Thursday, November 10, 2011

Maslow's hierarchy hits the 'net

You've probably heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs: the idea that physiological needs (breathing, food, water, sex, etc) are more important than those of security which in turn form the base for more rarified needs like love, belonging, esteem and 'self-actualization.'

The interesting news from a recent Cisco report is that 'one in three college students and young professionals consider the Internet to be as important as air, water, food, and shelter' - They're saying that access to the Internet is a fundamental building-block of life now. Thanks to @MarkDansie for Tweeting the link to the report: he notes that electricity is missing from the list, and pretty fundamental before the Internet can be delivered!

I guess the view from the survey respondents is a bit distorted by taking the air, water, food and shelter stuff for granted: we recently had our hot water heater blow up and we were taking cold showers each day for two weeks until it was fixed. Certainly, as I washed each day my mind was far from the Internet and I resolved to try not to take warm water in cold weather for granted again! And I'd be even less interested in web surfing if I actually had to carry water from a dirty river or well each day; or protect my family from civil war and unrest ...

But, despite the fact that the fundamental importance of Internet connectivity is highlighted in a report commissioned by one of the dominant companies that supplies that sort of connectivity, it's certainly my experience that I feel a little lost and disoriented without the ability swiftly to research or communicate that the Internet provides. And it will only become more important globally as time goes by.

Expect access to the Internet to become required much sooner than previously, once those basic physiological and security needs are met.
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