Life w/out www?

Jon Hamilton

February 8, 2011

So how would life w/out www be in the office of today? From what I hear, (I’m only 29, so I don’t know first-hand) the advent of the computer in the workplace in the 1980’s changed the face of business. Gone were the days of using a typewriter or a pencil to fill out sales orders or invoices, income reports or inventory lists. Spreadsheets, although crude, could be generated in hours (ha ha ha). History had been made.

Then came the ‘90s, and with it, the Internet. Being connected to the Internet, and by the late 1990s, having a website, became absolutely essential in the business world.  Rather than sending a letter, people began sending emails, drastically increasing productivity and decreasing the time between communications. By the 21st century, even fax machines began to fade into extinction, when the Internet and all it’s magical powers further proved its necessity. Uploading even the largest of files simply required access to an FTP (until just a couple of years ago, some people even called it a File Transfer Protocol, but the need for efficiency has reduced it to its acronym).

Yes, the Internet changed the world and the way businesses operate. So what happens when this miraculous, glorious, indispensable tool of business suddenly stops working (like yesterday morning)? Do fights break out in the office? Do looters break through the windows, their gloved hands eager to grab anything and everything within their grasp? Does the sky darken (cue the ominous orchestra music), preparing for the inevitable thunderstorm and tornado? Do the lights flicker? Does the date on your analog desk clock read 1900? Does anyone here know how to use the fax machine???

Apparently an Internet outage just means the employees can focus on things that don’t require its use. Meetings can still be held, client needs can still be addressed, and life continues as usual until the Internet connection is restored and all of the wonderful ideas hatched in the downtime can be implemented. Even the phones still work!

No, I don’t know what life before computers was like. What I do know is that an Internet outage isn’t all that bad.  And that, I know from experience.