|Average Australian home||$5000 a year|
|Smart renter||$2000 a year|
|Very smart renter||$1000 a year|
The above costs are part of the costs calculated in Appliances and gadgets.
- The internet has been figured out by advertisers and people who want to manipulate others for their gain, political or otherwise. Their algorithms are now very effective .
- The internet can be a massive time waster, especially that some social networking sites are designed to get your attention and keep it for as long as possible .
- The Christchurch massacre highlighted how easily extreme groups can proliferate online .
- Currently, 8% of the world’s electricity is used to power the internet, a figure that is only expected to grow .
At a household level
- Social media algorithms can prevent us from getting a healthy mix of viewpoints on a topic .
- There’s mostly shallow information online to cater to shorter attention spans .
- Lots of online time and the use of apps has led to the loss of basic skills like personal communication, navigation and critical thinking .
- More than one hour a day of online time and social media use has been linked to depression .
- Excessive screen time for children is having negative effects on child development .
- The costs for devices and connections really add up .
Use mobile data wisely and maintain your privacy
- Use an ad blocking browser. Not only are ads annoying, they also consume lots of data.
- Save your mobile data for when you really need it. It is more expensive and requires much more energy than broadband and Wi-Fi. Carry a book instead.
- Turn off your mobile data and your GPS/location setting when you are not using them.
- Limiting the use of mobile data can allow you to get by with a very cheap mobile plan (e.g. $15 a month or less)
- Social media is not news; is it a selection of news links, web links and people’s opinions curated to suit your preferences.
- Compliment online information with quality news sources, podcasts, community radio sources and books (your local library is a great resource) to get a more in depth view of the world.
- Use a search engine that doesn’t collect your online data (e.g. DuckDuckGo) and doesn’t personalise your search results which can limit the information you find.
- Learn to have a healthy but not paranoid scepticism of news sources and to ask yourself if there is any motivation or agenda from the author. If something feels odd, cross check it.
- Fact checked information is a good starting point, e.g. The Conversation, Wikipedia or official bodies like the Australian Medical Association. No one is correct 100% of the time but these sources are held to account in a way that fake news sources are not.
Limit online time
- Share devices at home if possible (e.g. one household laptop) so that you will use your time online more wisely.
- Minimise online time to an hour or less a day on average (including video streaming) and children under two should avoid screen time altogether .
- Avoid social media or email apps on phones and switch off notifications. Access social media when you need it rather than leaving it on all the time.
- Switch off your internet router when the internet is not in use. This is psychological; it reminds you that the internet is only on when you want to use it.
- Limiting internet use also allows you to go on a cheaper home internet plan (e.g. $50 a month or less).
Pay your dues
- If regularly access information that is of a high standard, be prepared to donate or subscribe if possible. Good journalism and research should be encouraged.
Learn some real skills
- Learn to maintain skills without the internet, e.g. navigation without online maps.
- Get outdoors.
- Do some real stuff with real people.
Further Reading: https://psmag.com/economics/how-we-give-online-advertisers-the-tools-to-manipulate-us  https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/is-digital-advertising-a-new-form-of-market-manipulation/
 Regardless of your political leanings, the idea that social media could be manipulated on a very large scale to influence a democratic election is very troubling:https://now.northropgrumman.com/this-is-your-brain-on-instagram-effects-of-social-media-on-the-brain  https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/120114/how-does-facebook-fb-make-money.asp  https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2019/mar/19/the-christchurch-massacre-and-the-rise-of-far-right-extremism  https://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/12/11/tsunami-data-consume-one-fifth-global-electricity-2025/  https://www.wired.com/2016/11/filter-bubble-destroying-democracy/  http://thetechnologicalcitizen.com/?p=414  https://www.nature.com/news/technology-use-or-lose-our-navigation-skills-1.19632  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/losing-essential-skills-t_b_8577818  https://newyorkbehavioralhealth.com/the-impact-of-social-media-use-on-social-skills  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202193605.htm  https://psychcentral.com/news/2018/11/11/too-much-screen-time-linked-to-anxiety-depression-in-young-children-and-teens/139931.html  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5823000/
 Currently, the average person in Australia spends $2300 on internet devices, connections and services:
 See this article for further recommendations for children: