darker parts of the human experience.