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A World Without the Internet


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The internet allows human knowledge to be widespread in a way like never before – but that could all change. In December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality – rules from the previous administration’s government that banned broadband providers from slowing or blocking access, allowing the internet to be equal to all. These changes took effect in June of 2018, and ever since then have been slowly changing the way America’s internet looks, though these changes are largely unnoticeable at first. Now, in 2019, the European Union is undergoing a similar battle about how we use internet and social media platforms. The EU is voting on Articles 11 and 13, which both deal with the usage of copyrighted material on platforms such as YouTube, and are a concern for much of the public as well as tech giants such as Google. These Articles could inhibit creators’ material and content as well as limit the creativity of these users.

These changes of law take place in a world that is still catching up to the rapid fire, fast paced changing of technology and the internet. Current lawmakers have experienced a time before and after the creation of the internet, and have been there for many of the major technology advancements that have happened in the last decade. Because of this, lawmakers don’t have the viewpoint that young people have on technology and the internet, as the current generation of high school students, Generation Z or iGen, are internet natives and even Millennials, the next older generation, have more familiarity with new technology than the older generations that are predominantly the world’s lawmakers. The generations who will have to live with these laws for longer and who are online the most had some interesting perspectives on the issue. Sophomore Trinity Umaña was asked about if she felt that her internet was being threatened by the new actions taken by lawmakers.

“I hate the fact that lawmaker are trying to restrict our access to the internet. Doing this stops us from learning, working, and living freely.” Umaña explained. Other students were equally as passionate regarding the issue. Sophomore Anjani Vilandai was asked to respond to the same question.

“If internet service providers were able to alter searches, it would be a real problem for American citizens.”

Vilandai said, describing why she thinks internet as she knows it is being threatened. Both students elaborated on their personal connections and relationship to the internet. They discussed what impact internet use and technology has had on their education.

“As a kid, the only internet use was for the occasional Magic School Bus episode on the Discovery website. Now, we have laptops, and have digital homework.” Umaña said. “I think this has a positive impact because it makes everything a lot easier and helps us reach a larger resource pool. We learn so much more with the integration of technology in school.” Vilandai also had a similar outlook, describing the internet’s impact on her education as favorable.

“Without the internet, I wouldn’t have been able to learn a lot of the things I know now. It can be really beneficial.” Vilandai said, describing it in a positive light. While they agree that their experience with technology in education is positive, they also both say that they depend on internet heavily.

“I think I depend on the internet pretty heavily. Since a lot of my school work is online, it makes it easier for me but it is susceptible to problems. The internet also helps me connect with friends and family, probably bringing me closer to many of them than if I didn’t have the internet.” Umaña remarked. Vilandai also had similar sentiments to share, saying she depends on the internet heavily as well.

“I depend on the internet for almost everything. It has helped me succeed in a lot of academic related things.” She added. Overall, internet usage is a vital part of teenagers’ daily lives, especially for education. This shows how laws, even ones that only take place across the ocean for now, are inevitably changing the world.

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A World Without the Internet