Mark DeLap
                                The Bladen Journal

Mark DeLap

The Bladen Journal


Back in the early 1900s, if the power went off, someone would strike a match, light a candle and go about their business. Today the power goes off and someone strikes a match, lights a cigarette and can’t do any business.

Were you present on February 22 when random cellphones went off all over the globe? If you were one of those who had to live without your phone for a day – you were one of those in a cyber coma.

We have tethered ourselves to technology. It has become the drug of choice for the modern world, and everyone jumped in with both feet until nobody can exist without it. The world is addicted. Everyone is at its mercy.

And not only at its mercy, but in danger from those who have invaded an intimacy that this drug promised to protect. And like the early mob activities of the past century, there is an ever increasing need to pay for protection.

The government is spending $12 billion a year on cyber-security and it’s not nearly enough. The cyber attacks have increased and include hacks on everything the politician’s schedule to staff emails from top security personnel at the Pentagon.

And what about those right here in small town America? The average Joe. There are spam attacks every day dropped like dirty bombs into Grandma and Uncle Arthur’s spam folders and the new daily viruses and malware are increasing at a rate that cyber cops can’t keep up with or that you can’t pay enough to stop.

The cyber companies are thriving on the addiction of the world and sending forth their strong-armed fear-based messages through an impenetrable firewall, to you – as a personal message. “Warning, your computer may be infected.”

Words that send shudders and cold chills down the spine of an addict that is afraid to lose something he cannot live without. People of another generation actually lived and loved and laughed and existed without being tethered to an all-consuming technology.

Power magazine, ( said that, “Perhaps the most devastating thing that could happen in any developed country would be widespread catastrophic damage to its electric power grid. Nearly everything in an industrialized nation relies on electricity to function. Without it, normal water supplies, sewer systems, and communication services are cut off. Furthermore, things like food and transportation are quickly affected when power is down for extended periods.

A severe electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) event could take the power grid down for months, and possibly even for years.

According to, “Our ways of life have evolved so much and so fast that we could not go back to a world without communications satellites, which would mean overuse and saturation of existing terrestrial networks. There would be no more GPS signals, no more multi-channel broadcast TV. If telecoms and navigation satellites stopped working, this is what our world would look like.”

Where there was no computer, there was a notebook and a pencil. Where there was no Kindle, there was a hard covered classic novel. Where there was no television, there was nature. Where there were no cars, there were horses. And where there were no Kardashians, people made due with their own lives. Some people know more today about what’s going on in Hollywood than what’s going on in the room across the hall.

The generations before us succeeded because they had back up plans. Simple perhaps, but nevertheless, back up plans. No lights – they refused to be held captive by the technology they created. They had matches and candles.

What kind of society is held captive to something that holds them hostage because they had no back door in the master plan? What kind of a people jump into new things without a trouble shooting guide? Everyone was so excited about the new shiny train. The time saving device. The ease of it all. The pleasure it could bring. But it’s a runaway. And there are no plans as to how to shut it down or control it without doing away with life as we know it.

Perhaps one day everyone will have to go and take classes from the Amish. Perhaps it will be the simple that teach the lessons of how to live again without shackles. And perhaps… it’s closer to being a reality than one would think.

Mark DeLap is a journalist, photographer and the editor and general manager of the Bladen Journal. To email him, send a message to: [email protected]