Back to Brick (Part 3)

December 27, 2013 11:11 AM

Rachel Loveday’s Back to Brick feature explores technology dependence and addiction in the 21st century through the perspectives of six people of four different age groups. In Part 1, her parents’ perspectives were explored. In Part 2, the perspectives of two fellow university students and fellow residents of the university accommodation  she lived at were explored. In Part 3, her older brother’s perspective will be explored.


Nathan, my brother, 27

Growing up, Nathan and I have always been close and as adults we still are. Although he had four years on me, when I came along, we experienced most things together. However when it came to technology, I always seem to catch on and adapt to it much faster than he did. I’m not saying this as the mean younger sister. I’ve always loved computers and the internet, video game consoles, mobile phones (even before I had my own), I took to it all right away and never had any trouble learning how to use them. Nathan on the other hand, although keen to learn and always gave every new technology a try and still does, found it a bit harder to adapt. What a difference a four year gap makes.

Last year, he completed a basic and beginner computer class at the Riverina Community College. He told me the class involved learning very basic computer skills such as turning the computer on and off, using a Word document and learning basic ways to use other programs. Doing this course gave him confidence to go to TAFE and obtain a Certificate II in Business Administration. Him and mum would sometimes share a classroom at TAFE and they would do their homework together. Mum tried not to embarrass him when they were at TAFE, but I know she loved the fact that they were learning these skills together, we’re a tight knit family and always have been close, but now that Nathan and I are adults, opportunities for our parents to bond and spend time with us like that are rare. They finished their classes just last week and will be graduating in December. He told me that he learnt skills with his beginner community college and TAFE classes, because he didn’t feel that he had an  understanding of computers.

“I found computers and technology a little difficult to understand, I didn’t mind watching you using computers, video games or anything else. I’m not as into technology as you are but I like to learn.”

I think sometimes he sees himself as technologically behind because of this difficulty understanding technology, but another way to look at it, is a blessing in disguise. He’s not addicted to technology. He told me that he could easily go a couple of days without looking at his phone. I know that this is true, because he usually only calls me once a week and I always have to remind him to call. He’s not completely behind though, he just recently bought his own touch screen smartphone, I’m yet to do the same, I’m the only member of my family with a mobile phone that still has buttons.