Maslow v Internet … cont.

Continuing the theme I started back in June of comparing Maslow’s (1954 + 1970) hierarchy of human needs against our current 21st century needs I thought that I’d record our week-2 experiences in France. [Other notes on our holiday being here]

We’d not done too bad in Sancerre during week one, with a modicum of slow WiFi being available in the apartment, week two in St. Gengoux le National was however, considerably different.

Back in June, when we’d visited Spain with my brother and Debbie, his girlfriend, we’d had no internet access whatever and I detailed the sort of things we missed at that time. On July 1st however, T-Mobile our ‘mobile’ provider introduced a scheme where we could buy limited amounts of connectivity – so our visit to France could easily be covered by buying into that.

£2.50 per 10meg or £10 per 50meg didn’t seem a bad price for being able to access emails etc. while on the move abroad. So I bought a £2.50 package to see how far it would go. I have to admit that I pushed that first package hard and it lasted about 24 hours! My fault (on purpose) I suppose because I posted several picture to Instagram. I don’t suppose the seven pictures I uploaded were too bad @ around 30p each. The next package I bought, used almost exclusively for emails (I still had some ‘work‘ to do while on holiday) lasted for over a week. Sharon’s packages were similarly long lasting. However

Once we arrived at our gite in Burgundy we found that even T-Mobile’s cost effective package would be no use. In the house itself we had no connectivity whatsoever, except late at night a cloud of ‘E’ floated in and out at whim! ‘E’ = EDGE.

I’m not sure that EDGE ever caught on at home, I barely noticed the difference between it and GPRS and once you’ve experienced 3G (or more especially, super-fast broadband via WiFi) you  find it grindingly slow. Yet the entire region only had EDGE access, even walking up the road meant a tiresome wait for downloading emails (i.e. 2-3 minutes rather than fairly instant). Finding ‘stuff’ on the Internet was similarly slow – we had to go for a drive, to find some 3G so that Sharon could research cures for a small medical problem.

Which is where we come right back to Maslow. Both lower levels (safety and physiological) are different in the 21st Century to what they were 50+ years ago. We no longer rely on the doctor to tell us everything; we also look it up on the Internet. I wanted to express my love (mid-level) by taking us on a TGV trip to Paris but couldn’t access the site! Most of the simple ‘online’ things we now take for granted were not avaialble to us.

Now, I realise that connectivity is not something everyone want when they go on holiday, but an ever increasing number of us do. 

Maslow v Internet

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)?
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?
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


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:

Theories of learning, need and motivation

Maslows hierarchy of needs

Maslows hierarchy of needs

I’m currently working on the development of a week-long course to be delivered in June, to about 16 European ‘partner’ delegates. The course will take place in Leeds (so not far for me to go then!) and investigate theories that underpin adult learning. It will also  introduce participants to the potential of Web 2.0 for enhancing the learning process.

I thought I’d make a few notes here; not just for my benefit – but for the benefit of anyone who’s interested (after all my notes need not be secret).

Much of what I will personally deliver is scattered around my various laptops and memory media, but what I’m noting here is what my co-presetner will lead on. I’m making sure that all my revision notes are in one place!

I’m not working alone, it’s not my project, but I’ve been asked along to help – partly for my T & L knowledge but mainly for my ‘e’ knowledge.

Day 2 is an interesting day with lots of input and activities around various theoretical approaches to adult learning:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (above) is just one. We will also be investigating:

The idea will be to introduce the theories and to set active-learning tasks for the participants to develop a deeper understanding of  how the various theories interlock.

For example ARCS v Gagne

Attention Matches Gagne’s 1) Gain attention

Relevance Could match 2) Inform learners of objectives + 3) Stimulate recall of prior learning and 4) Present the content – all of which could be designed to ensure relevance.

Confidence Could come from 5) the provision of “learning guidance”, 6) the actual performance of practice which enhances the ‘encoding and verification of learning. 7) Feedback – if given positively also helps confidence

Satisfaction Might be gained from the satisfactory 8) assessment of performance. 9) Retrieval and generalisation of the new skill can then be applied to a new situation.

Anyway – must get on …