Stoicism and broadband – a guest post

Celebrating Sunday, I am going to share a speech that my daughter (Aine O’Donnell) wrote for her high school (freshman) rhetoric paper. I thought folks might enjoy a completely new look at broadband…

Where do you go when you have a question on your homework? Or when you need to catch up on the latest celebrity drama? Or maybe to get in touch with your family across the globe? We use the internet. But not everyone has access to the internet; there are entire towns right here in Minnesota that have little to no internet access. It’s not even an option. Imagine that painful moment when the internet is down and your hit with that wall of frustration, especially when you need to finish that huge assignment. That’s life without proper internet access. It’s hard to even imagine not having internet, isn’t it. This is the reality for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.  In our industrialized lives, Internet access is a necessity for anyone seeking prosperity.

According to Pew Research “17% of teenagers say they are often or sometimes unable to complete homework assignments because they do not have reliable access to  internet connection” (Anderson). This lack of internet access leaves people at a disadvantage, stripping away their chance to get anywhere those with internet easily can. This issue goes beyond the individuals. The lack of internet access affects entire communities, leaving them in the dust as the rest of the world progresses, getting more and more digital everyday. Without internet, we can’t do our homework, can’t apply for jobs, cent get remote access to health care (which is very important in rural areas), and much, much more. The internet is not just for Netflix and Snapchat, it’s not a luxury it’s a right  and an absolute necessity to be the people we want to be.

Stoicism involves obeying nature by evolving our gift of reason (aka our natural mind) for the ultimate goal of happiness through wisdom. . The internet keeps you in touch with the rest of the world and updated on our ever renewing ideas and discoveries. In that sense: the internet is parallel to Seneca’s letters, because he used the modern technology of his time to spread his knowledge to the world. Much like how Internet is our modern technology to spread and receive knowledge. In our modern time, the internet is undoubtedly a necessity to fulfill the duty of a stoic.,

To go back to my original question, where do you go when you have a question? The internet! But did it ever occur to you that people don’t have that option? That’s a lot of questions left unanswered.  Much like the food on our table or roof over our head, when you have it you don’t often think about those who don’t. But does that really mean it’s not an issue? Of course not! The Internet truly is more and more of a necessity as humanity progresses, to deny this is to deny the progression itself.  We are the future, which means that the path of our progression is in our hands. We can’t continue to leave so many people behind. If not everyone has a chance, no one has a chance.

Works Cited

Anderson, Monica, and Andrew Perrin. “Nearly One-in-Five Teens Can’t Always Finish Their Homework Because of the Digital Divide.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 26 Oct. 2018,


This entry was posted in Digital Divide, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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