Well if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Every hundred and fifty years or so, the sun ejects a huge amount of radiation and particles – it’s quite normal, no one’s going to be blinded, there won’t be any violent walking plants stalking the streets, but one thing that is at risk, is our world of electronics. A solar super storm (we have to call it a super storm to show that it’s different from a boring solar not-super storm), could well put every satellite in the sky out of action, fry the computers on aeroplanes and ships, bring down the mobile phone network, and destroy the entire internet. Pretty much everyone agrees that this would be terrible. For starters, we’d have to start writing this blog as a subscription newsletter, and no one wants more paper through the letterbox.
But what would such a storm mean to our communication, should it occur as predicted? Well technology based communication would be at great risk. The internet would probably survive, and arguably that’s more important than the phone and TV networks. Mobile phone networks would perhaps only be affected over long distances, but any satellite networks are at serious risk.
But imagine if we did lose the ability to use either the internet, or our mobile phones, what would happen then?
There would be a resurgence of face to face communication and people would have to keep appointments and just hope everyone will be on time for arranged meetings. But I think we’d also return to more traditional language too. LOLs, sometimes used in speech now, would die out. Smileys would return to actual facial expressions and body language. People would return to thought-out, structured letters rather than of the moment emails. In many ways communication would slow down – the only instant mode of non face-to-face communication becoming landline telephone calls. This sort of thing, whilst terribly inconvenient, but really just a set back in the grand scheme of things, might actually be quite healthy for us and remind us of how valuable interpersonal communication is.