When I asked my mum of her first memories of the Internet was her response was simply ‘cords’. And I don’t blame her because even my first memories of the Internet still involved a lot of cords and waiting and waiting and waiting… She struggled to recall when she first had the Internet in her home but she thinks it was around the time when she got married and moved into her first house with my dad. She remembers having a computer in her childhood home but it never had the Internet (she mainly used it to play solitaire). Her next major memory/milestone of having Internet in the home was when it went wireless, which was easy for me to recall because it was when I started high school. The interview with her ended in us both reminiscing and complaining about how it wasn’t fair that people that lived a kilometre away from us could get wireless but we couldn’t for so long because of where we lived. Even today we still have connection problems and it’s not like I live in the middle of nowhere, I live in the middle of everyone that has Internet!
I remember taking turns with my two other sisters to use the one computer at home to go onto the Internet to play games. Now we all have a laptop each and two desktop computers in the house. Every few years we upgrade our Internet package because slowly we are using more and more data, which does have something to do with the file sizes of webpages on the Internet but has a lot to do with how much time we all spend on the Internet. From uni work to online shopping the Internet plays a big role in my household. Using the Internet we watch movies on Foxtel and in the past year we have started to watch movies and TV series on Netflix on our smart TV.
The development of the Internet and smart TV’s has allowed them to be used together to create an even better entertainment experience. For a lot of families this would mean that each individual family member would be watching their on show on either their TV’s or laptops in different rooms but for mine it has been more of a case of “what TV series should we watch next?”. Being able to have access to so many shows through our smart TV’s and the internet we are able to find shows and movies that all of us agree on. The development hasn’t meant that we spend less time together it has meant that the way we spend I time together at night-time has changed.
Encyclopedia.com states that “by the mid 1990s the Internet had become a popular form of telecommunication for personal computer users”. So this could explain why a lot of mum’s memories of the Internet besides when she first got it into her house were very similar to mine but obviously we were at very different ages. It almost feels like the development of TV’s and the Internet are almost synchronised because as one develops the other develops with it.
Internet Society “Brief History of the Internet”, http://www.internetsociety.org/internet/what-internet/history-internet/brief-history-internet