Life Without the Internet

Could you run your life or your business without the internet?

Life without the internetHere’s a question. What would your life look like if Ralph really did break the internet?

For those without young kids or grandchildren, Ralph Breaks the Internet is a Disney animation in which two arcade game characters travel through a wifi modem into an online world.

Together they discover, and are dazzled by, the world of Google, eBay, pop-ups and a video sharing site called Buzztube. Without giving too much away, it all goes horribly wrong when a virus latches onto Ralph’s “insecurities”.

At this point, Ralph literally breaks the internet.

The movie is a lot of fun, but it also made me think…

  • Could I run my life without the internet?
  • Could I run my business without the internet?
  • Does being online diminish my life in the real world?

What did we do before the Internet?

You might pale at the thought of life without three or four devices in your home, but it is possible to live a connected and fulfilling life without the world wide web.

Here’s how.

If you want to find out about something buy a book, attend a conference, visit your local library or call an expert. After all, publishers reputations are built on providing accurate and useful information, while true “online experts” can be hard to find.

Shop in a real store. You always get free shipping (ok, maybe you’ll have to pay to get a fridge delivered, but you know what I mean), you can find most things you need at your closest major hub and it’s easier to make the right choice first time around.

Subscribe to magazines that cater to your area of interest. You pay a one off fee for several issues as opposed to each month for the internet. You also avoid information overload – the kind that soaks up the time you could have spent actually indulging that hobby or interest.

Buy a newspaper. You’ll get all the news from a metropolitan daily newspaper, not just the stories Facebook thinks you should see, and free local newspapers are a treasure trove of the kind of information that helps you live in, and be part of, your community.

Pay your bills in person, over the phone, or visit your branch and set up a direct debit. It is possible to keep on top of your finances without internet banking as most people over the age of 30 will remember.

Make use of the white and yellow pages and dial a number. How often do you need a number RIGHT NOW, and how much time are you really saving with an online search?

Visit your friends instead of their Facebook page. Because sharing a real laugh is so much more rewarding.

Find a wifi hotspot. If youreally can’t find that part for your bike, or you need to submit an online form, find a nearby wifi hotspot or, if you don’t own a computer, visit your local library.

Get your weather forecast from the radio or TV. Does weatherzone’s 48 hour breakdown really help, or do you feel more anxious knowing that cool change won’t hit till 4am?

Surely you can’t run a business without the internet?

Ok,with a business called Online Influence, I’m a fan of the opportunities afforded by the internet. And, in today’s world not all businesses lend themselves to an offline approach. But, you can achieve business success without a domain name or a social media account.

We all know someone who runs a business which relies on word of mouth. It might be your hairdresser, the conveyancer who saved you a packet, your mechanic or an artisan who’s the next big thing.

In most cases, success in business comes down to getting potential customers to “know, like and trust” you.

Get out there and meet people. Join a real world networking group or introduce yourself to businesses or people you think could benefit from your services.

Be seen in all the right places. Put a well-designed flyer up in your local cafe, the library or other places you know your target audience is likely to see them.

Business cards still cut it. Hand out your business card whenever you get the chance.

Earn repeat business and referrals with exceptional service and reliability. There’s nothing like loyal customers to keep your business ticking over. Excellence will also allow you to raise your prices without a loss of custom.

Go above and beyond. Bending your schedule to help out a valuable client can go a really long way.

Keep your overheads low. Can you operate your business from home? Do you really need expensive advertising? Can you be more strategic when ordering stock?

A Life Well Lived

There’s no question that the internet can connect you to a whole range of products, experiences and information. But at what cost?

I don’t know about you, but online shopping is so easy that I often want and buy more than I need. And I’m not quite sure what I’ve done with all the time I’ve apparently saved buying online either.

And of course, nothing soaks up time like searching for information online – whether it’s panning the gold from the dross or being distracted by other threads or sites.

Social media’s highly curated version of life can be a real downer when you’re feeling low. Its connective powers have even earnt fear of missing out its very own acronym – FOMO. But guess what ladies? If you don’t post any pictures, you can probably wear the same dress to four weddings in a row without a comment! Now that’s what I call a great payoff.

And despite being more connected than ever, numerous studies tell us young people, in particular, spend far less time in the company of friends than they ever have before.

It’s also hard to be trolled when you live your life offline.

Mr. Knowsmore is my friend

And yet…

I really do feel that my search bar (brought to life by the insightfully portrayed Mr KnowsMore in Ralph Breaks the Internet) enriches my social and working life, and I can only begin to imagine how the internet improves life for socially isolated people or those with disability.

I also love the fact that social media helps me keep in touch with far flung friends and allows me to promote charity events I’m involved in.

The internet is ultimately a tool to help you live a connected life – the trick is not to not loose site of the real world along the way. Because, as Ralph finds out, you can’t feel the sunrise online.

How much is Enough?

Online Influence is a trusted Google partner, we can help your business use just the right amount of technology to achieve success. Our friendly team can tailor an advertising campaign that will give you cut through without excess. Contact us to find out how we can help your business today.