The thought that we are able to connect with over four and a half (billion) of the seven and a half billion people who share our planet is a hard one to wrap your head around. “Connect” as in to the internet that is. In the same way that we are able to connect to people thousands of kilometres away, we are able to connect with the people who are closest to us using the same tools. In fact the people who are closest to us are usually the ones we interact with on the internet the most, even if they are right next to us.
There have been a number of technological advancements made over the last two/three decades which has formed the networked world we live in today. The first being the proposal of would eventually become the world wide web in 1989. In 1995 internet explorer is launched, boosting the overall usage of the internet for things like research, e-commerce, image browsing etc. The launch of Facebook in 2004 was the second beginning (after myspace) of the online phenomenon where people interact online. The iPhone and its partner in crime the App Store coming to life in 2008 continued this trend to our mobile devices.
How networked is the family home – the different levels of connectedness (my home)
These technologies have been instrumental in not just forming our networked world but our networked home. Home’s these days are connected on so many different levels, at the highest of these levels are the ones which employ technologies like Google and Apple Home software. Where virtually everything from lights to appliances to speakers are connected to the user’s mobile devices.
In my own home, the extent of connection are our smartphones and laptops, we aren’t currently using any sort of automatic home software. However the use of the internet is still incredibly prominent. When at home it is not uncommon for myself and my family members to communicate with each other, even when we are in the same house. Like most people, in our house we do this for convenience, for example my mum might text me when dinner is ready, my sister will ask me to check something while I’m upstairs and she’s downstairs. Because of this real human interaction between my family is lesser, however I don’t think it has an effect which ultimately disconnects us.