There are still plenty of people today who have never been or don’t go online. Life without Broadband. There will come a time when either they will have seen the light or that generation moves on to greener pastures. Then the only non-internet users will be monks. The old real world will become a spiritual world and the internet will become the new real world outside.
People will sign up for retreats for days, weeks or even for life amongst the true believers. Monastic orders will be established touting the “truly spiritual” way of life as being the road to salvation. Contact will be via a single analogue landline in a phone box at the bottom of the road and they will have self imposed rotas for when the monks will be allowed out to call friends and relatives.
The hardcore will only write letters. This in itself will spawn a new cottage industry filled with those that can actually write in the old fashioned way using pen and paper. Many people will not be able to decipher this handwriting and will need help to translate it when they receive a letter. Handwriting to text application software will be built in to every operating system
Taking this to the extreme these people will probably have to grow their own food because you will only be able to buy such items via an online portal. Tesco will be turned into a virtual arcade. You will be able to physically go there but everything on the shelves will just be a touch screen that you add to your cart. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get instant access to goods but that will carry a premium.
The monks will of course lead long and obliviously happy lives. They will not be governed by the 3rd law of t’internet that states that time goes a lot more quickly when using the internet. This life will not be totally filled wine and roses (there is nothing to say that wine is forbidden btw) and there are some pitfalls to watch out for. Every day will become a Sunday afternoon but without even a black and white movie on TV. There will in fact be no TV because terrestrial services will long since have moved onto Terabit per second fibre to the premises.
And if you are not one of the spiritual few? Who knows what your fate might be…
PS I realise that the concept of watching a black and white move on TV on a Sunday afternoon will be beyond the ken of someone under the age of 40 but it made it into the final editor’s cut on this post anyway 🙂