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A World Without Technology: A Glimpse into the Unplugged Life

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Imagine a world without technology, where there are no smartphones, no internet, no social media, and trying to function with no electricity. It’s difficult to imagine, isn’t it? Our lives have become so intertwined with technology that it’s hard to envisage a world without it. But let’s embark on this thought experiment and explore what life might be like in a world devoid of all modern technology from the last few years.

Can the world live without technology?

While it’s theoretically possible for the world to exist without the benefits of modern technology, it would be incredibly challenging given our current reliance on it. Technology is deeply embedded in almost every aspect of our lives. From communication, transportation, and healthcare to education, entertainment, and food production, things would be different without the advances we’ve seen.

I still remember having landline phones in different rooms of the house. Mark actually remembers having a party line with neighbors. No, we aren’t talking about a festive party with line dancing, I’m talking about sharing a landline and having to take turns with others making calls. Amazing!

I’d just like us to take a few minutes and think about how things have changed in the last decade or so. Just like our own kids who may not have experience with Johnny Mathis music, the current generation couldn’t live without their iPhones and notebook computers.

A World Without Technology: A Glimpse into the Unplugged Life

Communication: Back to Basics

In a world without technology, communication would take a giant leap backward. Gone would be the days of instant messaging and video calls. We’d have to rely on attached-to-the-wall landline phones, handwritten letters, or face-to-face conversations for communication.

The speed at which information travels would slow down considerably. The news would be disseminated through newspapers, the evening news on TV and radio, and word of mouth, making it harder to stay updated with global events. Sometimes we wouldn’t be aware of world disasters until the following day.

Think of all the information available at your fingertips on cell phones and other communications devices. We used to send emails hoping people would be close to their desktop or laptop computers. Now we send text messages with our smartphone and the recipients get those instantaneously. We have frustrations when we haven’t heard back in a few minutes, and heaven forbid no word for a couple of days.

I can remember when busy people had the habit of carrying pagers with them to make sure they could be contacted. Many would then have to find a pay phone. Boy, have things changed for the better. Innovation in communication options with our mobile devices has proved awesome on so many levels.

Transportation: Slowing Down the Pace

Without technology, our modes of transportation would be drastically different. Cars, airplanes, and trains wouldn’t have all the bells and whistles. Traveling long distances might involve multiple stops, fewer choices, and hard-copy tickets.

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We used to be partners in a travel agency. It sounds strange, but you had to have a hard-copy ticket that the agency would have to deliver. Now, most of us don’t even talk to a travel agent, we just research the best options, make a reservation, and print out the boarding pass online.

International travel is much easier to arrange now and getting around when in a foreign country is more of a breeze. Who hasn’t used Google Maps or talked to Siri on your phone to get directions from point A to point B? The pace of life would slow down, which may be a good thing at times, but it used to take longer to get from one place to another.

Medicine: A Step Backwards

Medicine and healthcare would also take a significant hit without technology. Modern medical equipment like MRI machines, ventilators, and even simple devices like thermometers would be less reliable and not provide the critical information we need. This would make diagnosing and treating diseases much more challenging.

The use of robots to perform intricate surgeries is definitely one of the current trends. It goes so far as to have the surgeon do the surgery remotely.

Mark comments that his dad hated his hearing aids years ago. Mark loves his and uses them to listen to online music and sports while he works out. Some models allow you to sync with your TV and other entertainment devices. No longer do you have to replace the batteries all the time. Most now have rechargeable batteries and a charging station used during the night.

Without advanced pharmaceutical technology, the development and production of medicines would be rudimentary at best, leading to higher mortality rates. With advancements being made people are living longer, managing discomfort more easily, and enjoying a much better quality of life.

Education: Limited Access and Reach

Education would also become more localized without technology. Without the internet and digital devices, distance and machine learning would be impossible, limiting education to physical classrooms. The dissemination of knowledge would be slower and less efficient, confined to books and oral teaching. This could result in a less informed and educated population overall. Preparing for the School Year: Must-Have Items for Preppers

It will be interesting to see education evolve over the next decade with so much debate about curriculum, state and federal guidelines, and how best to prepare our young people for a career now, let alone the next generation. There is so much information available from so many sources, now it’s hard to determine the best outlets to rely on.

When our kids were young, Mark and I decided to invest in a set of encyclopedias so they would have an excellent source of reliable information right at home. I’m not sure the kids took full advantage of the books, but even Mark and I enjoyed having them around for our own research. Just think of the enormous volumes of information at your fingertip when researching things on your phone or PC. Even using a dictionary seems outdated now with Siri spelling anything you pose as a question.

Entertainment: Simpler Times

Entertainment in a world without technology would hark back to simpler times. Instead of streaming movies or playing video games, people would entertain themselves with books, plays, music, and outdoor activities. While this might seem less exciting compared to our current tech-driven entertainment, it could also lead to a resurgence of traditional arts and sports. First Aid for Outdoor Adventures

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What would communication be like without the Internet?

Without the Internet, communication would largely depend on traditional methods such as face-to-face conversations and postal mail. Instant worldwide communication would not be possible.

How would businesses operate without the Internet?

Businesses would revert to traditional methods of operation. Transactions would be done in person or via mail. Advertising would be done through print media, radio, and television. 12 Ways Preppers Can Use Old Newspapers

Would education change without the Internet?

Yes, education would be significantly affected. Online learning platforms and resources would no longer exist. Research would have to be done through physical books and other printed materials. Types of Emergency Preparedness

What would entertainment look like without the Internet?

Entertainment would rely on traditional forms such as watching TV, reading books, playing board games, and attending live events like concerts and theater performances. Streaming services and online gaming would not exist. 13 Family Games You Need After A Disaster or Emergency

How would travel be affected without the Internet?

Without the Internet, travel would involve more planning and manual processes. Booking flights, and hotels, and researching destinations would need to be done in person or over the phone. Airlines: 13 Things You Need To Understand

What can you do without technology?

  • Rediscover the joy of getting lost in a novel or learn something new with a non-fiction book. Prepare Your Family For Survival (My Book)! Having authentic experiences in person rather than online would prove enlightening for sure.
  • Start a journal, write a short story, or even begin that novel you’ve always wanted to write. Prepping in 2023: Starting with the Basics
  • Try out a new recipe or make your favorite dish. The Best Granola Recipes In The World
  • Go for a run, do some yoga, or even just take a walk. Fitness for Survival
  • Draw, paint, knit, or do any other craft you enjoy.
  • Practice your skills or start learning a new instrument. How to Stay Positive in Difficult Situations
  • Take a hike, go bird watching, or just have a picnic in the park. First Aid for Outdoor Adventures
  • Use a digital or film camera to capture the world around you. Camping Tips for Survival
  • Whether it’s a large garden or a small pot of herbs, gardening can be therapeutic. 12 Budget-Friendly Beautiful Garden Tips
  • Some experts feel that our general mental health would be improved if we took time for a “digital detox” period with things like Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and other social media outlets. We’d see a world with less depression, fewer feelings of jealousy, we’d have more tangible personal space, and we would spend more quality time with family and friends.
  • No one knows what the future will be like with artificial intelligence (AI). It is getting a lot of both positive and negative media attention these days. I get a little nervous reading that one of the key developers of modern life AI has indicated it will adversely affect life as we know it!

Final Word

While the thought of a world without technology might initially seem daunting, it’s not all doom and gloom. Sure, we’d lose the convenience and efficiency that technology provides, but we’d also regain some things that we’ve lost along the way, like talking one-on-one together. Imagine that!! May God Bless this World, Linda

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29 Comments

  1. Great post, Linda.
    I think one of the most important things to acquire for times without technology is in the realm of health care. One thing that I did for myself before I retired was to learn a lot about herbal medicine. I wasn’t sure how Medicare worked and wondered a lot about minor illnesses and injuries. I wanted to know how to work with myself to care for myself without always running to the doctors. This is NOT for major things like my fractured shoulder (January 2023!!) but as it turned out, I could have handled that without the use of medical intervention. I used a sling for a couple of months and PT the rest of the time. It is now nearly healed – I still have some minor issues with it but I am OK with it now. I had had rotator cuff surgery in January 2020 and for the fracture, I ended up doing all the same exercises I had done for recovery from the surgery. So, in hindsight, I could have managed on my own without medical treatment.

    I love using the internet to learn about things I have an interest in but at my age, I think I know it all!!! LOL! So, while we do still have the internet and posts like this one, we need to continue to use the internet to further our knowledge about things we all will need when the grid goes down.

    Long distant communications will be difficult though. I am quite used to communicating via email and telephone calls. Email is almost as instantaneous as text messaging and certainly faster than snail mail. I also know that with the US postal system the way it is now, there would be issues with snail mail. May take weeks for a letter to arrive or be delivered to the recipient.

    I think that a BIG factor if we were without any technology as we know it today is that people will experience withdrawals and that can cause major mental breakdowns. I think we would see this more in the young people than in older people – perhaps those teenagers to middle aged! Oh, and with the loss of technology, many would be unable to work or perform their jobs effectively. Those are the times that we will need to rely more heavily on older people who actually did those jobs prior to technological advancements.

    There are books out there that show how going backwards affects people. The first one I read some time ago was One Second After. It was eye opening and the book that really got me delving into preparing for the worst-case scenario. I have read others but that one really hit me.

    1. Hi Leanne, you are so right about the internet! I read “One Second After”, I wish they had shortened it, because I could tell you, cars after 1978 won’t work as I remember, cigarettes will be good for bartering, insulin will be hard to get, etc. My favorite book which interviewed real people was Ted Koppel’s “Lights Out”, I have read that about 15-18 times now. A power-grid outage is inevitable. People must be prepared for zero electricity. Our THREE power grids in the US are so antiquated, need I say more. God Bless all of us, Linda

      1. Linda, I also read Lights Out. But One Second After was my first!! So that one always seems to pop into my mind when faced with things like your post!!

  2. I live in an area with a lot of Amish. I don’t have to imagine what life is like without electricity. I just have to look. There are times, I don’t think it would be bad. At least we wouldn’t be fighting over the last the we saw on a 24/7 news station. Gardens are big in Amish Families. The children learn from their families. Things don’t look so dark.

    1. Hi Suzanne, well I wouldn’t say he loves his hearing aids! LOL! He waited too long to get them so his ears were damaged more if he hadn’t been so stubborn to go and get them in the first place. Linda

  3. Wow, Linda, this article hit home. I remember so many inventions! I remember party lines on the phone in the kitchen (we only had one!), when color TV was invented, getting the first polio vaccine at the fairgrounds center, etc. I grew up on a small ranch and we had electricity, etc, but we played outside! We rode our horses, raised cattle for food, had a huge garden, etc. My parents were born in 1925/26. They remembered the Depression but were way too comfortable in the swinging 60’s and parties. I never enjoyed that lifestyle, choosing instead to be with my grandmother (born in Norway 1890) and all that she had to teach me. I remember word processors being invented at work and then desk computers. I had one foot in the old world (IBM selectric typewriters) and one in the new world. While I’ve loved all the inventions we have in this modern world such as medicines, etc., I thoroughly dislike others; kids with their faces stuck in cell phones, etc. Heaven help them if they can’t get a ride somewhere and had to, oh the horrors of it all, actually walk! I admit, I do love my electricity but (for awhile) I could go without it. When we have storms and the power gets knocked out, I enjoy it…but then I get bored and want my computer or feel like looking something up. Ah, the conundrum of modern life!

    1. HI Robbie, oh I hear you about the cell phones or electronics the kids are glued to! Boy the old super large computer screens, oh the memories. We had an IBM typewriter, electric and my grandkids saw it one day and asked what it was, LOL! They played for hour on it with paper, typing! I would love the world to slow down a bit, I would love to enjoy sitting on the porch visiting with neighbors, those days are gone and it makes me sad. Here we are with a modern life, good or bad, it’s our life now. Linda

  4. LOL I remember party lines. I also remember when you picked up the phone and talked to the operator to make a call. I think that makes me older than dirt. I remember when we got the first TV in the neighborhood. On weekends we’d turn the TV to point out the window and all the neighbors came with their lawn chairs and benches and watch TV. I was 5 at the time. 1956. No AC just lucky to have a fan, but it was so cold at night, in the summer, that we’d have to cover up with a quilt. No one locked their doors. And we didn’t get robbed. Nothing like now.

    1. Hi Deborah, oh yeah the new TV, (black and white) it was magic on the screen! We watched Laurence Welk, I remember that one for sure. My Three Sons, and Leave it to Beaver. Those are the only ones I can think of right now. No, we didn’t have AC either, in some ways I miss those days. Just simple non-violent shows and they always had a good story line to improve our lives. OH I forgot I Love Lucy! Yeah we never locked our doors, now some places need bars on their windows. Things have changed for sure. Wow, the memories! Linda

      1. All good memories from back then. And food prices were so cheap! I can remember my grandmother fussing about spending over $20 for a weeks worth of groceries. We need to get back to the “olden days” when things were so much better. It got up to 109 degrees here today in East Texas. There is a breeze though, so the sweat cools. LOL

        1. Hi Deborah, oh yeah, the price of groceries years ago. Those were the days! I want the olden days back as well! I used to buy bananas 10 pounds for $1.00 for my daughter , of course she’s over over 40 years old now, but….LOL! Those were the gold ol days! Linda

  5. Linda,

    In a world without technology there would be no electricity, so so phones of any kind. No radio either. All communications would have to be either by snail mail or talking face to face. (That would get ride of 99.9999% of the political crap we encounter on the internet).

    I was five before we got an indoor bathroom. We did listen to the radio a lot back then. We had a ten family party line. We played outside, rode bicycles and horses, went hunting and fishing. We had chickens and large gardens. My grandparents knew how to can food and make jerky.

    But we also didn’t have tornado warning systems.

    1. HI Ray, you have heard me say this before, my biggest fear is a power grid outage, not one, but all three. Those three supply electricity to the different states, cities, and counties. I believe Texas is one of those, they have their own power grid. I’m not sure if Texas sells some of their power to other states. It would be nice to get rid of the political crap we hear on the TV, radio, and social media. I can’t imagine a ten-party line, oh my gosh. I believe we had a two-party line. If all three are hit our lives will change forever. It would take many years to rebuild our power grids. IF they could even get the parts or necessary equipment. Luckily you know how to survive, and so do many of my readers, we will struggle but we will survive.Linda

  6. I think of my youth, living between the comforts of Air Force bases, (Military brat, Hill AFB, Utah, was the last one), and my family trips to the Tennessee mountains, with no electricity, off grid, with livestock and farmland. I barely thought about the differences, and just lived where I was. Looking at today, I still don’t use a lot of technology, and I’m usually outside–except in the evening–gardening, taking care of my animals, and fixing or building something. Lack of technology would just be morning to me. I hadn’t really considered it, but after a few days, I’d probably just forget about it and carry on.

    1. HI Leam, you are blessed to have had the life you had. Hill AFB, thank you for your service, that base is about an hour from my home. I have never been to Tennessee but I hear so many people are moving there because it offers peace and tranquility to families. I would love to visit my friends who have moved there. You get it, great comment, my friend. Linda

  7. Linda,

    The problem for us oldsters who know how and have the skills to survive in a grid down situation is we will lose access to our meds. For most of us that will be all she wrote, regardless of skill level. When I was young I did a lot of solo backpacking, living off grid in the wilderness for weeks at a time. I loved the freedom of it, but I couldn’t do it at my age. Between Type II diabetes and arthritis this old body simply wouldn’t last long. Gettin old beats the alternative, but…

    1. Hi Ray, oh yeah the arthritis, dang! So many people had Diabetes Type ll! Well, we can do so many other things, so there you go! We can garden, that’s for sure! Linda

  8. The crazy thing about this world is we have a lot more options now than we did back then. We have generators and all sorts of crazy supplies! However, I do think there will be a time where we are living like the Amish! What’s funny about the Amish is that they find ways around their rules all the time. My mom used to drive for them. They would keep cell phones at her house LOL!

  9. Great Article.
    I limit my technology already.
    – My TV is Over-The-Air (OTA) only. Otherwise I have DVDs and yes….VHS tapes.
    – My 2020 Honda Fit doesn’t have all the bells & whistles. It has a CD Player, it has bluetooth for the cellphone but I don’t have one. Re-read that last sentence. Yes, I don’t have a cellphone.
    – I do have a Computer and Internet but I limit my use. I have a VPN and use Protonmail for privacy and I’m on the Internet for maybe an hour or two per day at the most. I have certain websites/news feeds that I go to. Mostly Conservative News and Prepper sites. Everything else is junk.
    – I still have a landline and have a corded phone at home that work just fine.
    – My Mom & Pop Shop does have a web page……with our services, prices, phone number and address. 99% of my customers I meet face to face and every customers gets a handshake. Been in business over 20 years, why change.

  10. My internet connection is sporadic and has gone out for a week at a time more than once so I’m really glad I kept my cookbooks and a lot of reference books. Also kept an old TV and DVD player and a huge stack of movies. I don’t have a land line, only have a cheap senior plan cell phone with poor reception unless you walk down the driveway and limited data so I use that for important stuff only. I lived for several years without electricity or running water but I was a lot younger then, not so keen on it now! Just wondering if you’ve seen Low Tech Magazine? https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/

    1. Hi Alice, when we lived in Southern Utah we had Verizon cell phones (we still do) but if I wanted to send a picture to my kids I had to walk to the front yard and down to the end of the driveway! LOL! You are smart to keep that old TV with the DVD player, if you have a solar power source you can watch movies when you lose power. You are smart to save your cookbooks and reference books. Keep any and all card or board games, we will need them. Thank you for that link to the Low Tech Magazine. I will check it out. Linda

  11. Hi Linda, when remembering how cheap everything was, remember too the small earnings we got. Working in a gas station some of my classmates got 10 cents/hr. Some girls got 40 cents babysitting 3 kids for 3 hrs. Little later $1 per hour was great and the thought that someone could actually make $100 a week was like a dream.

    Anyway, regarding no electricity, food would be very hard to procure. All food production facilities use electricity to run their equipment. Hard for anyone to get food if it can’t be processed and remember, the grocery stores only have about 3 day supply in normal times, and couldn’t run their coolers or their cash registers. Having a food storage in one’s home would go a long way to easing the hunger pains. One caution though, don’t tell others about your storage or they will be over for food and no way can one stock food for everyone.

    1. Hi Alan, oh yeah, I remember making .50 cents an hour to babysit and $1.00 an hour to clean houses. I was only 9 when I started babysitting and cleaning houses. My family lived in a trailer home so we went to laundromat to do the wash. Boy, things were different back then. I wouldn’t send my 9 year old to babysit or clean houses or to the laundromat. It’s no longer safe to send them alone. But my parents worked and the we needed the money.You nailed it on there is no way we can feed the neighborhood. It’s not going to happen. Nope, we must be self reliant. You are right about the grocery stores, most have generators but if food can’t be transported to the stores, what you have in your home is your life line. Linda

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