My family home still had good ol’ dial-up Internet that makes all those crazy sounds until I was about 12. We then had Ethernet for another few years, by then most of my friends already had Wi-Fi. My parents have both been slow to transition into Wi-Fi, digital TV and smartphones. They’re hesitant and I think they never wanted us to become too attached to technology (oops, too late). They were very much against things like online gaming; my brother still isn’t allowed Xbox or Playstation. It also took a lot of begging and convincing for our parents to buy us iPhones and allow Wi-Fi in the household.
At first we had a very minimal amount of broadband GBs, Dad slowly had to increase the amount because my brother and I would always use it up before the month was over, meaning we sometimes had to deal with excruciatingly slow internet. Those times were torturous. Now, there’s still a limit on the Wi-Fi, 100 GBs. One of the things I relish most about living out of home is unlimited Wi-Fi, it’s honestly what dreams are made of. Back home, especially during my teenage years my brother and I would spend countless hours watching YouTube videos, streaming shows and on social media. Because of this we’d usually burn through our Internet limit before the month was over, at which my dad would get very frustrated. He would demand how on Earth we managed to use so much up in a single day. Oh, Dad… it’s the Internet, a world of possibilities, can you blame us?
Although the rest of family doesn’t yet use Netflix (my one true love) both my parents often use iView to catch up on their favourite ABC shows. Now they both have smartphones (my Mum having only bought her first mobile last year) and my dad also has an iPad, which I’m still teaching him how to use properly.
This comes as no surprise as ineptness when it comes to technology seems to run in the family. My grandma has rung me up to ask how to plug her iPhone into the computer, when I explained that you take it out of the adapter and put it into the USB port, she was utterly confused and I had to spend a further 15 minutes giving her a step-by-step guide over the phone. She also once asked me help look for her iPad whilst I was visiting, saying she couldn’t remember where she’d put it, only that she remembered putting it “on Wi-Fi”. Low and behold, during my search I found the iPad on Wi-Fi, literally. It was resting on top of the WiFi modem, not quite how you connect it to the Wi-Fi Grandma, but nice try. It only got worse when I tried to explain that Wi-Fi is everywhere in the air around us.
That being said I can understand why it must be hard for older generations to transition, whilst some embrace it, for others it can be confusing. I’ve grown up with technology that is constantly evolving so it’s been easy for me to grow with it. It can be exasperating trying to teach my Grandparents and Parents how to use different devices and how the Internet works, especially when I feel I’m repeating myself five times.
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