Generation: Internet

I previously interviewed my mum about her first experiences of television, this time it’s about the internet. She first connected to the internet with a dial up connection at the age of 28 when I was five. Her first memories of internet use are social experiences, talking to others on forums and emailing friends and family. Since then she has flourished into an internet native to rival the best of Gen Y. After reminding me for the millionth time that she has 1550 more followers than me on Twitter, she went onto MemeGenerator and made up another meme for her legion of devotees.

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With the introduction of the NBN we were seeing an overhaul of the old copper wires that connect most of us to the nervous system that is the internet being replaced with fibre-optic cable. This cable to the home would have, according to NBNCo provided users with never before seen speeds in Australia. Since the change of government those speeds have been reduced to… It’s all explained in The Hamster Decides Episode 2 from 14.05 to 19.05 (Craig Reucassel is the best :’) ).

Some parts of the Illawarra have seen the introduction of fibre to the home NBN. Just across from where I live, many of my friends in another suburb are already connected to it and enjoy faster speeds than they’ve ever seen before (and they are able to watch Game of Thrones faster than me). Although the seemingly slower speeds in my suburb don’t impact on my work, I imagine it does on others. Faster speeds in one suburb and slower speeds in another can create a kind of divide where the slower suburb, mine, is left in the “dark” with slower speeds and less reliable access. As one of my fellow students described it, it’s a “technological poverty”. Is it a way of saying “this suburb is worth more than yours is, therefore they get faster internet”?

Is it a generational gap that is making it more difficult to get faster internet implemented? It seems that may not be the case. Labor was determined to put fibre to the home in place which would see internet speeds like never before, but LNP is set on its fibre to the node NBN which wouldn’t vastly improve our current internet capabilities. Yet most of these politicians are from the same generation. I think it’s who is listening to other generations rather than a generation gap.

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My mother is a heavy user of the internet. She has thousands of followers on Twitter who wait with bated breath to retweet her next photo tweet, but maybe she is the exception. Of course, we know there are some people who think the internet is some kind of evil tool used to spread evil things, but ultimately it’s used for procrastinating and watching cat videos.

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