This week I sit down with my Mum again to have a chat, not about the old familiar friend of the Television, but the new kid on the block that she’s still trying to suss out. All of the writing in this piece, except that in brackets and the titles, are directly quoting my Mum.
Introducing the internet
We first got the Internet when you were about twelve; you needed it for school, so you’d be able to keep up. It was this Pre paid dongle that was slow, and dropped out, but for the time it was fine. When we moved houses though into the house were in now we got broadband. I think we both slowly increased the amount we used the internet, as we discovered more to do with it. I mean I don’t use it as much as you but, it’s still a lot more than I used to. I think the handiest thing has been being able to bank online, especially when I’m working, the last thing I want to do with my day off is spend it at the bank.
All we had when I was growing up was the phone, and there was only usually the one phone in the house. If you didn’t want to use that you had to send a letter, now there’s Facebook, and Skype, and other things like that, that allow you to keep in contact. I find I don’t use the phone to contact people that much anymore, I mean even Poppy Jim (80yrs, describes most tech devices as ‘whizzer wozzers’) uses Skype to talk to his brothers in England, I never thought I’d see that.
I get emails from work, to get rosters and keep in contact with my boss and other people I work with.
As a nurse I have to keep up to date with my education, and being able to use the internet makes that much easier, like at the moment I’m doing a project for work and I’m able to do it all at home. It’s a huge change from when I was at school or uni, where we had to share resources, and sometimes there might only be one textbook.
If the internet goes down we can’t do anything. The old cables we’ve got are really unreliable; every time it rains the internet seems to go down. The internet provider keeps saying that when the NBN, (which were technically already supposed to have) gets put in the drop outs will stop though, hopefully there right. The way everything is set up now, you become reliant on the internet to work, and it’s a huge pain if it goes out.
Connected but disconnected
When I grew up, of course family’s still all did their own thing, but I think it’s harder now for family’s to spend quality time together. You really have to work to set boundaries around technology. I remember when people used to come over to the house, the TV went off and you had to play or go and do something with them. Now everyone has their own devices, so even when there together there disconnected from the people there with. Again, I think it’s up to parents to put those boundaries in place, and I don’t know if that’s happening. From what I see a lot of parents seem to think that as long as there quite its fine. If kids are always on their devices then socially they can be totally disconnected, which isn’t good because it’s important, especially across generations to be able to be able to just sit down and talk.
It’s much harder to control what your kids see or watch when they have access to the internet, I mean you can put the parental locks on and position the computer in a shared space, and all the things people suggest but really you just have to be vigilant in knowing what your kids are watching.
Special thanks to my Mum again