The WWW (World Wide Web) evolved as serendipity but today, with ground-breaking achievements, the WWW has gone beyond what we envisaged. In recent years, the WWW has recorded significant hallmarks of success given advancements in diverse fields of ICT. Today, the WWW with its rich design and magnanimous functionality has set a pace for the human race.
Now let’s take a look at another part of the WWW, “The World Without the Web”. As much as I try to see into this part of the WWW, all I can picture is darkness. I find it hard to explain but I’ll just try.
I tried imagining my life without the web – no email, social media e.t.c. The web has grown to be a part of me, an integral part of how I conduct my life and you might as well agree. If you’ve a contrary view, try to go just one day without the web in every way and you’ll be surprised at how much of your daily life the web has become. It’s like stopping you from breathing. What happens next? You struggle. Still finding it hard to believe? Let’s go for a walk.
Picture ecommerce giants Amazon, Ebay, ShopKonga, AliExpress, Jumia, DHGate amongst others all seated atop huge skyscrapers in the hearts of our commercial cities. Imagine how long queues would be at shopping malls and how much time it’d take to get off such queues.
There are bound to be pushings, shoves, yells and taunts, and if possible, fist parties. Remember that time is money, hence shoppers would have to rearrange their schedule to fit.
A mother with kids in a shopping mall pushing a cart filled to the brim. Now imagine 5 mothers with their kids with all other people in the mall. What a traffic that would be! I want to presume we would have traffic lights within shopping malls, mall cops to issue tickets for traffic offenders and a “Kids Section” to contain kids so as to avoid kids running into kids, parents into kids and parents into one another. What a world that’d be!
EMAIL SERVICES/ IM
The advent of Email and IM services led to faster and efficient communication over the years. I’ll say it took a long while for email services to become popular among the general populace because it was developed initially for the military and government (I stand to be corrected). But in 1993, after intense work and research – by a lot of engineers and teams which spanned across years – AmericaOnline and Delphi came up with email services that could be used by everyone.
Further development led to IM and today, we enjoy Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat amongst others. More-so, most of these IM service providers now offer Voice calls which is a milestone achievement from the typical text-based chats. But where’d we all be without all these? How would we have fared with our conventional, traditional means of communication back then? I have no idea but I’m itching to know. Shall we travel back across time?
POSSIBLE SCENARIO 1
I can picture post offices on every street, nook and cranny of our metropolis bustling with delivery boys on their bicycles with their bags slung across their shoulders. There will be exhausting runs to and fro same addresses whenever there are instant messages to be delivered at a special subscription. Post offices would be filled to the brim.
Alternatively, people who can’t afford the special subscription but love to send and receive IMs would choose to spend all day at post offices sending and receiving Instant Post Messages(IPMs).
POSSIBLE SCENARIO 2
Every home would own a fax/telex machine and we’d be too familiar with the whirring sound when sending a message. Would we get to choose our favorite song as the fax/telex notification tone? How would we be able to send Instant Fax Messages (IFMs) while walking down the street? Would we be able to attach selfies to our IFMs?
Did you know that my African ancestors pioneered this technology? Deploying video calls infrastructure cost companies a lot when it first emerged. Maintenance and upgrading of video calls facilities would always appear on the projected annual expenditure sheet.
But long ago, before Cisco Telepresence and Skype, my ancestors made video calls effortlessly at next-to-nothing rate. It cost not much to deploy and no technical configuration know-how to use; all one needed was a mirror and you just had to say out loud the person’s name. Talk about voice commands! Yay!
A lot of companies have seen sporadic growth over the years by creating online advertisements instead of Newspaper, Radio and Television adverts. Online adverts have helped cut down cost on traditional advertisement methods, get their products and services across continents, increase traffic to their website and ultimately make sales.
But without the web, there’d definitely be no online adverts and companies would be stuck with placing ads the traditional way at a huge cost compared to the sales deals they get to close. What huge burn rate that’d be! Media companies would keep recording huge profits while their clientele get screwed.
There would be no way for start-ups to reach their intended target audience to attain product-market fit and scale quickly on time. Households would buy stacks of newspapers weekly looking for information on favorite products and services. The ones who can’t afford to buy newspapers would spend a lot of time in front of their TV and Radio sets. Such a waste of precious time!
These days, you can access your bank account easily and make transactions seamlessly without having to set foot in the banking hall. With online banking, it’s easier to send money to loved ones, business partners and clients. It’s also easier to utility bills, internet bills, satelite TV bills, recharge your phone or someone else’s and much more. What more to note is that it is secure, easy to use, and you get to access your account history at will. But how would things have been without the web?
Very similar to the scenario painted in the ecommerce section of this post would likely be the case. There would be yells, shoves and insults flying around if someone attempted to cheat his/her way into the long queue. The banking hall would be so filled up that much more bank customers would be waiting outside for the queues in the banking hall to ease up before being allowed in.
It would be frustrating enough to get to the bank at 8am just to check your account balance and leave around 2pm. What we experience these days in our banking halls despite banking automation would be a child’s play compared to the fracas that would play out.
Social media, these days, is the pride of the WWW and the internet as a whole. It is a great tool for connecting and sharing moments with friends and the public at will. With Social media, you can update on what you’re doing, where you are, you can post a picture of your food or a selfie of you about to be swallowed by a lion. Lol!
For instance, on Instagram and Twitter, you can amass a huge number of followers. On Facebook, you can establish friendships with people you’ve never met. Social media is a huge boost for businesses to promote their products and services as well. I would have loved to really go into details of what the world would have been without Social media but I guess this image sums it up.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed the ride back across time.