Basic Necessities

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2009 ( 38 moms have responded )

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So I have been taking part in a thread on the welcome page (I know, bad idea!)...Anyways, I was just told that cable TV, cell phones and the internet are basic needs. What do you guys think constitutes a basic need? Do any of these things qualify?





I am only 28, but I remember when the internet and cell phones first were developed...we survived just fine before these items! Yes, I do enjoy my internet (as you can tell from my time online) and I like TV, but I have done without them before and I do not have a cell phone....my opinion...nice to have, but BASIC NEEDS....NO WAY!

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Charlie - posted on 10/19/2009

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NONE of those are baisic needs , i have only just recently got a phone because i was told to by my family but have happily lived without one for over a year and still kept in contact with people , cabel TV is a no brainer it is NOT a need you can live without one i have never in my 25 years had cable .

Baisically if you can live without it (and i mean live , function , breath) then its a want not a need .

Food , water , shelter they are basic necessities.

Johnny - posted on 10/17/2009

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I think we're all missing the point. The OP on the Welcome! page was saying that television is a basic PARENTING need and that it would be cruel to make your kids miss out on all the shows! Yikes!

Telephones can be a necessity (in an emergency). So can a radio. And having internet access is necessary if you wish to participate ( or have your kids participate) in today's educational environment. But otherwise, the only necessities are access to food, water, clothing (for warmth), and shelter. Anything else is a want.

For me, the idea that television is a necessity is laughable. I do love my tv, but nothing but good would probably come of me losing it.

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Sharon - posted on 10/19/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

enjoy it all you want Sharon, I do too... but damn it if something happens and you can't pay your bills, know that if you still have it I'm coming there to kick your butt :-)

I'm sure some people go on vacation and still just watch tv so you did good :-)



OK!! OK!! I confess!!  We watched the Disney information channel every night before going to bed to learn more "secrets" about the park!!!



 



Oh the shame... wah!!

Jeannette - posted on 10/19/2009

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Nope, they are not in fact basic needs. Needs are things necessary to keep us fed, clothed, sheltered, healthy...these are entertainment devices you are speaking of.

[deleted account]

So I just had a thought... if you work from home, can the internet replace clothing as a necessity? If you never leave the house (becasue over the internet you can work, grocery shop [and have it delivered where I am], interact with others, etc.) do you really need the clothes? :P tee hee hee...



Anyway, I agree with all of you. The basic needs are food, water, shelter and clothing. This is actually in Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs as the bottom, and therefore basic level (followed by Safety Needs, Love Needs, Ego & Esteem Needs and Your Need for Self-Actualization - yes, I am back in school and taking psychology... can you tell? :P).



I also have to agree with some of you that the internet can be a "basic need." I take half of my classes online and for my other classes a lot of online work is necessary. We are not allowed to print anything at our local library (they had to cut costs and the printers were the first to go), so yes, I do need the internet to get my school work done.



As for the T.V. I also agree that when a parent feels they "have to have" tv, they need to get rid of the tv. When we moved into our house in April my hubby and I decided to not get cable for at least a few months to save some money. It went fine. No one died and no one had major withdrawls (of course, we still had our tvs set up to play movies for the kids - my girls are obsessed with Barbie and TinkerBell!). During that time period we had more family time and really got to have some quality time with our kids. It was great and even though we have gotten cable since then, we still make time for family night at least twice a week. :)

Sarah - posted on 10/18/2009

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enjoy it all you want Sharon, I do too... but damn it if something happens and you can't pay your bills, know that if you still have it I'm coming there to kick your butt :-)



I'm sure some people go on vacation and still just watch tv so you did good :-)

Sharon - posted on 10/18/2009

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Hey? Does the fact that we lived without tv - mostly - for 2 weeks while in Disneyland count as surviving without tv?



ROTFL.



No, I agree if you "need" a tv to parent your children, something is wrong. I do enjoy my tv though.

Sarah - posted on 10/18/2009

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Good for you Jenny! There is so many better things our children can be doing then sitting around watching tv.

Jenny - posted on 10/18/2009

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Quoting Jo:

The second you NEED a TV in order to be a good parent... you need to get rid of your TV.



Yep, I've all but banned TV for my kids and we cancel it most summers for the grown ups too. Reconnect for the cold Canadian hibernation season for truck, motorbike, nature, news and talk shows. With The Daily Show, Colbert Report and stand up comedy specials thrown in.

Jodi - posted on 10/17/2009

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Quoting Jo:

The second you NEED a TV in order to be a good parent... you need to get rid of your TV.



Very true.  I never thought about it that way before, but it is so very true.  I could live without my TV.  But our free TV here isn't too bad, cable (or satellite) TV is optional, but expensive.  SO you can have access to half decent TV without needing to pay for it here.  We only JUST got hooked up with satellite TV in the last 12 months anyway.  It would be the first thing to go if we were doing it tough.

Krista - posted on 10/17/2009

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Part of the grade one social studies curriculum deals with needs and wants, and the kids really have a hard time distinguishing between the two until we really discuss over a few weeks. They're so used to saying and hearing "I need this" or "I need that" that they really have no clue that no, they really don't need it! Our generation grew up without cell phones and the internet, but kids nowadays have never lived in a world without these things, so it must be incomprehensible that they could ever live without them. How spoiled we're all getting!

?? - posted on 10/17/2009

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The second you NEED a TV in order to be a good parent... you need to get rid of your TV.

Jodi - posted on 10/17/2009

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Quoting Jo:

lol I learned/mastered my typing on a typewriter!!! I still own 3 typewriters!!! We used to sit and play with my grandparents typewriters cause we thought they were sooooo coooool !!! And then we'd get on our bikes and ride down to the lake and make paper airplanes out of the paper we had typed on... ahhh the good ole days...



***sigh*** now you 've got me all nostalgic about the good old days when things were simpler.  No phones ringing in our pockets, no-one expecting a response to their correspondence in 5 minutes, jumping on a horse to ride into town......or into the bush if I just needed to be by myself (and believe me, with 4 brothers, that was a common one).  Those were the days....



My son actually asked me about the "olden days" once.  That cracked me up!!!! 

?? - posted on 10/17/2009

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lol I learned/mastered my typing on a typewriter!!! I still own 3 typewriters!!! We used to sit and play with my grandparents typewriters cause we thought they were sooooo coooool !!! And then we'd get on our bikes and ride down to the lake and make paper airplanes out of the paper we had typed on... ahhh the good ole days...

Jodi - posted on 10/17/2009

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Quoting Jo:

I was 16 when I got the internet for the first time myself. (I had used the internet in school and realized I was a super nerd [coding became a second language for me] and even now I am a graphic artist [you know those touched up pictures - guilty - I was in that business - note the past tense] and am still some of my friends first call when their comp goes bust)



I think I was about 16 when I got to actually first use a computer, LOL.  It was an old Apple Mac, it was fascinating to us, and our school had two of them ....... we were still using manual typewriters in the typing class and the internet was probably only a twinkle in someone's eye.  When I read this it made me feel old, LOL!!

?? - posted on 10/17/2009

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I grew up in a town of all of 800 people ! The next closes TOWN (and I use that word loosely, it wasn't much bigger) was about a 30 minute drive away. The closest city... 2.5 hour drive away. The closest WALMART, is still 2.5 hour away. They only got cable internet about 3 years ago. I had a house, a forrest and a bike. Everything else was a luxury lol Our phone was one of those dialy phones for the longest time then we got the punch pad phone, and then a portable phone! Hell for the first 10 years of my life, there was ONE PHONE LINE for all of the town I lived in. Literally, you picked up the phone, listened to see if anyone was talking, and if they weren't you could dial. If you heard someone's voice, you hung up and waited your turn. LUCKILY everyone in town were VERY good friends and there was never a worry of people listening in - and you could usually tell if someone picked up anyways.



Anyways, we had no library, except for what was in the school, we had ONE store that was also the post office and cafe. We had the lake, we had the playground/park and we had the forest to play in.



I was 16 when I got the internet for the first time myself. (I had used the internet in school and realized I was a super nerd [coding became a second language for me] and even now I am a graphic artist [you know those touched up pictures - guilty - I was in that business - note the past tense] and am still some of my friends first call when their comp goes bust)



My first cell phone, was actually mine and my brother's and it was our only phone since neither of us were at home ever - he was at college or work and I was in school or at the library - one of us would take it with us in the morning going back and forth between each other so that our parents could get ahold of us. (We lived 2 hrs from them - my brother in college and me in highschool).



The TV has always been... there... but NEVER something that I NEED TO HAVE. I really couldn't be bothered if it were gone either.



So no... those things have never been a necessity for me. Imagination and your own 2 feet.. things like those are necessities for children though, I think. A bike is a nice addition and books too - but as long as you can use your imagination and you can wander around, I don't think anyone needs the rest of those things.....

[deleted account]

I don't think those things are basic in that you need them to survive, but I think it depends on what you do as to whether you actually need them. I could survive quite easily without cable TV-and did, until my husband and I got married and moved in together, when we got it for him. If I turned on the TV before that, I either watched a movie or just one of the basic channels, and that was all I wanted. The internet, however, I cannot do without. Much of my work communication is done through e-mail-shift switches, meeting times and changes, problems that arise during the week that need to be addresed. And much of my research is done online-with the rise of online databases and journals, school libraries don't carry as many paper copies of journals and subscriptions as before, so I legitimately need access to these things at home, not just using WiFi at the coffeeshop or on campus. So if you don't do something for a living that requires research or constant e-mail communication, and if your children have access to computers with net access at school, I can see not having it-*especially* if you're having trouble paying bills. Phones, though? I have to say that I think that some sort of working phone, be it landline, cell phone, or whatever, is neccessary unless there is just no way to afford it. If an emergency should arise at home or with a family member elsewhere, a phone is the best and easiest way to get in touch.



So basically, I guess it just depends on the situation. But if it comes down to those things or clothes, food, etc.? Then they stop being important-proirities shift and other things have to come first.

Sharon - posted on 10/17/2009

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omg - I took my daughter and 6 of her friends, 2 brothers, 3 of the friends brothers and a friend of one of the friends brothers for a total of 7 - 7 yr olds, 2 10 yr olds, 2 12 yr olds and 2 14 yr olds to the movies for my daughters' birthday - omg omg omg

Popcorn is $7 a bucket, a largish sized box/bag of candy was $3.75, a bottle of water is $3.75 or $4.75... holy crap holy crap holy crap holy crap...... tickets were $7 each for the matinee....



I'm REELING from the cost.... At least the popcorn had a free refill each....



I cut all the corners I could, I bought 4 of the largest bottles of water, and 4 of the biggest tubs of popcorn and 1 bag of candy per 2 kids and made them share. I got 48 of the "free water" cups and doled out the popcorn with those and filled a second cup with water for drinking, and don't hate me, I refilled the bottles at the water fountain.



IF I had thought about this, I would have filled the party goody bags with candy and a juice box because they didn't check those at all!!!! SHIT!!!

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2009

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Not that I ever have a chance to go see a movie (don't really have anyone out here I trust w/ Colin except for my husband and who wants to go to a movie alone?) but ours has one showing each evening and I think two per day on weekends...of course it is the same movie for like two weeks, but hey its better than nothing!



Youth Clubs are such a great thing, hopefully the one your dad started is still open

Jodi - posted on 10/17/2009

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Sarah, even our movie theatre only opened two days a week, and only one night, LOL :) My mum told me they have now shut it down.....there's nothing left for the teens to do on a Saturday night!! I hope they have kept the Youth Club hall open - my dad initiated that one back when we were teens, to give kids a safe place to hang out on the weekends, we'd have discos (showing my age now), or trivia nights, it was fun.

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2009

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Things here stay open till 7 or 8 depending so I guess we are lucky! After that we do have a 24 hour gas station...

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2009

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Completely fair Jodi, if the computer is a source of income it becomes more of a necessity. I guess it just really irked me how people seem to feel that they have to have tv, internet, etc even if they are relying on welfare to pay their bills. If you are using it to better your life that opens a whole new can of worms...

Jodi - posted on 10/17/2009

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Sharon, I was raised in a town where population was 2000 people, so I know what you mean :) Nothing was open after 5pm!!

Jodi - posted on 10/17/2009

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Sarah, as you know I've been participating in that thread too, and I do agree that these things aren't a necessity, although I think computer and internet does depend on the situation.



We only just purchased a computer for the kids just this year because my son was getting more and more homework requiring him to do online research. He could have booked time each week in the library at school, however, if we were down to our basic needs. I could also argue that many years ago (about 10), I was finishing my Bachelor degree, but I was a correspondence/online student. I worked full time, and studied in the evenings when Jayden was in bed. I was single in those days, so there was no way, with working days, and having a very young son, I couldn't use libraries at night to access the internet, so in that case, it was an essential service for me.



Nowadays, my business is an online store, so obviously, no matter how tough we are doing it in our house, our interenet is an essential service :)

Sharon - posted on 10/17/2009

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OMG the first couple of years it was soooo hard!!! And going to the store and finding out they are out of something and not having 5 more stores to go and look for it.... ARGH!!!

Thankfully our walmart is a 24 store - lol even if it is really far away. I'm not sure if the grocery stores are 24 hours, I am grateful that they take turns each year to be open on thanksgiving and christmas day!!

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2009

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I would go crazy where you live Sharon! It has been quite an adjustment for me not having 24 hour grocery stores where I live now....I got spoiled having Meijer and a 24 hour Walmart within five minutes of my house :-)

Sharon - posted on 10/17/2009

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lol I forget some of you live in civilization and not out in the sticks like me!! Busses, stores to walk to, real libraries (we have a van that comes by)... lol my mailbox is a mile and a 1/2 away....

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2009

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Lol Sharon I keep forgetting that some people don't have access to libraries. Anywhere I have lived this has been the norm, so yes in your situation I can see where a computer could be a necessity if you have school age children.

For those of you who are interested here is the quote that spurred me starting this conversation (its from the welfare single mom post)

"The government has plenty of money to doul out to the banks to keep them afloat why not help bail out all the children too?!!! I dont see anything wrong with getting help for your children when you and your children need it. People from other counties come here dont work a day in the USA but get all the benefits why not the citizens that need it too>. nothing at all wrong with that. Personally I cannot qualify for these benefits but beleive me if I could I certainly would! And nothing at all wrong with having a cel phone instead of a very expensive land line! Nothing wrong with cable tv _ cant get regular tv with out it and no need to make your children suffer with out it. TV is a break from all of the mommy this and mommy that. And How it the world can anyone live with out internet OMG! these are all basic nessecities."

Sharon - posted on 10/17/2009

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I keep forgetting you guys have access to libraries.



We don't. The city next to us has library w/computers but its usually full of homeless people.

JL - posted on 10/17/2009

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An essential basic need is food, water, and shelter.



An basic need in our modern times is having some sort of phone service (cell or land) at least for emergency needs and maintaining contact with others, having some sort of access to a radio or newspaper to keep up with what is going on in the world, and having some sort of access to a computer with internet capabilites especially if you are in school since this is required. Now I said having access to which doesn't mean owning these things, because you can have access through a library or a school. Owning these things just makes the access convenient, but it is a not a neccesity to own these things.



A luxury is having an additional phone service, a phone with all the extra gadgets and services, a tv..heck several tv's, cable, a computer at home, a laptop, and internet service at home. I remember the days when pagers were few and far between and now everyone I know has a cell phone. Things have changed so much.

Sharon - posted on 10/17/2009

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For adults? None of that.



For the kids? without a home computer & access to the internet - they're falling behind. My kids teachers count on them having a computer at home to do assignments.



I could get up early and take them to school to stand in line and hopefully they'll get to use one of the school computers before class starts. But I hear that is rare. They can only get in the school 1/2 hr to 45 min early and getting the info they need and getting stuff printed out properly is soooo rare. There is rarely a teacher there to help out.



But the rest of it, nope. Not necessary.

Jenny - posted on 10/17/2009

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Basic phone service (cell or land line) is a need I believe. We need a way to communicate in an emergency. Mine is pre pay 30 a month. I don't consider it a luxury. The other stuff for sure though.

Amie - posted on 10/17/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

I think a new generation of "I NEED THIS & THAT" attempts to make a valid, but poor, excuse to claim that they NEED the Internet for homework or they NEED a cell phone to keep in touch with family/friends, or they NEED the latest gadget. The research shows that the biggest consumers of the latest and newest mobile electronics are 13-18 year olds-and it's because the companies sell as packages and parents cave in. I enjoy my luxuries, but I know the difference between a neccesity & luxury.


They need the internet for homework. LOL!! I remember hearing that one from a few friends in high school. I got by fine without the internet to do homework, my parents were to cheap to get it until I moved out. LOL! I went to the library and used books and the internet there when it was needed. It is not needed everyday though.



Cell phones, my sister has her attached like it's another limb. She throws a fit whenever she loses it. She's 16 and thinks it's her life line. When they were here last I had to back up my mom on the issue. She started spouting off on how I have one. Yes I do, I'm an adult and it stays in my purse for when emergencies or reminders. Ex... I go to the store and forgot what my husband wanted to me to get. LOL! That happens way too often. Or when we're travelling in case something happens and we're stuck on the side of the road. Thank god that's never happened though.



The constant need for the latest thing is because of the marketing. More and more companies market to the kids because they know kids will badger their parents until they give in. At least my kids know I won't. They'll see something and ask. The usual answer, wait until your birthday, Christmas, etc. Then we'll talk about things. =)

Amie - posted on 10/17/2009

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Basic needs are what you need to survive. Internet, cable, phones, etc. Do not fall into that category. That's some kind of materialistic person if they believe those are basic needs.

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2009

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Thanks ladies, you have reaffirmed my faith in society! I was seriously starting to wonder when luxuries became basic needs.

[deleted account]

I think a new generation of "I NEED THIS & THAT" attempts to make a valid, but poor, excuse to claim that they NEED the Internet for homework or they NEED a cell phone to keep in touch with family/friends, or they NEED the latest gadget. The research shows that the biggest consumers of the latest and newest mobile electronics are 13-18 year olds-and it's because the companies sell as packages and parents cave in. I enjoy my luxuries, but I know the difference between a neccesity & luxury.

Erin - posted on 10/17/2009

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Ummmm NO. Those things are nice luxuries that we've all become accustomed to, but they are not necessities. I admit I don't know what I'd do without a mobile phone (and yes a lot of people rely on them for their jobs), but I have at times been without the Internet in the last 10 years (when I had house-mates and was moving around a bit) and I don't have cable. If I couldn't feed and clothe my daughter those things would be the first to go.

[deleted account]

NO WAY!!!!

Food, running clean water, roof over your head, heating in winter or A/C in summer if you live in a hot climate. Those sort of things are basic needs .... although i don't want to give up my internet!

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