As I sit here and prepare to write this post, I first pause Stranger Things on Netflix, close Facebook on my laptop, and pull up facetime on my phone to call my mum – my ‘interviewee’ from the television memories who I’ll now ask about her internet memories, the glorious, glorious internet that we can’t seem to live without. So how did she manage so well without it? I often find myself questioning what did people actually do with their time? Probably something ‘constructive.’ My mum – Rachael – got the Internet in her home when she was 19 years old, the same age I am right now. My granddad who I mentioned in an earlier post, was heavily involved in the technology world, got a computer with Internet to help my Uncle with his dyslexia. Internet involvement is something still heavily incorporated into his career – which I find interesting.
According to my mum as I spoke with her about this, my granddad was amongst some of the first people in Sydney to actually get Internet which my Uncle begun selling his model trains online with. So what did the Internet look like? Obviously big and bulky, nothing compared to the wireless ‘magic’ we have now that will somehow still evolve and manage to shock us with advancements along the way. Rachael never got to actually use the Internet until she was 22 and beginning her studies at University, and the machine – still big and bulky – sat in the dining room in an old house in Fairy Meadow. Clearly an inconvenience, it was pushed to the side and stacked beside textbooks – the ‘conventional’ way to study but also the easy way compared to the world wide web. The computer was bought in a deal, a considerably cheap one at the time as she proceeds to tell me. $1990 for the lot, monitor, tower, disk programs and Internet – probably still cheap compared to a MacBook and Wi-Fi.
What did I find most amusing about this conversation about old-style Internet? When I asked my mum if she considered this Internet to be ‘fast’ at the time. Her response? Absolutely! Upon my clear amusement she corrected herself, reminding that she didn’t know what else there was, or how to even use the Internet. So what’s changed? People use the internet for everything and anything to the point where it’s hard to imagine doing anything without it. I sit here and type out this interview and I’m reminded that I have to hand it in tomorrow, online. The internet wasn’t as much of a ‘big’ thing in my family as I initially thought it would be, and when I look back at when we got our first computer in our house – I do realise that when I was becoming a teenager and shown the way the machine and the internet works, that’s when the ‘addiction’ really started.
My mum got hooked, my sisters too and even the neighbour would come down to check out her Facebook feed because she couldn’t get the Internet in her house. It took my Uncle, someone who really knew the Internet to come in and set it up for my mum and show her how to use it before it really became a ‘necessity.’ Now, my mum says that the internet has taken over – especially when it comes to online television. My littler sisters now have Netflix and ‘hibernate’ in their rooms while mum uses Stan, another popular television streaming site. The family aspect that used to be involved with sitting around the television in the living room is no longer, and it’s easy to imagine that this is how a lot of families work now, with so much more variety available online catering to many different demographics – it’s a lot more appealing than the nightly cheesy reality shows on network TV. Even books are more often read online, especially with my mum asking whether this interview was done yet because she wanted to go back to reading her ‘E-book’, so I said my goodbyes by pressing the big red face time button and pressed play on my Netflix again, until next time.
Campbell, Colin. “Addicted To Netflix Streaming? Me Too.”. NPR.org. N.p., 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
Colley, Danielle. Theblueroom.bupa.com.au. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
Troutman, Katey. “Top 3 Reasons Why The Internet Will Kill TV”. The Cheat Sheet. N.p., 2015. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.