I want to write a short story where the internet is damaged so much that it isn't as integrated into everyday life. The internet isn't gone, but it's used mainly for communication that isn't commonplace, like between nations and for large businesses to transfer number and information.
The idea I was kicking around to make this happen in the story is for some sort of EMP to affect the main servers of one or two large web companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, or Amazon. Preferably one who's hosting or support keeps many other websites afloat. I know that their servers are probably spread across the world, but lets say that the EMP/several small EMPs destroy most of the servers and any other servers in the same area (like if San Francisco were to be hit with an EMP I'd assume that would hit several big names but not completely destroy each).
These sites going down causes instability in tech, with many other companies trying to fill the void that was left behind by these giants, but many can't handle the burden, and even when the big hitters do get back online, the public doesn't believe in its security like they used to and it slowly fades out of popular attention, with entertainment coming from less interconnected computers, like video games or movie tablets.
The goal is to find the most realistic way for this to work. I thought Google because so many websites allow you to log in through Google, and in combination with Facebook going down you wouldn't be able to log into most websites or apps. Amazon might be a good one too, since a lot of online retailers use their programming, if not host off of their servers. Maybe even the bureaucracy surrounding trying to prevent something like this but worse happening could play a role, or the economic impact of a site like amazon going down.
If taking out a tech giant doesn't work then maybe a bank or government sever hub? I don't want this to directly destroy the country or anything.