That being said, I'm apparently pretty old fashioned; I use my tech primarily for news, weather, and Words With Friends. I prefer to keep my music on a separate device. I don't like to Skype or a Face Time. I also don't care if I have the newest models on things, so I've never had to pay for an iPhone (Verizon offers older ones for free to existing customers). I spit out my coffee when people spend $600+ on the latest phone/tablet, especially when B&H Photo has such good prices on refurbished devices. It's not that I'm cheap; I'm just practical. Chuckling...and "practical" I've learned is just a nice way of saying old fart.
For a man of 46, I'm frequently just as guilty as kids when it comes to choosing tech over people. Texting & emailing is so much easier than going through the small talk often involved in speaking on the phone with someone. I'm a bit impatient, and I've never been good with social niceties. "How are you? How are the kids? How's that bump in your ass? You know, speaking of asses, the reason I called is..." I typically don't want to know what's happening in your life. I don't care what your kids are doing in school. I have a quick question, I'd like a quick answer, and there's really no need for us to go any further. But despite living/loving communication apps, I recognize the danger of substituting digital interactions for real ones. Internet addiction is as real as substance dependency, and once an addict's "gene" is triggered, the abuser begins to isolate.
And the key word is "destroys," not "disables" or "temporarily shuts down." In an instant, we'd lose not only electricity...but nearly everything with a circuit board/microchip, including cell phones, computers, televisions, radios...even small appliances like coffee makers with digital displays. Most electronics would be ruined because the EMP - like a lightning strike - would send thousands of .... Through gadgets like pacemakers that use just a few....to run. Hell, almost every car built after 1980 has had increasingly intertwined electronics with its engine; take out even one system - like the fuel injection - and the car coasts to a stop, unable to be restarted. Now, imagine being at 3,000 ft, when the same thing happens to your Boeing 707. (Snapping fingers at the stewardess). "Drink, please!"
Of course, all that would be the perfect storm from the perfect EMP attack. Though the threat of an intentional EMP is very real, it's just as likely to come from the sun - one of many solar flares that hits Earth all the time. And it's also not something that's likely to knock out everything at once...that is, the power grid might go down, but most backup generators and vehicles might still work. No, society wouldn't collapse like One Second After...but life would instantly become much more difficult, remaining that way for an extended period of time. The power might be off for weeks or months. Entire networks of towers might have to be replaced before cell phones start working again. Water must be boiled before drinking. There would be no AC or heat in climate-controlled buildings. We'd also see significant disruptions in the flow of goods & services - especially refrigerated medicines - as "just in time" inventory can't exist without electricity, computers, and a delicate transportation network. In short, any EMP - even a small one - could set our world back a generation, or more...leaving us picking blueberries, ourselves.
But imagine for a moment what we'd do if our tech just stopped working. Imagine sitting on the sofa, playing Grand Theft Auto on a hot August afternoon, when everything...stops. Your TV's dead. Your iPhone, non responsive. Even your digital watch doesn't work.
Picture yourself looking out the window and seeing other people doing the same. Imagine having your life change in an instant, going from 24hr fast Wendy's & White Castle to wondering how you might feed yourself & family when the food runs out in the pantry. When I think back to that Nature Valley video, I can't imagine any of those kids being able to fend for themselves, which should make for easy pickins' when the cannibals take over <eg>. Although long before they get eaten, I suspect they'll all just stand around in silence, fingers up their asses, looking at each other awkwardly, and repeatedly tapping dead smart phones & tablets - as though searching for an app entitled "What Happens Now?" I can see Cartman starting a cult.