As the years have passed, our abilities to communicate with the outside world has been expanded.
Most importantly, with the introduction of payphones.
As with everything in prison, this positive carries within it a negative. In this case, finding the money to pay for the calls, at a rate some 7 times higher than for payphones on the street. And I needn't state the bleedingly obvious - my phone bills have suddenly taken a sharp turn upwards, ho ho. Even so, our flow of information is chronically restricted and slow, like a tapping Morse code through a jar of honey.
Many long termers perhaps fail to realise this. Having lost my access to the net, I feel it all the more keenly; it's as if my world has suddenly shrunk from an infinite expanse down to the dimensions of my cell. That is quite a psychological blow.