Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Internet - Luxury or Necessity?

This post was supposed to be my entry for the second Campaigners Challenge but I've got nothing. I even tried a poem, but it was just a lot of pretty words strung together with no real meaning behind it. I may be sitting this one out but that's okay, there are plenty of great entries out there. I have to say, I've been very pleasantly surprised by the high standard, considering the words given. It's been a really interesting challenge.

This week I received a telephone call from the local council who I'm negotiating a debt repayment with. We currently disagree on the monthly figure I should pay. Among other things, I was told that having the internet was a luxury I didn't need. I explained that I felt it was necessary as there are two adults in the house looking for work, and two teenagers who have important exams next Summer, who are constantly set homework assignments that require the internet. The Official said that wasn't a good enough reason to pay for such a luxury and it would have to go. He wasn't querying the amount I pay for it, just the fact that I pay for it at all. It's academic really, because even if I got rid of the internet, and made the changes that he said I should, our disposable income still wouldn't reach the amount that they are asking for.

So here's where I want your opinion, and I mean this genuinely. Am I wrong in considering the internet to be a necessity these days? Putting aside the fact that I'm a writer and a blogger, I could still work on my wip at home obviously, only research would be affected. The amount I pay for my internet would pay for 5.5 round trips per month between Techno and I to visit the Jobcentre and the library. The girls could probably stay late at school to do their homework. There are some problems with that, but I won't complicate things.

I'm honestly not just looking for you to tell me that the big bad council is wrong, (unless that's what you believe, of course), but I'm wondering if I have a false sense of entitlement, if actually the internet really is something that I should be prepared to get rid of.

So, internet - luxury or necessity?

ETA: This post has been edited to remove some of the more personal elements that I probably shouldn't have shared in the first place.