I never thought of the Internet as being an invention of the Cold War. The Cold War has given the world many things, from microwaves to space flight, but I find the Internet to be one of the great things that impacted lives around the world. Originally used by governments and universities to share information (1), the Internet has since opened up to the general public and is now used in their everyday lives. I started to wonder, since the Internet has become such an intricate part of our lives today, what would happen if the Internet were to shutdown? What will people lose if they lost access to the Internet?
People around the world depend on the Internet for many aspects of their lives. One aspect is national security. Without the Internet, the militaries of the world will not be able to function at their optimal level, which can put nations in great security risk. Militaries may use the internet to send out and receive important instructions, to plan and direct operations, or even control weapons. Another aspect is the economy. The world’s economies would suffer greatly with the lack of e-businesses (or e-commerce). There are companies throughout the world that depend on the Internet to conduct business. Companies such as Amazon and eBay practically won’t function (or exist) without the Internet to promote their products or to carry out transactions. One more aspect is social networking. Not only will people lose track of their peer groups, events, and families, but they will also lose the opportunity learn new information. Social networking has helped bring people access to news and information on job opportunities, education, health, and the environment. People will not be able to share and discuss current issues or be able to collaborate and solve problems at the speed and efficiency the Internet the can provide.
Out of all the things the Cold War has brought us, I find the Internet made the biggest impact on our world and how we live in it today. With the Internet, people around the world have access to knowledge and services not available to them years before. The Internet has help made the world what it is today and should not be taken for granted.