Evolution is curious thing to observe while amidst it. And particularly when things evolve so quickly relative to overall human development. Take, for example, advances in medicine. People are generally the same as they were two hundred years ago. And yet, in that era, blood letting was still a common procedure for minor aches and pains. Fifty years ago, lobotomies were not uncommon for the mentally ill. And shock treatment was frequently used less than a generation ago. I can only imagine that when I tell my children that I treated my type 1 diabetes by injecting myself four times a day, they will look at me and say, “wait a minute – you stuck a piece of metal under your skin?” How barbaric.
In much the same way, this is how I view internet access. The internet, which was not mainstream when I entered college and was entirely mainstream by the time I graduated, is not only hear to stay, but it’s arguably the most significant innovation in an era. Connecting the world in nanoseconds and the vast swathes of information exchanges that would hardly be imaginable a generation or two ago, is now completely taken for granted.
With all this incredible technological evolution, many hotels are still keen on charging their guests to use the internet. And yet, in major markets, perhaps as many as half of the hotels are offering it for free. It was just five years ago that if I wanted to use the internet at a brand new hotel in Denver, I had to not only purchase my time but also the Ethernet cable! Hotels not offering the internet complimentary are missing the boat. It’s free in some public parks. It’s free in some shopping malls – in airports – almost every coffee shop. Why would I pay for it to sit in my hotel room?
I’m confident I won’t have to wait for my kids to say to me, “Wait, you actually had to sign up and pay to use the internet, the same internet that I can access now if I just blink twice and look to the left?”