The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

EDITORIAL: Life beyond cyberspace

Virtual apocalypse of the 21st century. On Jan. 27, this was the case all across Egypt. If the same thing happened here, how would we cope?

The recent uprising in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak led Egypt’s government to take drastic action. Mubarak ordered the Internet to be shut down in an effort to disrupt protestors and journalists. Entire nations were stunned. After allegations of Egypt’s human rights violations, alleged torturing and a crumbling economy, it took social media suspension
to really piss people off.

If this situation did occur in America, many of us probably wouldn’t handle it too well. Our society is way too dependent on technology for our own good. Even our country’s economy is based a lot on virtual communication and instant access to the rest of the world. In light of what has happened in Egypt, maybe we should be mentally preparing ourselves for the worst.

When the Internet went down in Egypt, the response was immediate. With nothing left to type away on in the country, and no one to reach through texting, masses of people took to the streets. Might Americans do the same? After all, the civil rights movement didn’t rely on social media.

Whatever happened to passing out flyers and speaking to people on a personal level instead of through a Skype camera? Anyone can sit behind a computer screen and anonymously
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On a collaborative website called lamebook.com, which compiles memorable Facebook statuses, one thread by a user named Lance seems to sum up the younger generation’s ignorance of alternative communication. He states that his cell phone is broken, and he must communicate “the old fashioned way.” Twenty-nine comments later by his confused friends and the responses included, “Carrier pigeon?” “Interpretive dance?” and “Cups on a string?”

Though they might have been kidding, the message is clear: We’ve got to be more prepared than that.

In all fairness, it might not be too logical to prepare so much for the Internet apocalypse in America. According to an article on abcnews.com, it was probably relatively easy to shut down Internet in Egypt because only four companies control all access. America’s Internet access is much more complex, with the companies and providers reaching into the thousands.

But that’s not the point. The point is that beyond the 4Gs and the Wi-Fi, there is a world out there that is navigable without the Internet. Maybe in honor of our ancestors (you know, the ones who threw tomatoes at government buildings and fought off the British with swords), we should take some time to explain it.

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