Society´s Dependence on the Internet as in The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster

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The Internet provides accuracy, productivity, and possibilities that would affect our day-to-day lives if suddenly missing. Because of man’s resiliency, I don’t think that we would experience Armageddon if the Internet stopped; our world would not be better or worse without the Internet. I believe our world would become different for a while; need and desire would quickly lead the way to new and improved technology to advance and rebuild a more powerful system.

I believe that on a personal basis if the Internet were to be lost people would be affected in varying degrees. In the story The Machine Stops (Forster, 1909), there is a contrast to the two main characters approach to technology. Vashti, impatient with her son, Kuno, at the slightest delay as indicated when he dawdled for 15 seconds, "Be quick!" She called, her irritation returning. "(Forster 1) Kuno finds it acceptable to dawdle. Kuno scolds his mother for dependence on The Machine, “The Machine is much, but it is not everything.” (Forster 1) This is similar to the approach that was discussed as we identified if we were digital immigrants or digital natives. (01 Computing Autobiography Discussion) Most natives indicated a dependency on technology; immigrants indicated a practical need to learn technology, but reminisced about the “old ways”. Obviously Kuno has been raised in a technologically rich age yet, still resists dependency on it.

Necessity would lead us to find a replacement for the loss of the Internet. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. I am left to wonder what necessity in the life of Forster allowed him to have such prophetic insight into future technology. If a lover of the theatre; he spent many evenings walking through the vomitories....

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... 1). We can also look at the effectiveness of the filters we use to protect children on the Internet. "The more successful the filter is at blocking the content it wishes to block, the more unsuccessful it is at letting constitutionally protected (i.e., neither illegal nor harmful to minors) content through."( 08. Ethical and legal issues: censorship, privacy and security; Sarah Houghton)

In closing, the Internet has become a powerful force in the lives of many. Some discomfort would be caused if the Internet were to stop; the survival spirit of mankind would rebuild a better and more advanced system. In the interim we would struggle as we returned to some lost arts of communication like writing letters, phone calls and visiting others. We would soon return to continued advancements in technology because the spirit to rise above adversity is a powerful force.

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