State of Etonia to Head Back to Stone Age


To provide some context: The school I study in has been suffering frequent network outages for nearly two months. The teachers, students, and staff of the School have been pretty frustrated at this. I was fortunate enough to have a free class at the time of one of these outages, so I churned out this piece for the School newspaper. “Etonia” and the “State of Etonia” are fictional places, and any resemblance with a real thing/person/place/noun is purely unintentional. The piece is intended to be absurd and is only related to (a few) real events.


Friday, 11 May 2018
9:40 AM

In a closed meeting held on Thursday, the Cabinet of the State of Etonia deliberated upon an executive order limiting Internet access from within the State. The executive order comes after months of testing and research on the effects of network outages on people’s behaviour. The research was conducted by the State’s Technology Control Department.

In a ‘white paper’ published last week, the Department found that over 55.3% of the population of the State was ‘mildly to severely affected’ by changes in network speed and functioning.

However, the paper also claims that the State has seen increased participation in outdoor activities. The average resident has been found to be walking an average of 123.6 steps more than the daily average of 12,831 steps taken in 2017. “That’s about 6 more calories being burnt daily,” says the Chief of the National Healthcare Organisation, “in simply walking to the Network Access Control Room to lodge complaints”. The Network Access Control Room is said to “receive 45 angry emails,” and “over 150 frustrated patrons” on a daily basis.

“It’s a miracle,” says the Chief of the National Healthcare Organisation. “This is the most drastic reduction in weight the State has seen over the past decade”.

The subjects of the trials were observed to be performing a number of strengthening exercises, namely: vocal exercises through crescendo howls; fist-strengthening through punches thrown at tables and walls; and leg-shaking to alleviate anxiety.

Last week, the State’s Wildlife Department also reported a 23% increase in the number of jackals within the State’s geographical boundary. It is unclear whether the people’s howling may be attributed to this rise in population of the wild.

The experiments have been proven to be more effective than the State’s Annual Physical Training Program, usually held during winter time.

On the other hand, the State has seen a 250% surge in the number of “outlawed” Internet-enabled devices over two months. The State’s Technology Control Department will be working in conjunction with the Department of Justice on a crackdown on these illegal devices in the coming weeks.

The paper, thus, concludes that the disabling of the State’s Internet Service has had “astonishingly positive” effects on the populace. The executive order, citing this paper, was promulgated on Friday morning, and Internet access was subsequently cut off for the State of Etonia.