Net-working from Home

Gone are the days of endless page turning in the encyclopedia or searching the library when you couldn’t simply jump online and google your homework answers. This is what it was like for my parents growing up, when the idea of having internet connection and the World Wide Web at your fingertips didn’t exist.

I live in a family of 5 including myself, 2 of us are students and the other 3 are full time workers (1 being in the business industry, 1 in an administrative role and 1 a laborer). We are all over the age of 18. My current household has 1 internet data plan (ADSL), supporting 13 devices including several mobile phones, laptops, computers and a smart TV. Our number of devices is surprisingly above the Australian average of 6 devices per household or 7 with children under the age of 15 (ABS 2014-2015). Johnson, G (2016, pers. comm., 19 Aug) verified that the house has the ability to connect to the NBN but due to the telephone lines needing to be re-wired, it hasn’t been done.

Emerging technologies are the reason consumers engage with all of these devices together for work, social and entertainment purposes. As mentioned in the lecture, 86% of households in Australia have internet connection and of these, 97% of households with children under 15 have access to internet at home (ABS, 2014-2015 as cited in Evans, N 2016). This reiterates that fact that Gen Y and Z have never experienced the pre-internet world and have been raised in a tech savvy society where social media, especially, has played a huge role in their lives, becoming one of the leading reasons of internet usage amongst American teenagers aged 13-17 alone (76%) (Pew Research Centre, 2015). This is widely due to the increased access to mobile devices.

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With this major increase in access to internet, the temptation to use it for entertainment purposes such as movie/show streaming and downloading is ever increasing. In Australia alone, at the end of 2015, more than 1 million households had subscribed to Netflix since its launch in March 2015 (Roy Morgan Research, 2016).

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The popular streaming site can be accessed via a variety of devices including Smart TV’s, laptops, iPads and iPhones via access through an app. This has been a game changer to the television space within households and an important variable relating to the increase use in media. We no longer controlled by the TV guide, we no longer need to be home on time to watch a specific show or record it to watch back as it can be accessed immediately online. Furthermore, as explained by Page, C (2015), social media has enabled popular shows and actors to interact better with their audience, bringing content from the TV screen to the second screen via popular platforms such as Twitter. Similarly, the notion of multi-tasking has increased as individuals can have two screens open, for example my dad is a fan of watching the horses on one screen whilst placing his bets on another without moving from the lounge.

It is still not unusual to find my parents watching the news of a night time on TV and now, according to Page C (2015), thanks to social media, more young people are taking an interest in the news. However, they are more likely to access the news via social media platforms, as I do personally but what will this mean for future generations? The access to these multidimensional devices and new mediums to watch ‘television’ have also consequently made the notion of television an informal practice in comparison to the experiences of older generations as mentioned in my previous blog. Family time in front of the TV trips to the cinema are also decreasing. Jackson, J (2015) supports this, explaining in 16- to 24-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds, time spent watching TV has fallen each year since 2010 as they turn to online activities and services such as YouTube.

Overall, there are advantages and consequences of the ever changing media landscape in the home. Multi-screening is definitely on the rise as people are increasingly using mobile phones in front of the TV or laptop. However, it has made practices in the home much more convenient such as banking (72%), online shopping (61%), connecting with family and friends both domestically and internationally (social networking, 72%) and entertainment (60%) (ABS, 2014-2015 as cited in Evans, N 2016).

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References:

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014 – 2015, Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, Cat 8146.0, ABS, Canberra < http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8146.0&gt;

Evans, N 2016, ‘Week 4: Locating the networked homes,’ lecture slides, BCM240, University of Wollongong, 19 August 2016,

Jackson, J 2015, ‘Children spending less time in front of the TV as they turn to online media,’ The Guardian, 6 August, viewed 19 August 2016 < https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/aug/06/children-spending-less-time-in-front-of-tv-ofcom&gt;

Johnson, G 2016, pers. comm. 19 August

Netflix finishes 2015 reaching 2,728,000 Australians, 2016, Roy Morgan Research, viewed 16 August 2016 <http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6633-netflix-growth-slows-by-end-of-year-december-2015-201601182300>

Page, C 2015 ‘How Technology is changing the way we watch television’, The Briefcase, viewed 19 August, <http://www.itbriefcase.net/how-technology-is-changing-the-way-we-watch-television&gt;

Teens, Social Media and Technology Overview 2015, Pew Research Centre, viewed 19 August 2016, <http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2015/04/PI_TeensandTech_Update2015_040915.pdf&gt;

 

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One Response to Net-working from Home

  1. Pingback: The Household Diaries | danielle johnson

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