This week I went back to my father to ask him about the internet and his thoughts on it. Just like last time I asked him some questions in a conversational interview type manner and will be noting anything interesting or specific I took note of.
What Was Said
When asking my dad about how many internet accessed devices there were in the house he wasn’t sure outside of what he owned personally, my sister and I have game devices but he wasn’t aware to what extent they used internet because I handled it myself. On the other hand, he knew everything about the data plan because he organised that himself although I was the one who pressured him to get a decent plan.
Even though my dad, being the head of the house, was in charge of the data plan, when I asked him about the national broadband network, he had no idea if we were eligible. I expected that kind of response as we live quite far out of town. With some research I found that there are plans to install the NBN in the nearby town but the plans end far from where I live.
Considering we won’t be getting the NBN any time soon, we had to make predictions on how it would have changed our day to day lives. I asked how things have changed since internet came around till now to get an idea of the sort of trajectory our increasingly online lifestyle is taking us. My dad mentioned that government services and banking is becoming an increasingly online scene and how it’s frustrating for people like us who live in a place with minimal internet access to not be able to access the sites we need to in order to lodge government forms or do banking (Especially since our local bank branch closed recently).
My dad and I had a fairly in depth discussion on what we expect the future of homes with internet access becoming more prominent would be and what we expect. We both expect homes to be more of an involved place where “things happen”. Before the internet the home was mostly a place to live and return to after work but now a large number of people work from home. The need to go out to shop and run errands is decreasing as online shopping is becoming more dynamic. It has come to the point where you can order groceries online and have them delivered, never needing to leave the house at all. Research shows that 76% of internet users shop online for everything from clothes and accessories to different forms of media. Even socialising is becoming an online phenomena. Social media and online chatting has allowed people to form relationships and keep them well and truly alive without ever having to meet the other party.
It sounds bleak but it depends on how you view this shift in behaviour. Sure we’re not physically seeing friends as much when we can speak to them online whenever we need with relative ease but the same ‘ease’ that has made physical relationships redundant allows for more diverse relationships both in number and type. All my family members have friends who live out of state or even country that we regularly talk to. We may not be leaving the home to go shopping as often but it’s because the world is at our fingertips, we can order anything from anywhere around the world and have it delivered right to our door.
The Good, The Bad and The Forward Thinking
The internet has clearly changed our views of time and space, it’s changed the family dynamic and the role of the home we live in but the main point is that it’s change, not for better or worse but in a direction that we’ve never been in before. Our best course of action is to adapt and learn how to live with this new online lifestyle.