The way we watch television is changing due to the impact of Internet technologies. Its changing the way families and consumers watch their television whether that is because of the ability to stream or connect to each other through the internet. One thing for sure, the way in which we have connected has impacted and made new rituals within the family home. When interviewing my father it became apparent that broadband was the key to the notorious Chocolate Factory, the Internet had the power to open many new doors that were full of wonder. Just like the Augustus Gloop in the chocolate Factory my father, John Brunton jump right into this new mysterious world. Though the question remains are our now household technologies changing the way we interact within our family, is the instant gratification of high-speed Internet vs. the household television really are golden ticket? . To answer this I had to refer back to a true chocolate (internet) expert, my father.
When did you revive the Internet?
It was 1995 when the Internet entered our household; we didn’t have wireless like you kid’s have nowadays. The way the Internet operated was through modems that were able to connected us to the Internet at 48 hundreds kilobits per second, it was disgusting! We were so lucky that over the next couple years after its released the Internet managed to go quicker at 9600 kilobits per second
We only used the in Internet in our family for business; we didn’t really use it for anything else.
Where you more excited over the Internet then the television?
I think I was more excited over the invention of the television then the Internet back in 1995. Television for us was a bigger thing back then it allowed you do more things then you could do on the Internet.
Do you think that the Internet has taken over television?
Yes, this dynamic has changed now compared to when I grew up; the Internet has taken over TV, “because the internet is television”. We can stream and download TV shows and sports in a moment notice but with television this is harder to do. Um, well its obviously changed television, the rights of television are no longer. I mean its now all open, you can stream whatever you like. I Think the next generation will not survive without broadband, the problem with the Internet is that now they do all this tracking behind the scenes. They are now stirring every person and individuals into stuff he knows about, it’s narrowing his world knowledge
Would you say we are on the Internet while watching TV?
Yes, I do it every night and I’m pretty sure you do too !
Do you think this is a bad thing?
I think the bad thing is that I’m always connected to my work. They can always contact me and hassle me, there’s no down time. I can get emails at 10pm at night and they would be demanding for an answer at 9am the next morning. The way people communicate with each other have changed, our manners have changed.
Do you think this changes how are family dynamic worked? In other words did we separate more?
I don’t think we used it for social reason in the beginning, I used it more for business point of view, but as you kids grew older the Internet took over and all of a sudden it certainly did change how we acted and communicated as a family. Everybody goes on their own way, does their own thing, doing what ever they have to do on the Internet.
Would you say we where more social towards each other through the Internet then face to face?
No, were more social through the Internet, which in someway is a good thing and a bad thing. I’m able to connect to you guys, my kids when I can’t see you often or when you’re out and about. But this has it faults; we now sit in separate rooms and use the Internet to communicate. Which has in a way changed the way we used to communicate to each other. I sit in my chair and if I see something on TV I’m not to sure about, ill go and Google it “. What did you do before any of this? “I would come home I would have dinner and sit and watch TV and if I saw something I didn’t know about I would sit and discuss it with the family ”
Do you miss this family link?
I think the link is still there, it’s just a different dynamic now, and the year of just sitting together forcing conversation is long gone.
Would you say by having the Internet creates more conversation?
I think it makes for a more interesting conversation as it brings up more subjects that you have never really thought about, therefore it broadens your knowledge and gives you the opportunity to go have a look and search for yourself.
What are the benefits of having faster broadband?
The Internet has allowed me to work from home; it has given me the ability to communicate to workers that are stationed all over Australia, something that we couldn’t do before. We would travel frequently to contact each other.
Do you like that you can work from home?
I prefer working from home, but you have to be disciplined to work at home. It’s a lot easier to become distracted then it was before. The downside is you lose relationship between co-workers when you work from home, in a way I guess this is making us less social.
When the Internet goes down what is your back up plan?
I would travel back to the office or I would use my data on my phone and if that failed I guess we would have a day off. We can use the cellar networks, but the amount of data that takes wouldn’t be worth it, we couldn’t afford it
Do you think it’s a good thing that you are so reliant on the Internet?
“Um, probably not in the greater scheme of things”. Why? “Because it becoming like electricity you expect it to be there and it’s always going to be there, but someday it may not. And I use our broadband a lot, in life and work; I think we would all feel lost without it”.
Do you have a choice of preference of what broadband you go with?
“ Um, I do, but where we live we are tied down with Telstra”. Do you like Telstra? “Um, probably not to bad really, their okay, we don’t have a choice we cant change, so it doesn’t make a difference if we like them”. Do you think this is fair? “I don’t think this is fair I think most people should get the option to go with a company they feel comfortable with or what they know will work better for them”.
Would you say there was an area in your home that is un-networked?
“ No “, so you wouldn’t go into a space in your house and say this is where I don’t use media, “not in this house, everything is networked, I don’t think that needs to exist”
If you were denied access to the Internet how would you feel?
I would be pissed off; I would be annoyed, I think that no matter where you are in Australia you should be able to have Internet connection
Its clear from this interview just how much the Internet has taken over families and individuals. I guess it’s true that the Internet has opened many wonderful and scary doors in its chocolate factory empire, one that will be hard for any generations to go back to. In a way broadband is our golden ticket to our now technological lives, but the questions remains do we really want it to?
I would like to thank my Father, John Brunton for allowing me to interview him about his life experience of the Internet and television, for creating a wonderful and interesting discussion.I would love to hear your feedback, or tag me in your stories. Would love to read them!
All the best Chelsea x