World Without Internet: World War Invisible
When Maslow published the celebrated theory of 'hierarchy of needs' way back in 1943, he brought human motivation to the forefront of psychology. Being an important milestone, it is still an integral part of management curriculum even today (yes, that’s how I know about it). Interestingly, the first commercial computer ever built was launched in 1950; yes, a long 7 years after the theory came out and it was much later when they really picked up. At that time, internet was not even a remote concept and the first email could only be sent in the year 1971. The World Wide Web in its recognizable form made its debut only in the 90s (the 90s was truly the golden age) with the first search engines appearing in the mid 90s. On April 30, 1993 CERN's directors (the pioneers of internet) made a statement that was a true milestone in Internet history. On this day, they declared that WWW technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable to CERN. Isn’t it great, I wonder if they imagined internet to become what it is today and if they did and gave it away, they were as cool & amazing as the internet itself (Much like Dr. Jonas Salk-The inventor of polio vaccine or may be even greater). The omnipresent Google started only as a PhD project and was incorporated as a privately held company less than 20 years ago in 1998. It is astonishing how the internet has permeated through our lives in such a short span of time. If Maslow had given his theory now, it would more look like this...
Even otherwise, in present times the higher needs on Maslow’s pyramid like Love & belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization are attained through virtual selves of our real lives on social networks. Its roots have grown so deep that it is practically impossible to conceive a world without the internet and its frills and most would not even dare to think of it as a possibility. You can peak into the chaos of a life without internet in the movie Die hard 4. Internet has become an inseparable part of our routines and without it millions would have missed many things and many would have missed millions (pun intended). The internet has catapulted many to the heights of fame and money, be it a loner who happened to upload a top YouTube video/ a trending tweet or a nerd who ended up founding a multi-million dollar app or company (with all due respect to both) like google, Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Oyo-rooms, flip-kart, snap-deal, whatsapp, Instagram and many more whom I am not naming just to prevent this list from becoming too exhaustive but it was not always like that.
There was a time when prodigious things happened on our very own soil without going online. We erected the world’s first university ‘The Nalanda University’ which remained a center of learning from the fifth century to 1200 AD and imparted education on subjects as diverse as the Vedas, Logic, Grammar, Philology, Medicine, Samkhya, law, astronomy, and city-planning etc. The university even had a foreign exchange program for scholars from other countries and internet was not even on the horizon. We have the richest legacy of literature which also includes some of the oldest of texts like the Arthshastra, the charak samhita, the shushrut samhita, the Vedas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and I bet they were not googled or copy-pasted. Even the technology flourished without internet and the rust-free Iron pillar in Delhi will tell you the tale. We have even won innumerable wars with sheer courage and tactics and drones came later. In short, life was splendid and awe-inspiring in India as evident from the ruins of Indus valley civilization, when others may have just been hunting deer or mammoth at max. We were much ahead of the times when modern technology took over the world and we were reduced to mere consumers.
We have been enslaved by the internet and the difficult part is that we don’t even want to break free. So, let’s just keep our eyes closed for the moment and enjoy the view.
Hush Little laptop, Don’t you cry;
May god bless you, With some more wifi...