Generational vs cultural differences for the Internet in Malaysia

Malaysia is the 5th “most connected” country in Asia (data 3 years old but should still hold mostly true). So it’s with some surprise when I come visit home that there are vast differences in the way we do things. We don’t check online for local garages – we drive around and find ones that look good or word off traditional word of mouth recommendations. On the other hand, Dominos Pizza in Malaysia accepts online payments, in a country that has traditionally shied away from e-commerce due to high levels of fraud, and we managed to pre-emptively order a lot of Emily’s baby kit from an online store before we arrived.

Hard for me to always establish which differences are due to culture – it’s a hard-bargaining, fraud-averse environment here – and how many are due to generational differences. Most of our visits here are spent with my parents and aunts and uncles – who are of a different age, shall we say.

Regardless of what the cause is, I’ve taken some delight in spreading a few bits of my digital-era practices here. A couple of aunts have been introduced to Apps, I’ve been evangelising true Smartphones whilst battling against aging Nokias and so on. The motivation is more than slightly self-interested – it’s lovely to have my family more connected to our lives as we share them digitally – including the ongoing development of young Emily and our other adventures…

Cousins – what do you think?? Digital Guru Shayna?