WIFI has become an essential in our homes and the most anticipated question whenever we step foot in a restaurant or café.

We can live without air for three minutes, three hours without shelter, three days without water and three weeks without food. What about WIFI?

In my own first hand experience, I’ve lived in a home without WIFI for three whole months, my workplace has one of the most unreliable WIFI connections ever, and never mind my phone bill that is THROUGH-THE-ROOF!

My initial reaction to this WIFI-less lifestyle was “how will I do anything?!” It’s not a matter of having WIFI or not it’s about functioning in life!


But here I am three months on and I’m still alive gripping a hefty phone bill.

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, conducted research into his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, proposing human beings have five sets of needs arranges in a hierarchy: psychological, safety, love and belonging, esteems and self-actualisation.

Now the question is, do Maslow’s hierarchy of needs manifest today in the digital world?

According to the World Economic Forum Digital Media and Society report, innovations in technology and digital media have altered “the fabric of daily life.” It adds, “People are interacting and connecting with each other in different ways. Their sensibilities and psychologies are changing. Blurring boundaries between private and professional lives…”

Physiological needs: Giving life to our ‘digital twin’

Our fundamental needs for survival like food, air, water and shelter, are the most unquestionable universal needs.

Nowadays, our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves, in turn, so had WIFI.

We now rely on our phones to look for property to live in, order food, and buy clothes.

Safety needs: On cyber threats and digital safety

Maslow’s concept of safety revolved around physical and financial security. Now, we expose our personal information online, so we’ve also placed our digital security a risk.

Thieves aren’t complaining, with so much information online, these robbers can access bank accounts, or hack websites.

In terms of digital security, we have a lot to lose because everything we do is recorded online. It’s terrifying!

Love and belonging needs: Virtual relationships and connections

Communicating and connecting with people from around the world is make possible thanks to the Internet and social media.

In many ways this is one of the best parts of having that connection on your phone beaming at full bars.

Who else’s parents use Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger over regular phone text? Mine do, and it chews my data away. But it gives a sense of connectedness knowing your family member is just on the other end of the chat. 

The Internet has opened the door to another realm where we can talk to people who have the same interests digitally through chat rooms, fan pages, and online gaming. 

Esteem needs: a freeway of instant feedback

Social media is virtually a drug that boosts your self-esteem. Ever felt a burst of happiness whenever someone likes your photo? Everyone has! In actual fact, it becomes addictive.

This is because in the digital world, acceptance and approval are known as ‘likes’, ‘views’, ‘comments’ and ‘hits’.

The more positive interaction we generate the better it makes us feel. But this can also be a two-lane street where trolls and negative comments can come in causing the opposite effect.

Self-actualisation needs and how we achieve it digitally

In the digital age, mobile social media provides new choices, possibilities, and the ideas for self-actualisation through constant connectivity and reinforcement of social intimacy with distant others.