The connection conundrum

Growing up I never really interacted with the world of the Internet until 6th grade and even then I remember constantly bickering with my brothers over who wanted to use the landline. It was pretty exciting at first, being able to use the Internet but I must say the dial up connection got real old real fast and looking back on it I am so glad I no longer have to wait for 6 hours for a 30 min video to buffer.

In my household we have 4 data plans and 14 devices with Internet connection between 4 people, now I know what you’re thinking a little excessive isn’t it? Yes, yes it is.

For the most part the current data plan in our house is quite reliable, fast and unlimited (which saves me from losing my mind and stressing the hell out when it comes to tutorial enrolments and assessment submissions).

Recently coming back from a holiday in abroad and meeting fellow backpackers, one comment I often encountered was “have you guys in Australia got internet yet?”, yeah yeah laugh it up buddy, I get it we all get it we’re the but of the joke. It seems as Australia is so far behind other countries in terms of technology it is only natural that the same goes for the Internet connection and speed. Currently Australia ranks 44th in the world when it comes to Internet speed (Donovan,S 2015), which is shocking within itself as many people believe that Australia is far more developed than others and we are apart from technology that is.

After sitting down and discussing the changes and improvements the National Broadband Network (NBN) would bring with my mother, I continued to question her on weather she was at all excited with the change and if she was at all apprehensive about having to learn a new system knowing she wasn’t versed in the current technology as it was.

While my mother mostly uses the internet for communication and keeping up to date with the news, weather, and family, she expressed that faster connection would make it that much easier for her to communicate although was indeed a concerned when it came to learning a new system.

Before I had left for my holiday, upon request I had taken to teaching my mother how to use Facebook (a frustrating process for both of us) so that she could ‘Facebook stalk” me while I was away in order to ease her mind that I was safe. Along with this I had taught her to message and call me via Facebook chat and she later (to her excitement) discovered how to video chat. Knowing the concepts and navigation of Facebook were annoying enough to her, and the constant change in technology I can see why she is apprehensive.

All in all technology and the internet is seen as an important communication tool by my mother, and even though I also find that aspect of it important honestly couldn’t imagine a life without it (as sad as that sounds) as it is so integrated with our lives. As Boyd (2014) states ‘social media has evolved from being an esoteric jumble of technologies to a set of sites and services that are at the heart of contemporary culture’ and so staying in touch with the present is almost impossible without having at least some knowledge of how to use technology.

Boyd,D 2014  It’s Complicated, online PDF, viewed 20 august. viewed online: http://www.danah.org/books/ItsComplicated.pdf

Donovan, S (2015), ‘Internet speeds: Australia ranks 44th, study cites direction of NBN as part of problem’, ABC, 13 Jan, viewed 20 August. Viewed online: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-12/australian-internet-speeds-rank-44th-in-the-world/6012570

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