What’s Missing from this Picture? : Or, What we’ll probably have to learn to do without in a post-apocalyptic world

Let’s face it: we might whine about the world we live in now, and no, things aren’t always perfect, but we have it pretty good.

As always, it depends on how the apocalypse comes about, but there are some things we can be fairly certain will either be unavailable completely, or very limited.

  1. Convenience and plenty of everything. Our lives our exceptionally convenient these days. We run to a store or restaurant to get food, where we know it will be available and ready immediately. We find information and news at the click of a button. We get around with the turn of a key. This will likely be one of the first things lost, especially because in our convenience (and the search for it) we create some of the biggest wastages of our current society.
  2. Transportation to far and near places with relative ease.The days of hopping on a plane or into a car and just going somewhere – especially frivolous trips like holidays –

    by Original uploader was ProhibitOnions at en.wikipedia source Wikimedia license Public Domain (?), from acobox.com

    will also disappear quickly. Not only will transportation be difficult (lack of fuel, break-down of vehicles, deteriorating infrastructure, etc), it could also be dangerous, since while you may be able to guarantee the safety of your immediate neighborhood, who knows what awaits you “out there.”

  3. Keeping in touch and communicating with loved ones. Today, it’s easy with communication methods being plentiful, but it won’t always be. How will you now if Timmy fell down a well, or if Aunt Bea had a good apple harvest? You probably won’t, unless those friends and loved ones are in your immediate vicinity, or within easy distances. Social circles will likely be smaller, and we’ll have to resort to other methods to keep in touch – like talking, and mailing letters. (For more on this, see the post: Can You Hear Me Now? : Communication Issues After the Apocalypse
  4. Electricity. At some point, the lights will go out (unless, perhaps you happen to live at the electrical plant , and know how to maintain and operate it all on your own, and you weren’t destroyed in war, attacked by zombies, or otherwise over-run by people desperate for their espresso machines to work in the aftermath). A lot of what we use in our daily lives is dependent on electricity (entertainment, food preparation and preservation, heat, light, etc.). Even using alternatives (like renewable energy resources) unless we know how to personally maintain these devices, even they may not be dependable.
  5. Ready and plentiful supplies of water. Say farewell to multiple showers a day – who knows how infrequent these could be limited to, dependent on rainfall and where you live.

Hmm, well, that’s all a bit down, isn’t it? All right. So those are five things we’ll probably have to do without – and miss – in a post-apocalyptic world. But what are the benefits? Here are five things that probably (hopefully) won’t survive the apocalypse, and we’ll be glad to see them go:

  1. source Wikimedia license Public Domain (?), from acobox.com

    People being rude on cellphones and other devices, completely bereft of basic communication skills. You know the relative texting at the dinner table while you’re trying to talk to them? Or how about the lady talking so loud on her cell next to you on the bus you feel you should start participating in the conversation? The phones, at least, should be knocked out (or dead) pretty quick; hopefully folks can still remember (or be taught) how to communicate properly after that.

  2. Traffic and road woes. Say goodbye to rush-hour traffic snarls, or being held-up by road construction. Since really, you probably won’t have a vehicle to drive (nor fuel), the roads may not be safe anyway, and how often are you going to be driving around anyway? In the end, you might miss this inconvenience – and what it’s presence signified.
  3. Bills arriving in the mail. No electricity + no mail service = no bills. Then again, no money also equals no bills, but either way, you won’t have to worry about pesky monthy payments, mortgages, or mounting debt. (Just that bear trying to eat your livestock, or the zombie scratching at the front window.)
  4. Telemarketers calling at dinner time. No phones, lack of communication – well, those telemarketers will probably be going to door to door, won’t they? Either that, or they may well already be zombies and we just haven’t figured it out yet.
  5. The silly little things that stress us out. I’m talking about when the paper gets there late, the satellite is on the fritz, a mosquito buzzing around your head when you’re trying to sleep, or getting to an appointment late. Our concerns (at least for a time) will likely be far greater; we’ll only dream of the little annoyances which no longer exist.

All right, so I didn’t do a great job with the five things we won’t miss, since after all, those five annoying things are all symptoms of our current society – and since we’ll likely be missing that (unless the apocalypse turns out far happier than most of us could have predicted – like we all spontaneously create a perfect utopia based on equality, trust, and love of peace) we’ll miss even the old annoying things.

What would you miss the most? Why? What won’t you miss or can you only wish would vanish in a puff of purple smoke?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

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4 thoughts on “What’s Missing from this Picture? : Or, What we’ll probably have to learn to do without in a post-apocalyptic world

  1. my computer – I would hate to lose the world at my fingertips – what wouldn’t I miss? well many and various pollution to waste – but at my age prob. would not be here – be one of the first to go once we had to fend for ourselves!! good blog

  2. I would miss the leisure time. Time to think, to write (and of course, a computer to write with – imagine writing a novel in longhand, urgh!) and to just be creative. The day-to-day business of survival takes all waking hours, I would imagine, so that’s what I’d miss the most.

    As for what I wouldn’t miss; the cult of celebrity. Ahhh, that’s a world I like to imagine; one without gossip mags and pressures to be skinny and vacuous.

    • Thanks for the comment, Emma. Writing longhand is a VERY slow way to do things, but can you imagine the even harder challenge of getting published? Especially with individually set letters! I agree, I’d miss being creative and having the chance to “play,” as it were. I hadn’t even considered how perhaps an apocalypse could save us from the cult of celebrity and some of the non-stop info after us day and night. Interesting thought. Take care.

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