Has domestic broadband changed the way we understand the experience and meaning of home, or is this a continuation of earlier technological impacts on place?
This question from week 4’s course content struck me.
100%. Of course it has!
Let me take you back to January 2016. Five teenagers, one tween and two adults. One big beautiful home in a hilly picturesque landscape that resembled a “Swiss Alps ‘esque” scenery. Breathe taking views, multi million dollar home and the most serene atmosphere you could imagine. This holiday home had #HouseGoals written all over it. Sounds like the full package, right? No.
This holiday was the longest 6 days of my life. This holiday house had no wifi… Even worse – This holiday home had NO reception. AT ALL! None!
Don’t get me wrong, Berry delivered the goods for a holiday location (yeah, if you’re looking for complete isolation and space).
But little did we realise what an impact zero phone service would have.
I hit an all time low during this holiday. I drove 15 minutes into town just to check out Facebook. I made sure my phone was charged to 100% before going out for lunch, to optimise the most of phone coverage and free wifi. And in my darkest moments at the holiday home, I began cross stitching. Yes, that’s right, I purchased a cross stitch kit from town to keep me occupied while at the holiday house with no wifi or reception (what 19 year old cross stitches for fun?!).
Coming home from that trip made me realise that :
- I am way too hooked to my phone, 4G and free wifi.
- God bless domestic broadband.
Home suddenly became an oasis upon arrival. I had never connected to the wifi modem any faster. The 6 hour youtube binges commenced along with magnificent amounts of downloading. The trip made me realise that I missed home for than its comforting qualities, but rather the easiness of internet connection instead.
With 83% of people being internet users it’s no surprise that I was having withdrawal issues. The ABS further solidifies how extravagantly internet is accessed in a home location. According to the ABS, “almost every internet user (97%) accessed the internet from home during 2012–13. The next most popular locations to go online (using supplied equipment) were Work (49%) and Neighbour’s, friend’s or relative’s houses (41%)”. Not only am I a statistic here but no wonder why I was suffering without internet connection in a holiday ‘home’ location! In other words, let me palm off the pettiness of 6 days without domestic broadband connection to a statistic, rather than my own sadistic addiction.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012-13, Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, cat. no.8146.0, viewed 21 August 2016, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/DE28AB7779067AACCA257C89000E3F98?opendocument>.