When Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet back in 1989 he may not have quite envisioned just how it would grow and change within a few decades. Back in the early ’90s the internet was full of garish homemade websites on FortuneCity and other free hosting and was accessed by AOL dial-up connections.
Fast forward to now and you can find almost anything you want on the internet. There is no more dial-up, high-speed connections are available even on a mobile phone. Flights can be ordered online, information found, people to date, and food ordered from a host of restaurants and delivered by Ubereats.
As lockdowns were ordered in 2020 and in some regions this year too, people were ordered to stay indoors. This led to the internet being used more than ever and people began to live their lives online more than before.
Where will this lead in the future, and is it possible to live remotely?
How has remote living come into people’s lives?
In the past, if you wanted to book a holiday you would most likely have visited a high street travel agent. If you wanted to take out a loan or apply for a mortgage you may have visited the local bank. These two areas were some of the first ways the internet started to allow people to avoid traveling to a physical building. This is ironic seeing as you would assume holidaymakers like to travel.
Online banking and being your own travel agent showed how the internet could make life more convenient. No longer would you have to explain to a loan manager why you wanted a loan or go from travel agent to travel agent searching for the best deals.
So, how can you use your devices to live life on the net?
Gaming has evolved over the last decade with better graphics, soundtracks, and more sophisticated games. There are around 3 billion active gamers on the planet and that number is only getting bigger.
If you have read or seen Ready Player One then you will know the story of how in the future billions of people play out their lives in a virtual world. Although the technology is not quite there yet it might be closer than you think.
There are thousands of dedicated YouTube and Twitch channels just for gamers. Esports tournaments give away millions of dollars in prize money and games such as Minecraft have sold 200 million units.
In the past, friends visited each other’s homes to play consoles. Now, players meet online, and as AI and virtual reality improve this will only happen more.
One of the biggest problems during the lockdowns was boredom. Humans are generally social creatures which is one reason that you may think society couldn’t function by living remotely. However, as the lockdown progressed many people made adjustments and have found a new balance.
Last year Netflix found itself inundated with new subscribers as people used the net for entertainment. All the streaming channels found new customers as people used the internet to keep themselves from boredom.
For years the idea of working home has remained a dream for many, but last year it became real for millions whether they wanted it or not. Remote working brought challenges to overcome but once a new routine was established and any problems ironed out, many decided they wanted to keep working this way.
Businesses have realized the benefits of having remote workers and the financial savings from not renting so much office space. In many regions, this unused office space is now being converted into living areas for the homeless or low-income families.
Casinos and gambling
When you think of visiting a casino your thoughts might automatically go to Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, but Vegas is a ghost town and there are travel restrictions that might prevent you from seeing Monaco.
These days, more people are gambling online and playing slots on their mobile devices. Poker tournaments are available on computers or just on a smartphone so there is no need to visit a traditional casino or someone’s house.
Bingo, blackjack, roulette, and live casinos are all available without you even leaving your home. Virtual Reality casinos exist and will only improve as technology advances. By visiting a VR casino a player can interact with other people without ever traveling to a real building.
Ordering food online
Everyone needs to eat of course. However, this area has been covered for some time now. Many grocery stores deliver right to a customer’s doorstep, and if you want takeout then there are a number of delivery companies all across the world happy to pick up and deliver your order.
Of course, nothing beats sharing a meal with someone else so remote living won’t work for everyone but you could order with a friend and eat together over a Zoom call.
These days, even daily exercises can be done indoors with the help of an online instructor. There are YouTube yoga classes for beginners, online fitness instructors to help you work out, and dietary advice.
With a running machine and an exercise mat, combined with some online routines there may be no need to visit the gym again.
Of course, to many, this will sound like hell on earth. Most people want human interaction and long to go outside once they have been cooped up for too long. But, when you consider that you could meet your friends in an online casino and play poker, share dinner over zoom, communicate with people through Messenger, and find someone to date, without ever leaving your home then the possibility of living remotely seems all too real.
The average person’s internet usage doubled between 2005 and 2015 and soared again during 2020. With the ability to work at home, order food, clothes, and almost anything else online, it may not be too far off that you start to see a portion of society choosing to spend most of their lives indoors and online.