Home Sci-Fi35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Sci-FiBy Joe Burgett -

The internet is very important in our daily lives. While you may not notice how important it is, you likely would notice if the internet suddenly vanished tomorrow. In fact, a lot of different things could likely happen if we lost the internet out of nowhere like that.

Some things may go unnoticed, as it may not affect us. However, other things will be easy to spot almost immediately. This will turn into a worldwide crisis of epic proportions. The question is, what areas would actually be affected by this and would it impact you?

We decided to look into this exact question. We wanted to know what things could likely happen if we lost the internet. Some of this might be generally positive while others could be completely devastating to normal society.

There are certain people who may claim that Native American reservations likely would not be impacted by this. The same is said for various indigenous tribes. However, these people will also be impacted by what occurs without the use of key things the internet helps our society with.

Overall, the internet has become saturated and has managed to dig into our lives and everything around us. It has gotten to a point that we truly do need it and our normal society cannot operate without it. What we found likely to happen without the internet may shock you, so be aware!

 

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Car GPS versions [Image via CNET]

35. Global Positioning System Failure

People often forget that GPS runs off of satellites in space that can ping back and forth between the satellite and the user. Of course, these often run using a form of internet. Thus, if the internet goes down somehow one day, the world of GPS would be affected heavily too.

This is pretty big too, as we use GPS for tons of things. UPS, FedEx, UBER, and even your local pizza delivery driver use GPS systems to find places. Therefore, several delivery systems would be impacted as well.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Cell Phone Fire [Image via Lenka Horavova/Shutterstock.com]

34. No Cell Phone Service

One of the biggest things that could happen if we lost the internet is that cell phone service would be gone. Cell towers use cell signals that come from satellites in the air, which ping off of other satellites in order to operate. With internet access down, it is likely the satellites they use here are going to be affected somehow.

Due to this, cell service overall would be gone for the entire world. Anything that uses any form of cell service or similar satellite tech that accesses the internet to operate would also be out of commission. This could become a worldwide panic for teenagers and twenty-somethings that are on their cell all the time.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Airplane Taking Off [Image via Denis Belitsky/Shutterstock.com]

33. Transit May Slow Down Massively, If They Even Work At All

Removing GPS systems, ships and planes can still operate. People can work off of compasses, which require no internet access. However, issues may arise when trying to contact shipping yards and airports. Remember, any type of cell usage or something like it would be hard to access.

Radio systems like what truckers use might be possible for ships to employ to make their rounds. However, without a strong radio signal for planes that use this, they may not be able to land. It could become a huge problem, especially for people who fly internationally on a regular basis. It also affects deliveries worldwide too.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Amazon Packages [Image via FreightWaves.com]

32. Online Shopping Will End

One of the things that could happen if we lost the internet is the destruction of online shopping. Do you know those sales papers that come in the mail all the time that very few of us use? These will likely become popular again and catalogs for various companies would also ship out via USPS.

This happened all the time in the 90s, and many companies would let you order straight from the catalog. Landlines will still exist and we could likely make calls to buy stuff. Sadly, companies like Amazon would suffer drastically from this loss as their entire business model is predicated on online shopping. They will likely become a wholesale dealer.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
E-Mail Sent [Image via ProjectManager.com]

31. E-mails Will Be Nonexistent

While regular mail through your nation’s mailing service will likely continue like normal, electronic mail or e-mail would be nonexistent. This means we may need to become better letter writers but don’t assume you’ll be unable to use your computer as the computer won’t shut down without the internet.

Therefore, we will all likely still type up letters we send out. We will just have to waste paper, printing letters out by plugging them into the printer. Then send them with postage to people we are in contact with, then wait a week or so to hear back. We recommend just calling them, using landline of course.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Netflix Camera Stream [Image via Study Breaks Magazine]

30. Streaming is out of the Question

One of the biggest things that could happen if we lost the internet is the end of streaming as we know it. Tons of media companies have been heading this direction for some time due to the success of Netflix. Amazon has its own streaming platform that has become successful and now both Apple and Disney are starting their own streaming platforms this year!

It is clear that streaming is the future and anything assumed otherwise is simply a lie. But if the internet is gone, streaming too will be gone. This means Netflix will likely go back to its “mail-to-home” order system they had years ago, which is not as fun as seeing a new movie right off. It’s also going to be predicated on how many copies they have to send out. Boo!!

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Blockbuster Video Store [Image via The Outline]

29. The Return of Blockbuster

Growing up, nothing was better than going to Blockbuster or Movie Gallery to grab the latest movie or video game. Heck, we’d put a list together for our parents if they went by one coming home from work. We’d say “if they don’t have this, then get this, or if they don’t have that, get this.” Don’t act like you didn’t do this too.

With Netflix and all streaming services now gone, obviously one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is the return of Blockbuster and stores like it. Due to how spoiled we’ve been to have stuff at our fingertips, people will likely flock to these stores in droves. It could even allow the smaller mom and pop video stores to return too.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Customer Service Agent [Image via Bojan Milinkov/Shutterstock.com]

28. Customer Service Interruption

While we may not always care for these types of people at times, we do need them too. Therefore, when you think about things that could likely happen if we lost the internet and customer service pops up, it might be a huge blow. We often call various companies when we need help with something.

Yet these people often use the internet not just for service material like cell companies have. Their systems often use servers that cannot operate without a connection to the internet. This allows them to cycle through calls and then send people to other areas of the company. They also have to put in orders or services, all of which use a system that sends out everything to the right people. All of which require the internet.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Empty Bank Vault [Image via Iconic Bestiary/Shutterstock.com]

27. Banks Will Be Overrun

It is clear that one of the biggest things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is that banks would be absolutely overrun on a daily basis. Without the internet, checks will be sent by our employers again as Direct Deposit will not be possible. This means people will need to bring their checks in and likely get money out quite often.

Sadly, cash will be needed and most banks will not have enough to hand out to their customers. Most typically work with digital numbers due to card usage. Obviously, with so much going on most banks will not have enough staff members to handle it all. Instead of hiring, big bank companies will likely shut down smaller banks and re-route staff to their central banks.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Hand Verification System [Image via Sergey Tarasov/Shutterstock.com]

26. Verification Systems Won’t Work

Currently, there are numerous different types of verification technologies in use. You have them on your phone, in businesses, and even in government buildings. Some places like China keep track of their citizens and even score them based on their activities and lifestyle, which takes proper verification software.

They do this often with business cameras, security cams, or those in use on the streets. All of these systems require the internet as they have to go into databases held on a central server that pings back and forth which will send home data at the same time. With these systems out of operation, many places will temporarily shut down and go with manual verification when they re-open.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Production Line Worker [Image via WaveBreakMedia/Shutterstock.com]

25. Production Data & Information Will Be Harder To Collect

Currently, when a product is in use, companies usually go online to see how people react to it. This is crucial for many companies, especially larger ones that put things out on the regular. Yet one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is that this data and information will be harder to collect.

These manufacturers/companies use real-time data to stop production, increase it, or keep it the same depending on reactions to something online. If it is bad right off or changes are needed, this happens quite fast. Without the internet, this faster concept cannot happen. This means things may come out much slower than they do now and/or result in sales going downhill.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Ring Home Security System [Image via The Verge]

24. Current Security Systems will become Obsolete

Most security systems we use today for companies tend to be on a server that calls the police, fire department, etc. when things happen. This may be automatic such as when an alarm is tripped or done manually by a security officer within a building. Ultimately, many of these can work inside companies without a connection but they’d only sound alarms.

However, those for in-home security often are completely reliant on the internet to call the proper service when things happen at a residence. Again, alarms may go off like ones for a fire. Yet services won’t automatically come out. ALL of these things are in need of the internet to send out alerts.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
ER Doctors [Image via Reader’s Digest]

23. The Loss of Medical Information

Usually, hospitals keep detailed records on patients that come in regularly or have in the past. These are useful as if someone comes into the Emergency Room unconscious and cannot tell you what is wrong with them, you may do your best to save them by normal means. However, if they are allergic to something you use, they could die from a reaction.

You’d know this with proper records, most of which use the internet to back up all of their data. Many use paper forms of this too but they can be lost or too old to be of use too. The records also help keep track of who comes in and why thereby keeping track of possible “drug seekers.” Keeping track of this has allowed us to cut down on the Opioid Crisis slowly but surely. Without this system, it could grow instead.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Package Tracking App [Image via Pioneer Packaging Worldwide]

22. Tracking For Packages Will Be Gone

One of the obvious things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is an issue with the tracking of packages and overall mail. UPS, FedEx, and other delivery companies use tracking software to inform customers of when a package is out for delivery, when it’s delivered, and offer information on any problems they ran into.

This software also helps drivers know when they need to pick things up, as well as tell them the address a package is supposed to be delivered to. All of this is crucial to their business model and helps the companies operate. If they go down, your national mailing service (ex: U.S. Postal Service) will be the ones used for all delivery. This could cause problems.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Social Media Blocks [Image via Econsultancy]

21. Social Media Will Be Gone

Social Media is in use all the time all over the world. Currently, Facebook has over 2 billion users. This number drifts a bit due to a lot of robots and/or numerous accounts one person might have. Twitter, Instagram, and even Google+ are all quite large and beloved by millions of people.

Sadly, they all require an internet connection to use. This may mean that instead of simply posting about something or someone, you can go out and say this to people personally. We know that is crazy talk! However, it might be the best and only actual option you’ll have.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Intelligence Meeting [Image via Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com]

20. Intelligence Communities Will Have A Lot of Trouble

While the United States Intelligence Community is known for being pretty impressive, there are several around the world that are just as impressive. However, one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is that all of these intelligence communities will have tons of issues. They all rely on current technology to find out information.

Due to this, intelligence operatives will need to call from a landline that can easily be tapped by authorities in places they are stationed. They could also send coded letters, which will take a long time to get to various nations and could also be intercepted. Many coded messages can be broken to find out crucial national secrets. You can see big issues here alone.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
FAX Machine Chaos [Image via Gemenacom/Shutterstock.com]

19. Return Of The FAX

Facsimiles or FAXs were incredibly popular before the internet took over. They were so big, in fact, that some even had FAXs at their homes to send out information to people. These were really great before e-mails came along. Sometimes they are even used to this day to send over exact copies of things that cannot leave a certain office, like medical records.

Since a FAX works through a phone line connection and not through the internet, they can still be used as long as a phone line works. This will be useful and allow people to send crucial documents back and forth with anyone who also has a FAX machine. Of course, this may become quite an annoyance for an office building with likely many FAXs coming through all day.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Space Travel [Image via Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com]

18. Space Travel Will Come To A Halt

Right now, we have only really gone as far as our Moon in space. We have sent probes into space and had them land on places like Mars while others explored the galaxy within our solar system. They were able to send back crucial images to help us see these planets in different ways for the first time.

All of this information pings off of the same type of satellites the internet uses. Therefore, space travel coming to a halt will be one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet. Not only is the internet needed for probs but clearly it also helps us communicate with those going into space. This is especially true concerning those at the International Space Station.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Ghostly Figure [Image via Andreiuc88/Shutterstock.com]

17. Darknet comes to Life

There is this thing online called “The Darknet.” It’s an area of the internet that is, well, absolutely horrible. A lot happens here that is completely illegal like setting up meetings to sell weapons or drugs. They also do this with sex slaves, especially those from overseas. A big part of it, however, is the sick videos and images posted. They show videos of things like people “ending” themselves on video and much more.

While all horrible, this area is actually a good thing somewhat. Most people here are actually viewers but do not get involved with what they see for obvious reasons. Yet without this, they may get involved with the acts they have seen. Most here are sick, evil people who often need a fix just like an addict. As a result, the darknet could come to life without the internet buffer.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Man Reading Newspaper [Image via Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com]

16. Newspapers Back On The Rise!

Right now, most newspapers that still run are likely owned by major national chains or happen to run in a major city like New York or Los Angeles. However, many run biweekly, once weekly, or once every few days. Most have stopped the daily paper run and opted for moving their resources to the web.

Yet one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is the return of the daily newspaper. Right now, people have information at their fingertips. However, without the internet, they will no longer remain as informed as they are now. This is why the newspaper is crucial as they will go back to delivering the big news of the day and week.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Vintage Media [Image via Babich Alexander/Shutterstock.com]

15. CD & BlueRay Sales Will Skyrocket!

Right now, iTunes allows us to download any new album a musical artist puts out. We can also opt to download select songs from that album instead of the full one to not only save money but avoid buying the stuff we dislike. This has become so popular that Vinyl Records have now returned and are close to beating out CD buys for the first time in decades.

It is likely due to their commemorative and collector value. Yet this won’t last, as one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is a surge in CD sales. This same thing will occur in BlueRay or 4K movie sales. Both rely on streaming and downloads from the internet. It is possible that laptops will need to adjust as many are now being made without a disc drive.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Various Weather Types [Image via Wired UK]

14. Weather Will Be Harder To Track

Currently, most meteorologists follow weather that the National Weather Service gives them access to. This service works with other weather watching places, national or privatized, all over the world. This communication allows everyone to stay up to date with numerous different tracks storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more might be taking.

Yet one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is a massive lack of weather knowledge. We use cameras, satellites, and tons of communication to put maps together in real-time. The speed of all of this is crucial as it can literally save lives to know when something is heading our way. None of this is possible without the internet.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Pharmacist With Customers [Image via Isarapic/Shutterstock]

13. Pharmacies Will Struggle Greatly

All Pharmacies have a file specifically made for the customer/patient. This allows the pharmacist to keep track of what you’re taking and the levels you’re on. Many pharmacies even use software that tells them of drug interactions possible for patients. This is key, as a pharmacist can literally save your life by informing you of the possible issues that could happen. They also have to deal with illegal drug problems too.

The U.S. has an agreement in place with stores and pharmacies to prevent a person from buying up more than a certain amount of things like Sudafed in a day. This cap is also placed on household products among other things, which was done to prevent Meth from being made. A server connected to every local place will tell the store of the cap pass and likely result in declining the payment. This is due to tracking the purchases based on the card used.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Phone Addiction [Image via Eviart/Shutterstock.com]

12. The Psychological Effects

When you’re used to using something for so long and then it suddenly disappears, it makes sense to think that people may struggle to handle this properly. That means that one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is a rise in psychological problems for people. This includes stuff like anxiety and depression, but it is even bigger than this.

It is possible that a person will have withdrawal symptoms similar to what drug addicts go through when quitting. It’ll be hard and likely take a few weeks to really handle. There is a possibility that some may have withdrawal symptoms to deal with. This may include emotional pain, which can have similar feelings to physical pain at times.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Work From Home Job [Image via Forbes]

11. Internet-Based Jobs Will Die

Of course, one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is the obvious thing. No one can have a job that is internet-based without, well, the internet itself. We’ll be honest, everyone at this website will likely be out of work because we are professional writers who do this for money. Without the internet, we cannot do our job here.

This is similar to many people who have work from home jobs. On top of this, things like homeschooling as well as Universities that have degrees completely based online or online classes, in general, would all come to an end. With the rise of online degrees and needs for homeschooling children, this could impact education drastically across the board.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Man Playing Video Game [Image via Korobskyph/Shutterstock.com]

10. The Video Game Industry will Experience Several Problems

When most of us were growing up, video games were becoming more and more popular. The 80s and 90s saw a boom in video game sales and even new consoles and looks of games came out on the regular. As tech improved, newer games with better graphics came out. However, we usually were given complete games.

Nowadays, games are rushed out and additions or patches come after the game is released. Newer additions or patches for games are downloaded via updates. Without the internet, most consoles cannot download a new game to the system, rendering it unplayable. Several other games will not work without internet access such as the new Ghose Recon, Destiny, and Overwatch. Of course, computer-based games like World of Warcraft won’t be playable either.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Failing Business [Image via MJGraphics/Shuttershock.com]

9. Most Business Operations Will Cease 

Whenever you consider a disaster such as the loss of the internet, the places most affected by it will likely be the regular businesses across the world. These might be Mom & Pop Shops or multi-billion dollar enterprises. It does not matter because one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is that business operations would cease almost immediately.

You cannot work if the normal means of doing so are taken away. You must communicate between various areas of your business and normal communication means will mostly be gone. In addition, most systems run on the internet. Ultimately, you’re removing everything a business needs to operate in this time period. Naturally, it’ll affect the overall company.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Comic Books [Image via Boutiques and Geeks]

8. Book Stores & Libraries Will Be Crowded Again

Most book stores today have to add far more than just books to appeal to customers of all ages. In the age of audiobooks or downloadable ones from the internet, it’s really not as crowded as one would hope. If the internet is one day unusable, then these book stores will be crowded once more.

People still love physical books but not as much as before. Yet the stories are still compelling, causing Hollywood to implement content from Novels, Comic Books, and more. Obviously, some books are massively popular, but they may get even bigger in an age like this. On top of this, libraries will also become crowded all over the country for similar reasons.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
TV Engineer [Image via Eldar Nurkovic/Shutterstock.com]

7. Television Operation Will Have Several Problems

While most might assume that without the internet, television will be a great source of entertainment for us. However, you should probably be aware that the TV industry will also have several problems too. Currently, Digital signals tend to work with radio waves, yet a lot of the towers use the internet to send out or direct the signals.

They can always be re-made to work without the internet but most of Hollywood works through the internet to send and set up regular programming. Sporting events often use the internet to send the signal from games to places that then bounce it off of a particular service’s satellite. All of which operate through the internet during the entire process. Local content like Cable Access shows may become popular once again.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Business Marketing Plan [Image via TierneyMJ/Shutterstock.com]

6. Business Marketing Change-Up

It’s actually very rare that a major company markets directly to certain towns, counties, or states in the U.S. currently. Local companies do, but this is obvious. Yet even they try to market out a bit to expand their business. However, one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is that business marketing would change drastically almost overnight.

Internet marketing will be gone and therefore both radio and television, along with traditional signs and posters will be implemented. Everything will also market toward the local audience, meaning major companies may have different commercials for people depending on the state they are in.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Department of Defense Logo [Image via Casimiro PT/Shutterstock.com]

5. National Defenses Will Have Several Problems

Every nation has some form of National Defense, with the biggest nations having the most impressive types. Yet one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is that these defense groups would be tragically handicapped. First and foremost, we track things like bombs or invasions by using technology that needs the internet to operate.

That means nations could be invaded before realizing it and likely will have trouble calling for help too. On top of this, if a nuke is sent, we would not know until the last minute. We also use several different resources to track enemies of the state as well as other dangerous individuals. All of this and likely most of the data on them will be gone in an instant.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Stock Market Crash [Image via MR.LIGHTMAN1975/Shutterstock.com]

4. Stock Markets Worldwide Will Crash

Stock Markets tend to be one of the worst things to put your money into at times because any random thing can cause people to sell off stock. Companies have had small hiccups that cost them billions, not within a problematic business move, but due to stock prices dropping. These timid crazies sell over the wind blowing too hard, so they certainly will sell in this situation.

They may struggle to do so though, as most of these systems run off of the internet. Of course, all brokers tend to communicate often with people they are employed by. This will be hard with some not using landlines. They may also get tons of calls and not be able to handle all the selling. With all of this happening likely worldwide, stock markets will crash.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Power Company Worker [Image via Michael Jung/Shutterstock.com]

3. Many Power Companies will Shut Off Power

Power Companies will indeed cut power if the world suddenly did not have access to the internet long-term. Most Power Companies actually run off of systems that are completely wired to work through the internet. A lot of these power grids run on servers that are internet-based. Heck, most power can be turned on and off within minutes.

A customer service person only has to send a message for this to be done. Some just click an “on” or “off” button on their computer, as they are connected to the power grid within their server. With the current tech not working, power companies will cut power for at least a week or so to figure things out. Even power bills are mostly paid online, so that could be trouble too.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Knowledge is Power [Image via Pat Pitchaya/Shutterstock.com]

2. The Power of Knowledge

Today, when you do not know something, what is the first thing you do? You Google it, right? You’re not alone, as most of us do this today to either confirm our opinion or find something out all the time. Yet one of the things that could likely happen if we lost the internet is that people with true knowledge will become drastically more important to society.

People like Aristotle in his time was considered one of the most brilliant people alive and was even against writing stuff down when it was growing in popularity. He felt it would result in memory not being held to a high standard. People like him will be important for our new internet-less existence. Those with impressive knowledge and memory skills will be useful due to access to some books being nonexistent, as well as a lot of content that was completely based online.

35 Things that Could Likely Happen if the Internet Shut Down
Signal Art [Image via ONYXprj/Shutterstock.com]

1. A New Form of Internet

With the internet no longer possible to use worldwide, some genius will figure out a way to get some version of it back. The internet ran completely through phone lines years ago. Eventually high-speed and WiFi came into play and changed the game. The older Dial-Up internet was slow, yet it still worked.

Sadly, the internet mostly comes from satellites in space that we now can’t access. Even cable companies use them. However, if we had a signal that worked off of something like radio waves do with towers, this could result in a new form of internet. It would likely not be fast and be completely localized to small pockets. Yet it could still work.

 

 

Sources: [Rolling Stone, Science.com, Discovery Communications, The Richest, Screen Rant, Oddee, How Stuff Works, BBC, Thrillist]

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