Editorial: Our basic needs are food, water, shelter, clothing… and the Internet?
When we are born, we are taught that there are a few things that are necessities in life for adequate survival in life; food, water, clothing, and shelter. But now, what about the Internet?
Do we really need the Internet for survival? The answer is probably no, but to most people it has transformed from a want to a convenience to a necessity. I’ll give you a personal experience of mine to make you think about my statement.
This past week (Aug. 30 to be exact) during the thunderstorms, my electricity blank and the router of my Verizon Internet went out. As with the previous times, I knew what this meant; no Internet. Being a resident of Charles City, I knew that meant I wouldn’t have it for at least 24-48 hours because let’s face it, living out in this area with low concentration meant we’d last on the totem pole. However, a call was placed to report the outage and how long it’d take for the electricity to come back on. The Verizon representative said it wouldn’t happen until Tuesday (Sept. 4).
My expression just dropped. No Internet for five days? I was livid (for those who know how I feel about my current service) to say the least. This was the third time this has happened within three months and when the problem is explained to them that whenever the power surges and the area that I reside in loses Internet, it completely goes away for several days. Instead of fixing the problem, they just stick a bandage on it and say move on.
Reflecting on it, it just showed me how much I was using the Internet to do everyday things from home. I was typing stories, posting them to the Chronicle website, and communicating with my work email. With the Internet out, not only did my professional life take a hit, but my personal life and downtime as well suffered. With two fantasy football drafts upcoming, I had to drive to my friend’s house to conduct a draft. I could no longer watch YouTube videos on my television (my main source of entertainment) and also realized that when I was home, I’d have to use my personal data on my phone to check the Internet.
The Internet was a convenience to me at first. But as society develops and evolves, it’s clear that we are dependent on the convenience of the Internet for our everyday lives. From paying bills, to shopping for items, to even paying our children’s dues and lunch fees, the services provided by the Internet seem like a no-brainer to get. But when you don’t have access to it, how far behind the curve do we fall?
There are just things we know our bodies need to survive. And now, the Internet is actually transforming into a need we need for our minds.