Food, shelter, clothing & the internet

Access to the internet is no longer a luxury. It is fundamental. Beyond connecting people, all sectors of the economy are being digitized so that each of us as individuals can access services faster, and more affordably. The internet is creating opportunities for budding entrepreneurs like myself in to start businesses and create wealth.  It creates more high-skilled, high-paying jobs, and improves an economy’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, leading to higher standards of living.

In December 2003, the representatives of the peoples of the world – governments, businesses and civil society representatives – assembled in Geneva from for the World Summit on the Information Society, and declared a common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life.

The right to Internet access, also known as the right to broadband, was formed with the view that all people must be able to access the Internet in order to exercise and enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and opinion and other fundamental human rights, that states have a responsibility to ensure that Internet access is broadly available, and that states may not unreasonably restrict an individual’s access to the Internet.

Isn’t this fascinating? A while back, my parents joked that I spend too much time on the internet, but whichever way you decide to look at it, the internet has become an important part of everyday life. They now realize it, and probably spend as much time as I do, at least on WhatsApp instant messenger.

The internet is like a coin which has both positive and negative sides. If we use it for positive things, it will have a positive effect on our lives and vice versa.

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The updated, 21st century Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 😀 

I love the internet for 3 reasons; convenient and easy access to information, super-fast communication, and entertainment galore!

You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t connected to the internet. It has not been published on a newspaper, has it? And how many articles would fit on a newspaper anyway? If you wanted to keep up with the news before the internet, you had to walk down to the newsstand when it opened in the morning and buy a local edition reporting what had happened the previous day. But today a click or two is enough to read your local paper and any news source from anywhere in the world, updated up to the minute. The internet has given us all the opportunity to share, receive and access information within far less time than before.

The Internet has turned our existence upside down. It has revolutionized communications, to the extent that it is now our preferred medium of everyday communication. In almost everything we do, we use the Internet. Ordering pizza, watching a movie, buying a car, catching up on the latest news, booking a flight, sending a business proposal, discovering new friends and catching up with old ones, checking your bank account balance, finding out what you are ailing from, and so on – the list is endless. It is undoubtedly the internet economy, and we are part of it!

We need to preserve the Internet as an open and reliable platform, which serves as the backbone of the global digital economy.  Its ability to enable the transfer of data and information across borders and between people and things is our best hope for economic and social development. And to grow, we need to connect everyone in the world to the Internet; we need to digitize every sector of our economy and every service that is delivered to people by their governments or industries in every sector; and we need to invest in providing everyone with the digital skills necessary to use that access productively.

The internet is now essential to a quality life, at least for me. So I hereby declare the internet a basic service, if not a basic need.

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