As you know, the Internet has many uses. The possibilities are endless; start a business, sell and promote your art, access government services, find love, check the weather, stay updated on local and world news, the list goes on. We spoke with one woman, Sarah Allen, about her experience living in a rural community and having access to faster, more affordable Internet.
In which rural community do you live?
We moved to Ingersoll, ON last March (about 10,000 people live here) but moved from Mt. Elgin, ON where we lived for seven years. Mt. Elgin has approx. 1,000 people and is completely rural.
How old are you children?
4 children. Almost 12, 9.5, almost 4 and almost 2.
What is your specialty in the childcare field?
I am a registered Early Childhood Educator, currently on an extended maternity leave.
What inspired you to get involved with social media?
I needed that connection. To be able to communicate with other adults. Plus I had been told that there are lots of great contests on Twitter.
You are quite active on Twitter. What kind of support do you offer other mothers via social media?
I am an administrator on a Facebook board where other ladies can offer up completely free items that may otherwise end up in the landfill. I also teach people how to contest via Facebook and Twitter. Recently, I have been trying to help other moms get the help they need when it comes to dental care for their children. We recently had an experience where our 3-year-old needed major dental surgery. We had to jump through many hoops to access the care she needed. Now I’m hoping to let others know about our experience.
Have you been able to access new opportunities through digital media?
Because of social media I have been able to attend Blissdom Canada, which is an amazing social media conference. As well, due to contests that I’ve found on Twitter and Facebook, I am able to provide my children and family with activities that we would never be able to afford. Not to mention that I have met some of the most amazing people in the world via social media. The support I have found on Twitter is simply a blessing.
How do you participate in your community via social media?
Because of social media, I am able to keep up to date on things that are happening in Ingersoll. Events, things that are coming to Ingersoll etc. Ingersoll has several pages on Facebook about tourism, politics, etc.
Would you be able to offer your support to other mothers without a decent Internet connection?
Definitely not. When we were living in Mt. Elgin, the only Internet we could access was through Rogers. It was very limited (10GB a month) and very expensive. As a mom of four kids and living surrounded by farms, I needed the Internet to be able to talk to other moms, get help with my kids, offer my advice to other moms etc. We were lucky that Mt. Elgin had created a Facebook page with all the updated info on activities that they do in the community. It is very important to have reliable, reasonably priced, easy to access and large GB internet so people can keep in touch and up to date.
To learn more about Sarah Allen, follow her on Twitter at @mommy2sassykids.