This weeks blog post for BCM241 is about returning to the same person that we interviewed about their childhood experience of television. This time round I performed a phone interview with my 60yr old uncle again about the role and effect that the internet plays in his current life.
The key theme that developed throughout our discussion was the new constant connection with his family. Now that his four children are all well into their adult hood and starting families of their own the internet provides a platform that penetrates boundaries of distance and time.
Through the use of their, him and his wife’s, two mobile phones, a computer, Ipad and two laptops they maintain a connection and involvement in their children, parent, extended families and grandchildren’s lives. This ability to connect online becomes crucial for my uncle as he lives in an area where the closest child lives three hours drive away and his furthest is living all the way in America. Not only that but he has four grand children that also live around 4 hours away.
The internet also serves as a platform for his self expression, with him being able to share his many, and I mean many, photos that he takes with close friends and family via email or Facebook.
This all displays the crucial role that the internet plays in his life to maintain contact and presence in the special people of his life. Without the internet his life would be far more separated and distant from those he loves and i’m sure more flights to America would have to be booked.
There has been a few studies into the role of internet connectedness, including research into new technology for greater engagement with grandchildren online, digital divide between ages and computer, internet and email use benefits and issues for older adults.
With the internet, for my uncle, it almost doesn’t matters where he is. As he is all connected to the ones he loves.