Here's something to think about. Could you stay offline for a day – perhaps by taking an Internet Sabbath? Could you still do your job? Would your family and friends worry about you? How would you use your extra time?
Rachel Nuwer in an article for the BBC explores how the world has changed in just twenty years.
* In 1995 fewer than 1% of the world's population was online. Today more than 3.5bn people have an Internet connection — nearly half the human race — and the number is growing at a rate of around 10 people a second.
* According to the Pew Research Center, 20% of all Americans say they use the Internet "almost constantly" and 73% say they use it every day. "For many, it is now virtually impossible to imagine life without the Internet."
This raises the question of what would happen if the Internet were shut down for a day or more. Cyberattacks could close down the devices that forward Internet traffic or shut down domain name servers, creating massive chaos. Some nations have "kill switches" which shut off the Internet as a means of stopping hackers or limiting protests. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University and author of Why the Net Matters, believes that large solar storms from space could do great damage to satellites, power grids, and computer systems.
When the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asked Scott Borg at the Cyber Consequences Unit to study what might happen if the Internet went down, all were surprised to discover that "if every company turned off their computers for a few hours each month and made people do the tasks they postponed, there might be an overall productivity benefit." People would just do things on a different schedule. The central question being asked in this article is a meaningful one. Where is the digital revolution is taking us? And when something becomes so important, how can it be protected? But we'd like to go back to the questions we asked at the beginning of this post. How does the Internet affect your life? Could you do without it, even on your Sabbath?