Digital Project: Home is never too far away when you have a laptop


During the beginning of last year, in the month of February, my Mother (Leonor) was told that she had lung cancer. Within this time I was attending my first year at the University of Wollongong with also two jobs on the side, plus my brothers both moved to Sydney and my father had his full time job at Blue Scope steel.  This relates to the story because my family was having trouble with free time to help my mother when she had to participate in continuous appointments, tests procedures and then when it came to the surgery that took about a week.

“In the situation I was in, I could actually communicate with people and express how I felt. Like my father could not make it to the hospital in Sydney.” – Leonor Neto

I was finding it hard to contact my mother and was unable to travel to see her. Before further procedures and the surgery my father and I went out to the store to find her a laptop because I noticed she enjoyed the computer at home. I looked up that at some private hospitals they can supply WiFi so I thought it would be a good idea to get the laptop. We bought her a small laptop that she took to the hospital and as we found out it was much easier for her and us to contact each other.

“I had the availability of communication. In an environment I could not escape from. It was a form of connecting to everybody and I was escaping the confines of a room… Even when I play Scrabble, it was a game I was conversing with people. It felt like a way they could contact me. I did not get a lot of people visiting me, plus I was mostly connected to tubes and uncomfortable a lot of the time and there for I was fine without seeing people. I had that (Laptop) which was fine. I did not feel lonely or isolated even though I was in a room by myself.” – Leonor Neto

I taught my mother how to use Facebook, how to access her email and even Skype when she felt very lonely some nights and wanted to talk to either of us or friends when she was away. My mother felt more comfortable and less isolated within the room she was confined in. I found that this project was interesting to see the deep connection between communication and the idea of home not always being far away when it comes to technology.

“Basically I wanted to see what everyone else was doing to take my mind off whatever pain I had. It was a means of relaxation and communication because I was chatting with people around the world. Sometimes when I could not sleep I would just access the laptop and talk to my Facebook friends.”- Leonor Neto

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When I began my research back in 2014 at the beginning of the year it was targeted at a way for me to easily find something that my mother would be interested in and would use regularly for entertainment and communication. This is one of the major problems I faced with both this assignment and with retracing my steps from last year. When I studied the way in which my mother communicated it seemed that the computer was more favourable compared to other devices in which I gave her involving a mobile and tablet.

What I have learnt from simply studying my home surroundings and the way in which my mother interacted with objects was quite interesting because I was not prepared to evaluate what she would do regularly to find something she liked. An example being that a tablet she found was much harder to use because she could not write, could not change or download apps as effectively or even the fact that the font might be too small most of the time for her to read/write.

Even though I took on more of a story approach for this assignment I did however have to research various things involving contacting the hospitals in order to find out which had wifi. Whether it would be favoured in more private hospitals than local. Plus when looking for the specific laptop that matched all of my mother’s needs was very hard as well.

I thought this was an interesting part upon the project because not a lot of hospitals actually supply wifi in which my mother demanded it. Than when it came to finding the specific laptop my mother wanted I had to ask her various questions like, do you want it to write more or to use it for online purposes? I found that my mother wanted to use it for both these reasons because she is very creative in the way in which she writes and how she really likes to go on Facebook and play such games as Scrabble in her free time. She also loves to research in which she did in her time to find out more things about Cancer and the effects of it so she had a bit of knowledge within that area.

The most common challenges I found was mainly from having the actual interview with my mother and bringing up the past. Due to the event having a major impact upon all of our lives it was very hard to bring it up again however my mum wanted to give me all the facts freely. I also knew that I had to ask her if she wanted me to use her name, any photos or even her quotes. My mother was fine with me using her name and the quotes however the photos in which she had were too graphic to be placed in my blog so I did not worry about it.

I believe that when presenting a story to a media industry or stakeholder group you must know all the facts and information first before presenting it because that is the key to showing a true story. For example my story in which I am presenting for this subject is clear that it is a very personal one so I must watch what I say or do however I know that some people’s stories are more in-depth research. This meaning that it depends upon the story and how you present it because if it is personal than you just need to explain the story and how effective it was to the individual so that the readers or the audience feels a deep connection towards it.

So if someone was to present this story for me I would say be more formal and show that there is emotion within the story because without emotion or clear empathy than I believe a story has not impacted someone. Especially when you need to relate a story like this to a ‘place, technology and person’ you need to enthuse all these key areas to get a reaction from an individual.  This is entirely my opinion when demonstrating a story to someone higher up and everyone’s would be very different.

  • The photos in which are presented in this blog are in fact my mothers laptop and not a promotion in anyway. Plus the hyper links of the relevant sources are various readings within the subject and other key areas that connect to the story or are interesting contradictions I found. I used these key sources in just guiding me.