In approaching my mother about her wondrous journey of the internet, she laughed.
“Shouldn’t you be talking to your father about that?”
(At this time my father was on the internet in the same room, so his input was also valued). Upon asking my parents if they remembered what it was like when the internet was first introduced, dad laughed, remembering the “Dial-tone from hell” and flinching slightly. Mum reminisced about the sounds, and having to dial-up every-time she needed to send an email.
Not only has the internet speed improved since then, but the devices on which the internet can access has also risen in numbers. Eventually the house-hold was equipped with fast internet, providing access from anywhere in the home, not just from the one desk. Soon iPod touches were introduced, and then Phones connected to the WiFi, and the great online streaming service was introduced (and my grades soon went out the window). Doreen Dodgen-Magee states that the introduction of the internet and these devices has had people believe that ‘social networking tends to allow for a broad sense of community, but little depth of community that allows for an intimacy that can just be tapped into’.
Now, with 500gb of NBN internet in the household, it’s safe to say that slow connections are not an issue for the 4 people in the house. “We have one data plan with the NBN, it’s with Telstra”, my dad says, reminiscing about the lovely experience he had only a few months ago. Living in the heart of Wollongong, our area was one of the first in the Illawarra to have the NBN rolled out. This of course, had an entire household of tech-savy freaks excited to even faster internet (not that the one prior had any issues). Upon the roll-out of the NBN, we began to make arrangements to go on a new data plan with Telstra, and we were promised to have it installed and ready to go towards the end of April. Well, this was definitely not the case.
On the day that the NBN technician was supposed to come, we were completely kept out of the loop – and no one showed up (shocker!). We had to then enquire as to why this was the case, being told that ‘the technician couldn’t show up, but we’ll have someone else there as soon as possible’. Of course, this wouldn’t be happening for at least a month. This is where everyone started freaking out because of the lack of internet as our current plan was being cancelled the next day.
“How am I supposed to Keep Up With the Kardashians now?” my 15-year-old sister exclaimed.
After being very disappointed with our service from Telstra and the NBNCo. we were subjected to 10gbs on a dongle to last us a month (all reimbursed by Telstra, of course!). It took them 3 Months to have the NBN installed, then it took them another 2 weeks to have the actual modem connected to the internet.
Now, having the NBN is great, yet it really wasn’t worth all the hassle that we went through. We have war-flashbacks just thinking about the terrible time. Now we use the NBN to connect to Netflix, not only through our laptops, tablets and phones, but also through the TV, woohoo!
When questioning my parents about other means of using the internet, social media was brought up, but they’re not fans of it.
“I only got back onto my FaceBook profile after not being on it for 3 years, because I got a smartphone, but Marc doesn’t use it much, he thinks he’s too old,” my mother said.
And apparently, he’s not alone when thinking this. In a 2015 survey by Pew Research Centre, it was discovered that middle aged women are more likely to have a FaceBook profile compared to Men.
In regards to personal data devices, the entire family has personal data plans with Telstra Mobile, which run out way too quickly. My sister admitted that sometimes it can be frustrating having to always let my mother know how exactly to use something, such as the AppleTV, but she knows that both our parents can get their heads around it pretty quickly.
In a 2013 study by Smart Company, it was found that Australian’s are on the internet an ‘entire day a week’.
“Have they met either of you two?”
– Marc Ferri
- Carmody, Broede. ‘How Long Do Australians Spend Online? An Entire Day A Week – And Businesses Get The Benefit’. SmartCompany.com.au. N.p., 2013. Web. Viewed 25 Aug. 2015.
- Dodgen-Magee, Doreen. ‘How is Technology Shaping Generation Y?’ Biola Magazine, viewed 24 Aug, 2015. http://magazine.biola.edu/article/10-fall/how-is-technology-shaping-generation-y/
- Pew Research Centre 2015, Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms, Pew Research Centre website, viewed 26 August 2015,