Here's how bad it is: Russians are drinking less vodka.
So, as you gird your loans and tighten your money belts, perhaps it's time to live a simpler life. One that revolves far less around luxurious and complex technologies.
Here are five tech products that you will surely be able to live without in this recession/depression/secession from Alaska.
1. Twitter. This interesting little service may or may not be worth $500 million. But Twitter was clearly a child of fat times, times when you would tweet that you were "at Bed, watching a tech billionaire nuzzling the ear of a cute journalist." Or "ordering my Tesla."
What possible use is it when your tweets will now read "at Starbucks, picking my nails." Or "trying to borrow $20 from a bum." Who wants to hear about that? Surely, it would be best if Twitter were immediately shut down. This would give the twitterati some time to perfect their technology. And Twitter's relaunch could then coincide with a government announcement that the recession/depression/secession from Alaska is finally over.
2. Cell phones. The best way to stand up to the reality that no one will be calling you to offer you a job, or even to ask how you are doing, is to prevent even the possibility. Perhaps not all readers will remember what life is like without a cell phone. You might find it curiously liberating.
No texts or calls while you're lunching or shopping, for example. So what if you'll be participating in these activities at McDonald's and Ross Dress For Less? You will be able to enjoy the experience to the full. If someone really wants to contact you, they will still have e-mail. Or the Postal Service--though the latter is useful only if you still have somewhere to live.
3. PowerPoint. The last meeting that occurred without PowerPoint was in 1973. Or thereabouts. In Moldova. Countless days and lives have been spent staring at screens with pointed bullets and cartoons stolen from newspapers to illustrate those pointed bullets.
This is the time to learn to present yourself in a different way. Perhaps by merely saying what you really want to say in one 15-minute meeting. In Starbucks or McDonald's. With no 150-page deck to leave behind to show how hard you haven't worked. Of course, the 15-minute meeting is not likely to be with someone who can offer you money.
4. Second Life. This virtual world was meant to help you relax and be your real self, far away from your ugly, stressful world. But these are tough economic times. So Second Life, the place where some people try to turn themselves into, um, hostesses and gigolos, will be no competition for a real world in which many may, indeed, be forced to turn themselves into hostesses and gigolos.
5. eHarmony. This is the dating site that asks you to answer 258 questions in order to qualify for a chance to meet someone else who has the patience to answer 258 questions. Someone who may, in real life, look like the progeny of a unicorn and a mailbox.
In a recession/depression/secession from Alaska, you have hours, days, weeks and months to get to know yourself better in your own time. Then you can use that knowledge to meet the partner of your dreams. In Starbucks, McDonald's, or Ross Dress For Less. Where there will be far more people crowding together for company than on eHarmony.