I’ve just returned from a short break in Spain and for five of the six days that I was away from home I was without Internet access. Many of you might think that that was a relaxing situation to be in, but I can assure you that for me, it wasn’t.
It’s surprising how much you (I) can miss the Internet.
Earlier this year, Sharon and I bought a 10% share in a one bedroom apartment on the Costa Del Sol – it didn’t cost too much and we get to visit almost as much as we like, which probably won’t be more than once a year. We wanted something (somewhere) that would almost certainly be warmer than it is here at any given time. I realised that the need for warmth is a basic need and can be found supporting all of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs.
That started me thinking …
Without me realising, the Internet has become something that fulfills my Belongingness and Love (social) needs, as well as my Esteem needs; both of which Maslow recognises as higher requirements en route to self-actualisation. Only whilst eating our lunch in a pub in Gibraltar – where WiFi was available, were we able to check emails, Twitter and Facebook. In our apartment complex and in all of the cafe’s and restaurants we visited in Spain, we were not!
How then were we able to:
a) check when and who Spain were playing in the European cup (and thus avoid the crowds in certain bars)?
b) check emails (after all I’m still self-employed and need to reply as quickly and as often as required to correspondences)?
c) check Twitter and Facebook to keep up with family and friends?
d) provide the answer to simple arguments (where DO you find out the name of such and such an actor)?
I do all of that without thinking at home on my iPhone, my iPad, my laptop etc. when I’m out and about I have WiFi ‘cloud’ access, 3′s MiFi access and a variety of other logins that permit me to access the Internet freely and easily – so when it’s not available, it comes as a shock.
Not having access to the Internet ‘on tap’ really did come as a surprise.
Now we’re home, I managed to catch up a little on Sunday but then on Monday BT seemed to be having a problem in our area, as we have had no Internet and no landline for two days! I’ve no idea why or what’s happening so it’s lucky that I still have some data left on my MiFi this month but with guests staying with us – all of whom are Internet-savvy, who knows how long that will last!
The apartment complex committee’s chairman has agreed that we can boost our signal in the apartment (!) with the installation of a box that sounds like it will give limited ethernet access to laptops – but which will still not give WiFi access to the variety of other devices we have become used to using. They only have a 3gig connection for around 200 apartments!
Previous notes on Maslow
- http://dinamehta.com/blog/2010/01/12/twitter-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-nay-hierarchy-of-tweets/ – neatly begins the discussion.
- http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-hierarchy-of-digital-distractions/ - humorously extends the debate.
- http://www.aheadofideas.com/?p=156 (Dan Bevarly) – goes very much in the direction I’d like to explore.
I’m quite interested in the way we might revisit Maslow, with an eye on the social and economic changes that are happening around us. I think there’s a real need now to recognise how the (especially) lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy are changing. Young learners now have technological needs that the original paper preceded. As Dan Bevarly (@dbevarly) says: “You can’t engage if you can’t connect”. I am working on this, but as with everything else (and work etc), it’s a slow process.
From my 2009 post: http://eduvel.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/experiential-learning/