Tell us your internet story.
***This blog segment is the work of 3 contributors; digital media consultant/mother-of-dragons, investigative journalist/Minecraft noob and youth correspondent/18-year-old with serious FOMO. We are regular people just like you and other regular people you might know. These are our stories. Please join us by sharing your own story in the comments below.
KAYLAH FAULKNER, YOUTH CORRESPONDENT | Linkedin
My relationship with the internet is that 50/50 relationship. That one that makes you question if you’re giving more than you’re taking. The one that can make you question if you’re too this or not enough that. BUT it is the relationship that pushes you into your depths you didn’t know existed. The one that shows and teaches you all these new things. The one that is the most comfortable because you know, in the end, it will always be there.
I can’t remember a time where I didn’t have the internet. I vividly remember the days where I’d sit in my nan’s computer room playing the ABC3 website or watching my older cousin message her friends on MSN. The internet has always just been there throughout my life. It’s a generational thing, I’m sure. Obviously, my relationship with it has changed as I’ve grown up a bit more, and it has too.
I’m one of those people you could probably call ‘addicted’ to the internet but I’m not 100% addicted, you know? I’ll check my Instagram and facebook and snapchat numerous times a day, but I know when to take a step back and go outside and read a book or something. I try to be mindful. But, it is easy to get lost in the void of mindless scrolling. I follow people I find interesting and accounts who post meaningful and eye-opening things that I enjoy. I use the internet to connect with people I want to see every day but can’t. I try to avoid posts that make me question who I truly am, but that will always be hard when there are so many different avenues the internet can take you down.
It also provides a sense of comfort for me in a way. If there’s something I don’t know or I’m in a situation I don’t want to be in or I need to talk to someone urgently, I know I can reach in my pocket and it will be there for me every time.
CAYCE HILL, DIGITAL MEDIA CONSULTANT | Linkedin
My relationship with the internet started pretty early in my adolescence. I can still remember when mom brought home our first computer and plugged it into the ‘internet’ via AOL. In those days I learned to use the internet and AOL ‘chatrooms’ to talk to strangers. It felt exhilarating and totally safe at the time. As I got older I started using the internet to blog, which became a semi-religious practice. But then it occurred to me that the internet was sort of forever, and that this stuff aka my innermost personal thoughts and feelings would remain public. I started writing private entries and then made a prompt return to my hardcover journal. In college Facebook changed all that. That’s when I started posting the days events (all be them semi-cryptic) and a heap of photos and videos. At this point I think I decided to trust the internet, to just give it over everything I have. Some people felt jaded but I was really keen to love this space, to make it work for me rather than me work for it.
But overtime Facebook kept changing and other platforms would come and go and those that have stuck around have enhanced my life to some degree, but one problem still remains - the internet isn’t going away.
It’s not that I want it to, it’s just that I know all good things come to an end. And I’m worried, because I feel that the internet, my once beloved internet that has helped me to connect with so many wonderful people all over the world, is near its end. And I don’t want it to go, at least not the way it seems to be spiralling out of control. I feel a fierce need to protect it. But I fear it has to reach it’s lowest point first. Maybe it already has.
alasdair mcdonald, journalist | linkedin
My relationship with the internet has changed and I think it always will.
It began as a place I only entered as a kid to help me with my homework and has become a lifestyle. Mobile phones probably changed it the most. Now I can upload anything anywhere and use a bunch of apps for anything from tuning my guitar to buying food and arguing on Twitter with someone I will never meet. I know I am one of 3.6 billion people who log on to the net yet I feel like my relationship is a very personal one. It feels like an intimate relationship. Most answers are a click away and you can feel like you can’t live without it. And at times this relationship can grow so deep it almost feels toxic and you need some space. You feel like you need to disconnect and be in the real world for just a moment.
For the most part my relationship feels symbiotic. A happy existence. But is this relationship a two way street? Should I define this relationship by also including what the internet wants from me? How it’s made me skeptical about whether I can trust it with my most personal and private information. It wants to know everything about me and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that.