In preparation for the worst case scenario that net neutrality is reversed and the internet simply becomes a massively censored shitpile of corporate mind control and political propaganda, I have made a list of how to survive and enjoy life in a post-internet world. Don’t worry, it will be like living in the 1980s.
- Learn how to rent a movie at a video store. Now that you can’t binge watch hours of your favorite shows online, it’s time to brave the outside world and somehow get to the video store without using your GPS. You’re going to have to learn how to pick movies for yourself. You could ask the clerk to place a Certified Fresh label or Rotten Tomatoes ratings next to the the DVDs if it helps with the transition. You could also ask the clerk to yell a percentage at you when you pick up a movie, if that’s easier. But it’s best if you learn how to choose movies through trial and error. Yes, you will end up getting movies that suck, and you won’t be able to quit watching immediately and switch to a different movie.
- Invest in arcades. Your days of “pwning” 12-year-old South Korean kids on Call of Duty is over. Now that you can’t play online games, it’s time to go to your local arcade and challenge kids face to face in the arena. Arcades are awesome. You actually have to socialize with people when you’re there. You’re also standing up and walking around so you won’t be an immobile blob who never leaves the couch.
- Learn how to ask people out in person and go on awkward dates. Yes, you will have to learn how to meet people by actually going out and being part of society. You will have to learn how to get to know people beyond a snapshot they put on Tinder. You can’t rely on the algorithms of online dating sites or the superficiality of hookup sites. You’re going to have to learn how to ask someone out face to face. It won’t always be great. Sometimes you will be denied, other times you will realize that the person is too much like your annoying aunt or uncle. You may actually have to get to know the person by spending time with them before you decide if you like them or not. It’s okay, that is normal. Yes, you are more vulnerable than just scrolling through pics on an online dating site, but being vulnerable is a vital part of love. And sometimes it pays off.
- Cultivate your own opinions. Don’t be scared to try the Indian food place that people think is sketchy or the new taco truck that isn’t as good as the one that got a five-star rating on Yelp. Remember, you are living in a post-Yelp world. Like so much of life now, you will have to live through trial and error. Would it really kill you to try a new restaurant that you may not know has insanely good reviews? Just eat the food and figure it out for yourself! Not everyone has the same taste buds or tastes in food, music, art and fashion. There is no such thing as an objectively good restaurant, so eat whatever the fuck you want! Don’t be scared to honestly ask yourself how you feel about a certain cafe, movie or business. You will need to use critical thinking which may have been weakened by relying on online reviews and others’ opinions for too long.
- Say goodbye to fake Facebook friends and old high school acquaintances. This may be one of the best parts of living in a post-internet world. No, I don’t care that a girl I had a crush on in junior year of high school now has three kids and just got promoted to senior sales associate at Forever 21. I don’t care that one of my old drinking buddies is now an ultra evangelical Christian who married his pastor’s daughter. And that’s ok. Just because you don’t want to keep up with people who are no longer a part of your life doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you hate them. It means life is short and you should invest time in people who are in your lives now who you love and care about.