- the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society.
Stacey and I moved to a new house a month ago. As a resident of Kansas City, I’ve been extremely exited about the promise of Google Fiber and it just so happened that the new house was in a “Fiberhoood” with an earlier install date than our old location.
We moved in on the 10th of August and decided to forgo internet and television for a few days until the Google Fiber guy graced us with blazing fast internet speed and HD Television broadcasts. The “few days” we thought we were in for turned into 3.5 weeks and it was a lot more painful than either of us had originally imagined.
To be perfectly honest, I could have gone a lot longer without TV. I spent the first 18 years of my life without cable television. Going to grandma and grandpa’s house meant we could hide away in the basement for hours catching up on marathons of Heathcliff and Inspector Gadget. The TV at their house had amazing content compared to the analog dial that was in the living room of the TV back in our home on the outskirts of Omaha. It wasn’t until college that I came to realize the benefits of Jon Stewart and Eric Cartman. While extremely entertaining, paid TV content has always been a luxury (something I couldn’t afford to pay for until I realized that I was spending more money in sports bars during Husker football season than I would paying to Dish Network for the entire year).
No, TV has always been nice to have…..Internet, that I’ve come to realize over the last month, is something that I can’t live without. Sure, I had my phone and was able to connect with the outside world, but my news feeds, my blog and *gasp* my social accounts were basically impossible to keep up with. I went to work one day to hear friends discussing the “situation in Syria” to which I had to ignorantly ask “what situation in Syria.” My email inbox was out of control every morning due to the fact that I hadn’t logged in to clean it out during the evening news. I had limited ability to reflect on the day as this blog sat idle over the last month. I had been cut off from the world.
It wasn’t all bad… My wife and I were given the opportunity to completely unpack. We took evening strolls through the neighborhood. We read books before bed. In what seemed to be a sad statement on our personal life, we both felt extremely out of touch.
Judge both of us as you will, but I started to think about the word deprivation and what it truly means. This technology that literally didn’t exist 2 decades ago had become so integral to our lives that the thought of living without it received odd stares from close friends. It wasn’t a question as to if we could live without it, but a matter of how much longer could we handle it.
On Wednesday, September 4th, Josh (our Google Fiber installer) walked up to my door. It was 8am and I can’t remember being happier to see a service installer walking toward me. I posted on my social sites whether or not it would be inappropriate to hug him…..most of my friends said it would be cool, so I did. It was strange, but he went with it.
When I looked up the word deprivation, the definition made me feel a little guilty. How would my Great Grandpa Wullschleger look upon this post? Surely he would shake his head at my digital dependency…. My thoughts quickly transitioned from my Great Grandfather to the 90 year old me, what will my great grand children consider to be necessities 60 years from today?