Internet Access - Another "Want" that has Become a "Need"

In my January 4 article entitled “Take the Money and Run,” I was outlining the exceptions to my general policy of not taking social security early. Exception #2 was “Real Financial Need.” I commented at the time that you had to be careful with that one, because our culture has made an art form (it’s called “advertising”) out of convincing us that our wants are really needs. Tonight, I came face to face with one of my own want/needs.

Upon coming home from an evening meeting, I wanted to check the news and write a quick blog entry, and discovered when I got to my desk that my internet connection was down. That’s when I realized that losing one’s internet connection has now taken on the gravity of having the electricity go off… It must be rectified immediately! And after about an hour on the phone with Verizon tech support, I’m pleased to report that I’m connected with civilization again. It felt just like that feeling when the lights come back on after a storm.

When did this happen? The internet as we know it barely existed fifteen years ago. Then for a while, we used our clunky dialup modems to log on for a few minutes or a half hour at a time. Now of course, it has to be an always on high speed connection. The internet is pretty much my sole source of news and is my connection to the world via email and of course blogging. And being in the financial business, it’s my lifeline to stock quotes and financial information as well as the way I connect to my correspondent for account information and order entry. Most evenings, I gravitate into the office most nights, while "platinum wife" Melanie opts to watch a movie. She’s a morning person and wants to put her brain in neutral at that point, while I’m a night person who prefers something that engages my brain.

When you think about it, the way we communicate has probably changed more than anything else in our adult lives. Car and plane travel hasn’t changed much since I was in my twenties. School looks pretty much the same. Even space travel has gone pretty dormant. When we reached the moon in 1970, I would have bet you that we’d have a colony there or on Mars by now.

And what about costs. This truly amazes me, because the cost of a phone call has plummeted over the last 20-30 years. And yet many of us, myself included, are paying much more than we ever have on the communications budget line, when you include our cell phones (which Melanie pointed out have also become a "need" and of course internet access, which is what got me started on this topic in the first place.

Don't get me wrong. It's well worth it. Twenty years ago, what were the chances that anything I might write while sitting at my desk one evening could be accessed and read by hundreds of millions of people within minutes of hitting the send button.

Now if I could only remember what I was going to blog about tonight... :-) Bob


Popular posts from this blog

It's Unwise to Compare - But It's Human Nature

A Dollar is a Dollar - Except When it Isn't

The Best Personal Finance Tip I Ever Gave (or Got)