I decided to choose a topic that I believe has a strong occurrence in everyday life but most people don’t tend to notice it. It has become a social norm to use mobile devices regularly and sometimes they are used at times that can be considered unacceptable or dangerous. I wanted to elaborate on the concept of the interaction of the virtual and the real world and how this concept can be connected to real life scenarios. The first scenario I suggested was letting the virtual world take over the real world in a negative way. I used the example of using mobile devices and driving.
Driving and the safety measures that are needed to do this task are very important. There are many distractions that drivers can encounter daily. Although all distractions aren’t self-inflicted many drivers choose to ignore the consequences that come with being distracted while driving. All forms of communication these days are so instantaneous and it has become a social norm to always be using social media and mobile devices. In most cases this a good thing but whilst driving I look around and all I see are people’s heads down and engaging with their phone. This curiosity of the connection between the virtual world and real world and how it can pose different effects on people lead me to my research topic.
The other scenario I drew from was a positive example of how the virtual world can actually enhance the real world. I suggested a personal experience of mine using facetime to connect with my family in a different state. The facetime allowed me to reduce the space between my family and I and it made the experience realistic.
I wanted the design of my digital project to be interactive allowing the user to be interested in the content and the overall objective of my project. I chose to present my digital project through a Prezi that included links to further readings and videos so the audience could seek more information and develop their own ideas about the concept. Some of my interest in the topic derived from personal experiences and history, having some personal connection to the topic also allowed me to give greater insight into the project. I am subjective in some parts of my project, mainly in sections regarding the positive aspects of the virtual world enhancing or changing the real world. I added my own personal insight because I thought it would make my topic and the point I was trying to get across more relatable. My goal was to make the audience think about the effect that the virtual world can have on the real world but I also wanted to solidify that the effects of the virtual world aren’t all just negative and there are some positive aspects.
I conducted two different types of qualitative research for this project. I conducted a survey in which had a result of 176 respondents and I also conducted interviews with two interview subjects in order to get a more personalised response and opinion. Both endeavours for the research were positive and it allowed me to obtain information that would be more effective in my digital project. I used the website survey monkey to administer the survey in an easy way and the response for the survey was put in easy to read charts and percentages.
I have shared my project on my blog so people can view it there. Although this is a good place for my classmates and tutors to view my work it is probably not the best option for the public to be able to see my blog and further view my digital project. In order for my digital project to be seen on my blog, I need to create more traffic to my blog and this will also help me gain more followers that can view the project.
Learning and development
Before starting the project I already had a sound knowledge on my topic but I needed to make it more relatable so people would understand the concept better. I already knew that the implications of the virtual world affecting the real world can be considered in both a positive and negative light but through research, I was able to gain a better understanding of how this theory can be applied to real life scenarios. I gained more knowledge on the use of Prezi and how it can be used to convey my message in an innovative and entertaining way. Conducting research was something that I was familiar with so I was very confident that the research I gained was sufficient.
For the future
Doing this project allowed me to connect my personal thoughts and ideas to topics I have learnt throughout this semester. Engaging with the topics learnt has also allowed me to also extend my knowledge and come with my own personalised ideas and theories. I also believe by adding extra resources for the viewers to look at may influence them to take on my ideas and maybe develop some of their own. I believe the viewers will take this digital project and apply the concepts to real life circumstances and I believe it will make them more aware.
The project was extremely satisfying. Mainly because this is the first official digital project I have created and I believe my concept worked really well with the medium I used to present the project. The project allowed me to come up with examples to match the ideas I brought forward. I think my task adequately made the audience think about how media practices and audience experiences are spatial in nature.
Most forms of media are regulated in today’s society. This is because media can pose certain risks to society so the idea of regulation is used as a form of protection. An incidence of media regulation in action is the regulations on media ownership. The regulation of media ownership is needed to keep diversity in the media so that the information that is produced is diverse between different media avenues. The regulation of media ownership controls the idea of the ‘media space’ and what people can see in their own media space. Other forms of media regulation can include how social media sites regulate what their audiences can view. Facebook does this with each individual account and individualises the known information to cater for each account. Facebook filters advertisement’s, videos and images to suit the perceived image and needs of each account holder. Although this is a form of regulation I believe it is a negative form of regulating information. Facebook are grooming and manipulating its users to believe that their individual account is private. Facebook alters their media space and what they see. The individual account holders are not given a choice. Media regulation can be both a positive negative thing. It can help protect and reduce the risk of creating stress in a society when media produced may potentially cause offense or harm to those who engage with it. But it can also be used as an unnecessary form of power and can be used to create a sense of control for the benefit of themselves and not others.
While trying to complete the weeks 5-9 blog posts, I noticed myself getting more interested in the blog topics and I found myself genuinely wanting to write about how I have interpreted the topics and what I consider to be the most interesting parts of them. Every week in tutorials I engage with other students around me and we talk about our ideas for our posts each week. We also read each other’s blog posts and compare the similarities and differences between them. By reading other people’s blogs it enhances my perspective regarding the given topics and it allows me to come up with different ideas for the following weeks.
So far, my blogging experience has been extremely positive it has helped me be more invested in the topics and to think about them differently than existing articles. It has also helped with my blog post composition and trying to create exposure for my blog. Although there have been many positive experiences I have also struggled with developing some posts. The main thing I have struggled with is the word limit for each post. I like to keep my blog posts short and I try and introduce the relevant information quickly and succinctly. I do this because I know when I look at other bloggers posts if they are extremely long I normally don’t read the whole thing and sometimes I won’t read it all if I think it is too long. Most of my posts are between 400-500 words which are under the requested word limit of 600-800 words but I believe I have added all the information needed in the word limit I have used. For future posts, I plan to try my best reach the requested limit by adding in extra secondary sources that I have used to aid me in my thought process and planning process for the weekly posts.
After the feedback from task 1 I have revaluated the way in which I have been writing my blogs and I have adjusted them accordingly. A lot of my errors were just simple punctuation problems and I have tried to rectify this by re-reading over my posts numerous times and setting out a specific editing process so there are no mistakes. Since the feedback, I have also been adding tags and categories to enhance the overall design of my blog site. I have also made more of an effort to search for secondary sources. By doing this it has broadened my knowledge on the assigned topics and it has also helped me see that the topics can be interpreted differently, there is no distinct answer. Considering all the feedback has made me look at my blog differently and think about how it is seen from the audience’s perspective. It has also made me think about who my audience is. Initially, all I had in my head was that these posts are only going to be seen by other BCM 240 students and that they are my audience. The feedback I was given has allowed me to get a different outlook and consider that other people may come across my blog and I want them to feel like I am targeting them with my information.
In order for my blog posts to been seen by other people I need to create traffic to my site and I need to gain regular readers in order for my blog to be successful. I have found this process hard but I have come up with some ways that potentially may bring more readers to my blog site. I have followed every member of my class in hope that they will follow me back. This will help my blog get more views and hopefully my class viewers will tell other people about my blog which may result in more followers. I could also potentially promote my blog on the UOW communications and media Facebook page by asking people to read and follow my blog. This will help my blog get more exposure. Before I put the above blog exposure strategies into place I need to edit my blog and research about how I can set up my blog in a way that will be appealing to potential readers. I am terrible with technology and I believe it is really important for my blog to be presented well because if it isn’t that could affect how many followers my blog gets. I have watched numerous Youtube videos and I have read blog posts from other bloggers that have shown me how I can use WordPress to my advantage and it showed me all the hidden perks of this website that I never knew about.
In some of my posts, I have referenced to other students that I have engaged with but I haven’t embedded their blog site into mine so I have gone back and edited my previous posts to make them more appealing. I have also gone back to previous posts and added images to attract readers because I think people are more likely read my blog if the words are broken up with something interesting but most of all relevant to look at.
Completing the blog posts has made me engage with what I am learning more and it has pushed me to think outside of the box. The posts have allowed me to develop my own ideas and it has shown me that I don’t need to take the information I have learnt as the absolute answer, I can develop my own interpretation of concepts and create ideas that may have never been expressed before. It is exciting to think that the ideas I present in my blog may be the first of its kind and that this may force other bloggers to elaborate on these ideas and ultimately come up with new concepts in the world of media, audience and place.
It has been requested that this week we are to develop a small and informal test to try and see what happens to someone’s attention in the presence of multiple media devices. I created a test that would ultimately compare what someone’s behaviour is like when they are overloaded with multiple devices and what happens when they have absolutely none. I believe the easiest way to get results from this test is not asking specific questions and getting answers, but monitoring the subjects behaviour and their reactions to normal everyday practices so it is more authentic. I tested this theory on my brother and my mum. I did this process individually so I didn’t have to observe both of them at the one time. I observed my brother first. I knew he had an assignment to do, so I asked him if he would mind trying to do the assignment in front of the television. I also wanted him to have his phone with him. Although, I did not need to ask him to do this because he already always has his phone glued to his hand 24/7. I observed how much attention he was paying to each device and I also wanted to see how much quality work he could get done at the end of the observation. I found that whenever he received a notification he would look at it straight away, he wouldn’t finish the sentence he was typing, his eyes would directly be to the phone as soon as it buzzed. Just for my own reference I thought it would be interesting to see if he could hold a conversation while using the three forms of media, this was hard. He constantly had to ask me to repeat what I was saying or he would give me a one worded answer to make the conversation end. This showed me it is impossible keep his private media reserved just to himself, it affected those around him in a place that he considered his own media space. I also noticed that he had spent more time looking at the television rather than trying to do his assignment. After the tv show had finished he was able to tell me everything that happened on the show and he also admitted to using the structure of doing his assignment in the ads and then watching the show when it came back on. He said he found it almost impossible to succinctly complete either one of the task he was doing whether it be watching the tv, writing a text or completing his assignment. He said he felt like he did none of them well because they each kept interrupting each other. Next I monitored my mum’s behaviour with all three devices. My mum is a teacher so I asked her to do some of her work on the computer while in front of the T.V. and also with her phone beside her. I noticed mum found it easier to concentrate on the work that she was doing. I think this is because she is not very good with technology which meant she had to be focused on one task at a time to try and start her work that she needed to do. While having a break from her work mum was texting and I tried to talk to her just to see what would happen, I recieved no response. After she had finished her text she knew someone had been talking to her but she didn’t know who and she didn’t know what they had said. My mum still does the one finger typing of her text messages and this in itself takes extreme amounts of concentration for her. My mum had no chance at successfully mastering any type of media let alone three at one. I chose to monitor both my brother and my mum because they come from two extremely different generations and their exposure to media has been completely different. From what I have gathered from my research it depends on the person and how much exposure to media they can withstand without their attention span wavering. I conducted other research on the use of multiple devices and how it may affect someones presence and attention span. Through looking at results of a study conducted on the American Marketing Association website, the results portrayed some very simlar outcomes. Similarities such as the differnece in generations and how many devices they can use between each generation was almost exactly the same as my findings.
This week it was requested that I have to take a photo of someone using a mobile device in a public place and explore the idea of public and private media and how they may intersect when using mobile devices in a public place. I decided to take a photo of my brother because he is always on his phone in public places, for example when he travels via bus to and from school he is always on his phone and even when we go out to family dinners he can’t keep his hand off his phone. I took a photo of my brother at our last family dinner at our local Chinese restaurant. I can’t help but notice while my brother is on his phone at the dinner table there is an obvious disconnection. He has chosen to his private media practice over his surroundings. As shown in the week six lecture the use of public media such as a television in a waiting room can unintentionally put the people watching the tv on the same media path. Although this may be true it could also be considered that the use of private media such as a mobile phone can form a disconnection between all people in the room and this can cancel out the public aspect of the television in the room. I believe there are unspoken rules in my family regarding mobile phone usage in a public place such as a restaurant. I know not to use my phone because I know my parents wouldn’t like it and they consider it to be rude. Although this is the case my brother still decided to use his phone at the dinner table. He wasn’t considering those around him in the public space. He was thinking about his own media space and what he thought was acceptable to do. When taking a photo of someone else the ethics of photography should always be considered. Even though I decided to use a family member for my photograph, ethics still needs to be managed appropriately. Initially, I asked my brothers permission before taking the photograph. Knowing I would be talking about him on my blog I also asked if it was ok that I feature him in my post, he agreed. Similarly, if I had chosen to take a photo of someone I didn’t know I still would have asked their permission. Although it is legally acceptable to take photos in a public place it may also be considered morally unacceptable to take a photo of someone that does not want to be photographed. By photographing someone that does not want to be photographed, it could tarnish my reputation as a blogger and it could cause readers rethink whether my blog is reliable or not. People are more likely to abuse the instantaneous use of mobile phone cameras in today’s society because they are so accessible. People don’t consider the most ethical way to produce and distribute photographs that are taken publicly. They aren’t given any time to think about it because the motion of getting your phone out of your pocket and to then click the camera app is so quick that the thought of ethical practices hasn’t even entered the mind of the individual. It is evident that public and private media practices intersect but I don’t believe they complement each other. They are complete opposites and ultimately contradict each other when considering what is morally and ethically right in a public forum. I think when directly engaging with people in the real world it should be considered as this. The constant jump between and the virtual and the real world shouldn’t affect the relationships an Individual has in real life.
When I was younger I would always go to the movies in the school holidays and it would be something I always looked forward to. As I have become older the environment of being at the movies has changed. People are constantly on their phones, accepting phone calls, texting and even scrolling through Facebook. I can’t just go to the movies anymore and not get distracted. The last time I went to the movies I watched The Suicide Squad and although it was an amazing movie my surroundings were so off-putting that it almost tarnished the whole movie and what I thought about it. I didn’t get to experience the full impact of the movie. Something that I had the opportunity to control was where I would sit. Religiously I always sit towards the back because I vividly remember my mum saying when I was younger that I’d get a sore neck if I sat right at the front. When I went to watch Suicide Squad similarly, I sat at the back which ended up being a bad decision. I could see every single phone light in the cinema which was distracting and off-putting. When referring to Hägerstrand’s three limitations regarding the space-time path, there are many limitations that adequately relate to my unsuccessful movie experience. The limitation of capability was a major factor in my movie experience. There were limitations in the way that there was the option of moving seats during the movie. There were many opportunities for me to get up during the movie and move to a seat towards the front so I wasn’t distracted by the other people in the cinema. Although this is the case there were people on both sides of me and two rows of people behind me. If I moved I would then be interrupting their experience. While in the movie theatre I had to decide whether it was worth moving seats and I had to consider the trade-off between space and time. The constraint of coupling can also be relatable to the above example of seating arrangements. It is expected in a movie theatre that you stay in that one particular place for the given length of time that the movie goes for. As this is the case, if I moved seats half way through the movie it would have been frowned upon and not accepted. While in an enclosed public space such as the movie theatre it is essential that my space- time path must temporarily link with those around me so that everyone in the movie theatre can accomplish the task of completing the movie. The last constraint of authority was extremely lacking in my cinema experience. When I was younger it was known that you should never talk in a movie theatre or have your feet on the seats because there would be an employee from the cinemas always watching and if you did something wrong they would tell you off or kick you out. The authority aspect of the movie theatre these days is lacking and almost non-existent. There is still always someone standing at the door monitoring who goes in and out but they never attempt to stop people from using their phones. This authority is needed to ensure that all viewers in the cinema are all getting what they paid for. There is a need for stricter limitations on phone use and other technology use in the cinema because of the large distraction it causes. It is evident Hägerstrand’s that space-time paths are very relatable to my cinema experience and it can also be applied to any human spatial activity.