Sunday, 7 February 2010

What is a Need?

So often these days we say that we need something when we don't actually need it. Children have arrived at the stage where they believe the use of the word 'want' equates with need. We adults are not far behind! Presumably children have learned from us.

Most of the time it is easy to decide what we want and what we need but occasionally the boundaries get blurred.

Whoever we are and wherever we live We need food, water and shelter.  To survive in the modern world we in the more fortunate countries of this world need a level of education commensurate with the job we do to earn a living whether that be a street sweeper or a nuclear physicist.

Oh, forget it.  This could get way too complicated.

The whole point of this was the fact that I was deprived of internet access on demand for the twelve days I was away and I had severe problems.  Now that I am back in The Cottage I thought those problems were over but, no, this afternoon I'm experiencing problems and am actually using dial-up to do this posting.

We all need , and I mean need, human contact to stay sane and be rational human beings in modern society.  For many of us that means keeping in contact with our friends and family whether they be near or far away. There was a time many centuries ago when a long way apart was the next settlement but now many of us are separated from our friends and those we love by half a world.  Half a century ago half a world meant letters taking many weeks or months to arrive and join people together.  Today communication can be instant.  We can carry a cellphone and speak to someone almost anywhere in the developed world and with satellite communication contact is available anywhere at all on the planet.

Anyone who is reading this is an inhabitant of Blogland.  We are used to being able to communicate daily - usually via broadband internet - if we so desire. 

So this past twelve days has been quite a self-revelation.  I've had a wonderful time seeing Northland and enjoying new company.  But I've been deprived of much of the instant communication to which I have become accustomed.

Do I need that or do I just want it?  I think it's a need for me.  Where does your vote lie?


  1. I don't want to say that it's a need for me because for me to say that something is a need, it means that I cannot live without it.

    I would have to say that having internet is a much as I find myself in need of writing ( need of writing), I could live without it...

    I would have to rearrange my living patterns in communication without it though...for these very important people that I've come to need in friendship, in opinions of and support for...I would find myself sending many more notes through snail mail :)

    Love to you, my friend so far away.

  2. Definitely want it but not sure it's a need!

  3. Although I managed to survive my first 40 years or so without it, I think now I have to call it a need. Last time I was without it for a longer period of time (=a couple of weeks!) was in connection with my move two summers ago.

    I'd say society on the whole is contributing to building up the need. Whereever you turn for information these days, you're always referred to "" for further details. I have one or two friends who are still strangers to the internet, but they are beginning to feel more and more like outcasts...

    As for this Blogland of ours. If it was suddenly to go up in a puff of smoke, I'm convinced it would create world-wide chaos and alienation. And we'd all be wondering why we never asked certain "signature friends" for their real name and address...

  4. Trust me - when you are looking after the house of a friend and there are problems with the plumbing and the plumbers are being impossible, then instant communication with the friend is ESSENTIAL!! I too have started to depend on the internet for information but unfortunately it couldn't fix a boiler for me!!

  5. I'd love nothing more than a long holiday with no computers and zero internet... hmmm, perhaps I need it!