“What’s your email address?”
I hear this question all the time, and since I work in retail, I also ask this question all the time. Email is something we take for granted now. I’m always a little surprised when someone tells me he/she doesn’t have an email (although the person is probably lying to avoid giving it to me). If you go to school or have a job, chances are you need one to stay in touch.
But what happens when everyone has your email, and everyone is sending them to your account? You might get those emails on-the-go with your iPhone, but there is no possible way to read 200 emails every day. We just don’t have the time anymore. You wouldn’t even want to read that many while sitting at home. Honestly, when emails start inundating your inbox, they start to lose effectiveness. From a retail standpoint, I get several store emails a day, but all I do is blindly delete them. It’s just an overload of information that I don’t want to take the time to look at.
Emails are a type of mass media that have been around for a while. They are still relevant today, but with more and more filling our inboxes, I think they’ll become less and less relevant. Even now I only check one email, and that’s mostly for school purposes. When people are experiencing information overload, they tend to just shut down. Eventually that could mean shutting down email. It’s the curse of the 21st century.
Here’s a thought: what would happen if the technology surrounding the Internet and social media was taken away? Could the world still function or would we be faced with the collapse of a society?
What if we couldn’t send emails anymore or go to Google for information? What if we didn’t have the endless choices of television shows, movies and news networks?
We’d be SOL, right? Or maybe not.
I think society would definitely slow down to a snail’s pace, and we’d all need a bigger attitude adjustment than an angsty 13-year-old. But collapse? No, we’ve lived without technology before.
Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad either. Instead of posting pictures to Instagram, maybe we’d take the time to actually live in the moment. Maybe instead of scrolling through our phones at the bus stop, we’d take in a Carolina blue sky. Sure, everything would be slower, but it wouldn’t be such a big deal if everyone was moving at the same pace. Maybe there’d be time to sit on the porch to relax after a day’s work.
The downsides? Information wouldn’t be so widespread and accessible anymore. Global communication would slow down, and we’d have to accept the fact that we won’t know what’s happening in the world until at least the next day. And to be honest, the thought of being a journalist without the Internet scares me a little.
So yes, we could absolutely go back. Humans are known for adapting to new environments. We would lose some things but also gain some things back.