As I sit here patiently waiting for the internet to connect.

That’s a lie, I am not waiting for my internet to connect, it’s 2012, my internet is continuously connected via a broadband connection. Have you ever had a Skype call drop out, I know from experience that this makes me feel frustrated and even angry. I also experience these feelings when the call buffers or skips. Another instance which conjures up these feelings is when Facebook is loading and it takes longer than a few seconds.

At 23, i’ve almost completely forgotten about the days when I had to drag Mum off the phone, so I could use the dial-up internet, to then log on to MSN and chat with my friends. It is possible that some people in my class probably are too young to even have exerienced that. For them I say, may you be thankful! That noise, full of beeps and squeals indicating that it was connecting to the internet, which took about a minute or two, was so frustrating. Although at the time, I was not concerned with how long pages took to load as I did not know any different. Now I have experienced dial-up, broadband, 3G and GPRS, amidst a multitude of different ways to access the internet, I know what is good and what is not. Although I hear in Japan the internet is even faster!

How important is it that we receive information in real time? That is one of the biggest jumps for connectivity around the world is that we can send and receive packets of data in a second. Do we take this for granted? I sure do, as Illustrated above. Stalder (2005) mentions in the article ‘Open cultures and the nature if networks,’ how networks are shaped by this idea of being time-boundless. “In an environment where information flows very quickly…” information in real time can be vitally important and it can not matter at all. Ted used the example of Google Finance. The information is about 15 minutes delayed so for someone who relys on this information to be up to date by the minute, then it is useless. Although for a journalist who needs to write an overview then it is useful. Another example of this is the value of the Australian dollar, when online shopping with overseas currency, you don’t want yesterdays value otherwise you don’t know go much you are actually paying.

In June this year, Melbourne was struck by an earthquake, I found it astonishing that I could read about it seconds after it occurred. Twitter was abuzz with people tweeting about the earthquake, instantaneously people all around the world read about it. Just another real time part of the Internet to think about.

References:

Stalder, F. (2005) ‘Information Ecology’. In Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks pp. 62-66 [URL: http://felix.openflows.com/pdf/Notebook_eng.pdf%5D¥

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8 responses to “As I sit here patiently waiting for the internet to connect.

  1. Lou!

    How are things?

    I completely agree with this blog post you have done here. The speed that receive information is beyond crazy! We expect everything in quicker than an instance. The other crazy thing is the reliance that we are putting upon our speed in which we receive this information. We rely on receiving something as soon as it happens, and if we don’t get it then we get frustrated and it can ruin our plans. The example of Google Finance is great, as if a stock broker relied on that for his information, he would most likely be out of a job!

    Keep up the good work buddy!

  2. Great example of the Melbourne earthquakes, I felt exactly the same. After being on Facebook when it happened and seeing status updates and news online about it, about 5 minutes later I decided to turn on the TV to find almost nothing about it. The rate in which news hits the Internet (from regular citizens) before it hits new broadcasts on television is phenomenal, people are relying so much on the Internet, and it’s incidents like this which proves why.

    • When I saw that it had happened I told my Dad, he responded with “How on earth do you know that?” I responded with “dah, twitter…jeez Dad catch up” 🙂

  3. I remember the days of dial-up too. Technology’s certainly crept up on us.

    The option of having a flow of data in realtime is enormously beneficial in some cases, such as Google Finance and reporting natural disasters. I’d wager a lot of businesses make their bank using this speed to their advantage.

    However, I also think that it’s a double-edged sword in a few cases. Namely the amount of data being received. Going back to the example of those reporting a disaster, I can’t say for certain but there’s a good chance you’d have to sift through a lot of white noise or babble to get more details.

    I’ve seen several events live on the internet with the option to comment become absolutely flooded with people sending out all kinds of things. Imagine hundreds of thousands, if not millions commenting on something like that in a limited space. You’d simply be overwhelmed with information. On the other hand, splitting these flows up to avoid this congestion means you might miss something in another feed. A lot of sifting might be required.

    Then there’s the case of it being taken for granted, as you said. We might even have learned to ignore a lot of relevant, but not A grade information in order to keep up. Technology may have sped up, but I don’t think humanity’s reading skills have gotten any faster.

  4. I can’t really remember the actual transition from dial up to broadband; I do unfortunately remember my epiphany of how terrible my broadband was/is. But even then having constant access to news and information was mindblowing, especially as I didn’t get the internet until a couple of years after it became ‘the thing to have’. I agree with jhur960, that we do discard a lot of information because it is not the most up to date, forgetting that to understand the new, you need to have the context or some knowledge of the old.

  5. I also cant remember the transition of dial up to broadband, i still am in shock and awe that there was a time i didn’t have the internet. I was only 11 when my house first got the internet so i was in year 5 and it was not relevant, school did not make us use it, we did not have research assignments, life was simple. I now, can not imagine life without it, i find myself to often, checking social mediums for the latest updates whether it’s a relationships blooming on Facebook or a crisis that has happened half way across the world. I feel like you have raised some valid points, especially in regard to internet speed and the emotions especially frustration that is greatly linked to it, in today’s society if it does not perform to the optimum that we expect it to. Your blogs always have the most interesting spins to seeing things, keep it up.

  6. thinking about how we used to wait for internet to dial up is hilarious. its crazy how quickly technology moves. Its interesting to how we go on about how quickly we can revive information which is very true but we also discard information immensely faster then we used to. things go in and out of style so fast now including news. If your not up to date your outdated. The Kony incident this year is an example of 1. how quickly everyone watched the video 2. how quickly everyone tweeted and made status’ about the video and 3. how quickly everyone forgot about the video and moved on with their lives!

    what kind of information these days is strong enough to last?

    • Jenna Marbles (Jenna Mourey) and her youtube clips seem to be something that are sticking around for awhile…It could be that society needs something continuous to stick in their minds. Although Jenna Marbles videos are light hearted and are of no particular topic, she seems to gain more and more followers every week, many anticipating the release of her vlog of the week. This weeks video was uploaded 2 days ago, and currently has 1,869,295 views, WHAT? Thats roughly around 600 views a minute since it was uploaded…it seems the people have spoken…we (as a whole) like to watch humorous and relatively pointless stuff on the internet.

      She’s freaking hilarious.

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