A few weekends ago, a major storm visited the area I live in as well as several other states in the U.S. Long after it left, we were still dealing with its after effects – no power. Staying calm and being prepared helped my family get through what seemed like a very long two and half days without electricity.
Though was nice be untethered and free to be in the moment, it was also frustrating to not have access to the internet, TV, or radio. So much of we what we do on a daily basis requires the use of technology and I wondered how we would accomplish the most simple tasks. Here are a few areas that would be impacted greatly in an environment without electricity.
Communicating With Others
How often do you reach for your cell phone to make a call or send a text? If you do this regularly without giving it a second thought, you’re probably not alone. In 2010, there were more than four million cell phone subscribers worldwide. That’s a large number of people who use their phones to connect with others.
What about e-mail users? According to a recent report by the Radicati Group, the number of e-mail accounts worldwide will likely increase from over three billion this year to more than four billion by the end of 2016. And, not surprisingly, use of social networking sites has also been on the rise for both consumers and businesses.
How would meetings between people in different states or countries take place? How you let someone know that you can’t make that meeting after all? How would we get news from in our towns, from around the world? How would the way we communicate and broker business deals happen without the power of electricity?
Do you really need electricity to schedule appointments? No, you don’t. You can easily see the events you have scheduled using a paper calendar. The drawback, of course, is that in order to actually arrange a meet up, you’d have to talk to the other party and set up a mutually convenient day and time. How do you do that without technology?
Is it impossible? No. There was a time that no one had watches and getting to your destination on time was really more of an estimation of time. Now that we have been living in the age of technology, would that still work?
If we were to find alternate ways of communicating and meeting with others, the next thing we’d need to figure out is how we would get to our destination. Driving a hybrid car would no longer be an option. Of course, we could walk. Or, travel by boat…or horse. But, it would be incredibly inconvenient and ultimately slow us down.
Getting Things Done
Getting our jobs done would become more difficult without electricity. If it took us several hours to get to and from work and we didn’t have the benefit of telecommuting, would we get anything accomplished? How would we conduct studies or research specific topics? Stores would probably have to close when the sun went down, and transactions would probably not take place with credit cards.
Life without electricity would definitely be different, and we’d probably still be productive, just in a different way. But, it would certainly take some getting used to. There are always things you can do when there’s no power, but perhaps the way we define productivity would change.