The household vignettes: Menon/Taylor household

April 2015, Melbourne, by Jolynna Sinanan

Jasmine was based in Melbourne and overseas for work in the last three years. In that time, she says that WhatsApp was the most comforting to her for her relationships with her parents and her partner Ben at home. She found Skype too frustrating with coordinating time differences and not being able to see or hear the person clearly because of poor internet connection. With WhatsApp, she could see when the person had received her message and when they were last online, which gave her an idea of what the other person was doing throughout the day. She would also send voice messages to Ben and he would reply to her. She would listen to and reply to his messages when she woke up and before she went to sleep because she found it more intimate. Through their voice messages, they could also carry a conversation across a few days.




Ben Taylor moved to Australia three years ago from the UK. His main way of staying in touch with his friends from home is through Facebook and WhatsApp. Because of the time difference, he finds that he can catch up on chatting, sharing jokes or images throughout the evening when he is doing other things such as waiting for the kettle or microwave for a few minutes. He is also an avid runner and finds that his phone is helpful for tracking his runs. Although his running apps ask for his location, he doesn’t mind as he only uses them while he’s out for that run. Ben used to use his tablet a lot more, especially while he travelled, but now he has his new phone, he rarely uses it as the phone is much more portable and can do everything he did with the tablet.

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