'Internet Apocalypse'. Can’t you just see Hollywood rubbing its hands together?

“Good evening. It is reported that at approximately 2 a.m. Universal Time Coordinated tomorrow, the first disruptions to the internet will be experienced in the Polynesian sector of the Pacific Ocean. Access to on-line data will be impossible in this region within 90 seconds followed by a complete web blackout. New Zealand and Australia are expected to experience the same loss of communication within 12 to 14 minutes. Approximately 2 hours after the first solar particles have penetrated Earth’s atmosphere, the internet will cease to exist. Citizens are advised to remain at home and stay calm. Martial law will be imposed in 4 hours and 58 minutes.”

Civil Defence units  in 87 countries will be patrolling all urban areas with a population of 120,000 residents and over. They are under orders to shoot on sight anyone disobeying the curfew. It is understood that G7 leaders have already been evacuated and will attempt to govern from remote  sites. FM radio will be the only source of communication and will continue to transmit as an emergency service for local authorities. Riots in Paris, Vienna and Berlin have already caused multiple casualties and visuals of hundreds of Internet Apocalypse banners can be seen burning.”

Quick, think of a director

I don’t know about you, but I can just picture a few dozen film producers, each with their own battery of personal assistants, all on their phones. Every now and then you can hear something distinct rise from the babble. “Hello Mr. Nolan, Mr. Bruckheimer is wondering if you’d be interested in…”. Or even worse, the reverse. ”Yeah hi, this is Zack Snyder. I really need to talk to the head of Netflix about a terrific end-of-the-world movie idea. It’s about a loner who’s lived in the woods for the last thirty years. But he becomes a saviour because he’s the only guy who knows how to survive without the internet. It’ll be a winner.”

At least there can’t be a sequel

Yes, I understand that the last week’s news about a possible months’ long internet outage will have serious ramifications to communities and businesses. But to call it an apocalypse is just a tad alarmist, don’t you think? It hasn’t happened yet and it almost certainly never will. NASA didn’t spend $1.5 billion on the Parker Space Probe because the ‘internet apocalypse’ was a done deal. They invested the money to collect enough data to avoid an internet outage, such one threaten to occur. For the business community alone that should be cause for calm, not concern.

But when has the world’s media, let alone Hollywood, ever let the truth get in the way of a good story?

I also understand that ‘internet apocalypse’ is the champagne of clickbait. After being fed a steady diet of bad news since the financial crash of 2008, culminating in a pandemic which amplified our need to do more online, little wonder the word apocalypse has been used to lure us into yet another discomfort zone.

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