My answer may surprise you given that I asked the question of Twitter and Facebook and am now blogging my answer. My love for the Internet knows no strangers.
Here are the rules we formulated:
-No taxes are taken out.
-You would not or could not connect to the Internet again. As in, the stakes would be too high for you to do it (like an awful death) or you would be rendered incapable by some technology that does not currently exist.
-You would be able to continue your work-related Internet-required tasks. As in, I search Google often for programming -tips. I would be able to do that but could not, say, take a break at work and check my bank account.
My short answer: yes, I would do it. Send me the check, I’m out.
For sure, it would be HARD.
But my first reaction is come we were doing this less than 15 years ago! I fully remember the days of calling to get directions, checking the weather on the guide channel, looking in the phone book for a number, mailing checks for your bills, talking on the phone to friends and family to get updates.
But I do have to admit, times have changed and some things simply do not work the same. I have DirecTV now and do not have local weather on my TV. Many people do not have local numbers in the phone book since we have gone to cell phones exclusively. Companies we work with are not local at all. It’s not as easy to contact them or check your account. For sure, the playing field is different.
People have cited required services as a reason to say no, but even socially, some say we can’t live without it. With family and friends sprawled out over the globe, many keep up with them online. People stay in touch with breaking news online now. CNN, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook and the like all keep us informed of what is happening.
But I would submit all these are niceties. There is nothing that I do that is not work-related that there is not some phone or paper alternative still. I can still write checks, call for phone numbers, listen to a weather radio, read the newspaper or watch the TV for news, write in a journal, send letters, call my bank for account information, call my family. Sixty years from now in 2071, though, who knows, that might not be the case. Will there even be checks or printed phone books and newspapers down the line? I’m going to guess no, in 60 years, things will be very different.
I am 33, if I live another 60 years then giving up the million dollars for the Internet is like saying I will pay $1300 every single month for every one of those 60 years to be able to go online. I just don’t think I’m willing to do that. If my cable service tried to charge me $1300 this month for the Internet I would say you can kiss my account goodbye!! I am perfectly content with using a phone book, making a call, writing checks, writing in my journal, calling my friends to check up. The question remains will our world continue in such a way that it is possible to live without the Internet? I think that’s the real question here.
So my answer is yes, with the world as-is, I take the money.
Now that I have my million dollars though, what do I do?
I would finally quit work and live off the million dollars in some way. And although one million dollars really isn’t enough for a family to live on for the rest of your lives, it is enough for us to supplement Scott’s income and keep us floating just fine. And I’m guessing I would be spending A LOT of time on the phone getting things done. Have you called an 800 number recently? Aye carumba!
My second option of what I would do is continue to work and use the money missionally. However, I just don’t see me giving up the chance to stay home with my girls.
Perhaps if I went the route of quitting, I would return to work at some point and use the additional money left missionally.
In closing though, giving it up would be HARD. The simple fact is life is changing and most of us are very reliant on the Internet. Beyond the social aspect, we do so many required tasks online. I’m very appreciative that I don’t have to pay for so many checks or sit on 800 number calls constantly or pay to print hundreds of pictures to share with family or handwrite these blog posts or make dozens of long phone calls every day! Yes, the Internet can be a time-waster but I think it is such a time(and money)-saver too. So while I would probably take the million dollars, I still think the Internet has value and I’m not quitting on my own volition anytime soon!