As I’ve talked about in the past about the plight of the non-metropolitan friends who are a little bit detached from our big, New Media mindset at our Podcamps and Web Seminars, it’s safe to say that I use my parents and in laws’ experiences and questions as a gauge to represent some sort of demographic.
Between all of the above, we represent an age group of 40-65, including a construction worker, CAD (computer aided drafting) operator, and a retired machinist, so I catagorize all of them as “the common man” in this situation.
The first observation is that the availability is more reachable. The in laws in the barely-there town of Little Gennesee, NY have cable access, and hence, internet. Although it’s a cost efficient, low end (under 1 MB/s) connection, it’s raised cause for my mother in law to start connecting to the family on Facebook, even working it into social conversations when discussing how some people are doing. Also, the “T” word has come up, and Twitter may find itself into their life, aside from my own bombardment of Facebook status updates via the service.
The second is and upgrade in service with my father. His DSL has become faster, and for the most part, more reliable. His long standing “downtime” has been remedied, and they actually lowered his rates, and didn’t tell him, hence refunding some of his payments. Dad has embraced technology as I present it to him. Twitter has become a window in which he keeps an eye on what we are doing, but he doesn’t seek out technology.
Another addition to this is my sister’s place. With her husband and 13 year old son, have enjoyed a massive upgrade from dial up to the newly available in their outskirts in Mercer County. This throws in another set of the “average family” to my observations. And I hope my nephew heeds my warnings to stay safe on the internet. Thought he Windows 98 machine I setup for him isn’t going to help matters there.
The last on the list is my mother. While access isn’t an issue, as she resides in the more accessable parts of Beaver County, it’s her experiences that intrigue me. She was the first of my family that I had to consider “Wait. My mom reads my blog. What am I writing about again?” (HI MOM!)
And all of this has become more interesting as of late as Facebook and Twitter have gone “mainstream” and seeing how everyone embraces all of it, and doesn’t. But more on that later…
You’re reading this blog, so there’s about a 75% chance you’re a big tech/web buff like I am. How is your family embracing the technology out there?