I had a conversation with my Dad, who designs and writes computer software about how he thinks the internet has changed and molded and how we complete tasks and access information.
Dad first begun using the internet for work in 1989, which is no surprise for a software architect. He mainly used it to access information which was not easily accessible for the public, like Microsoft developer help info alongside communication through emails. He can’t recall the name of the search engine he used, but it wasn’t Google as that wasn’t released for another 9 years.
Today he claims the way he conducts his time when connected to the internet hasn’t really changed as he still mainly uses it for work as well as reading the news, using search engines, reading his daughters blog posts (excuse the shameless self promotion) and occasionally indulging in a good Netflix binge.
He still buys The Sydney Morning Herald in the morning to read on the train on the way to work only doing so for the following 3 reasons;
- The cryptic crosswords and Sodukus
- The high amount of internet black spots on the train from Gymea to the City
A lot of the articles in the newspaper he has already read the night before online apparently.
When we first got internet at home for domestic use, was in 1999 when I was 4. We mainly did this as we had a number of International High School Exchange students staying with us over a period of about 3-4 years and they needed a cheap and efficient way of communicating to family and friends back home. So it is hard for me to recall a time without internet access. We started with just a common dial up which dad claims originally ran at 300 baud (allegedly this is pretty fast for the time) and it was mainly used for emails and Google.
We had dial up internet for at least 10 years which begun to get painful during my brother and I’s teenage years as all of our friends would be able to call us on the home phone, while still talking to their crush on MSN. We were finally afforded this multitasking luxury in about 2011 and dad invested in a WIFI modem. Dad says the reason we upgraded is because we begun accumulating technology such as laptops, gaming consoles, and smart phones which all could utilize wireless connection to the internet.Until then my brother and I were restricted to using the internet on dad’s laptop under supervision, as we were still kids both of our parents felt the internet to be too big, too scary and unknown for us to wander alone. Hey they’re not wrong. Dad noted that the internet is just life every other aspect of his life where he had to ensure we weren’t being Catfished because he hates reality TV shows.
Today dad counted we have 9 devices in the household which are connected to the WIFI including the printer and the TV. One of the things he (and the rest of the world) loves about the Internet is the communication aspect. As we grew up in New Zealand and the majority of our relatives still live over there and the internet allows us instant contact 4,155 kms away and platforms like Facebook can show us whats going on in their lives without us physically being there.
Dad’s parents lived in a little town called Granity on the West Coast of New Zealand, Dad gave them our old computer and set up a dial up internet connection for them in 2001. This opened up a whole new world of information previously inaccessible to them. My Grandad would look up old German Submarine songs from WW2 and my grandparents had the ability to communicate to all of their children and grandchildren through email. As international calls and even domestic calls can often be somewhat expensive, this gave them communication to the outside world alongside access to multitudes of information all for the same monthly price.
Dad also mentioned the fact that when he traveled the world as a youngster, he’d have to write letters home and get photos developed to show people when he got back. He loved the fact that when I went for Europe for 6 weeks at the beginning of the year, I would have a constant stream of communication back home about what we were doing that day and where we were, also sending back photos every night through media spaces such as Facebook and Viber.
The internet opened up a world of opportunities for information and communication worldwide. Even though some of it can be scary and confusing and make you wanna just…
There’s is so much of this…
And sometimes a virtual hug from a far away friend is all you need…
The fact we have seen the birth and the growth of the internet is phenomenal and amazing.