Phones are always with us. In our pocket, in our hand, on the table. We get a notification when someone is trying to contact us and we look down. But do we answer it? Is it an appropriate time?
When we are by ourselves, in our own private space, the limits are endless. We check our social media, emails, send out text messages if we need to and I even go for the occasional face time. We aren’t necessarily controlled by rules and regulations or social etiquettes and expectations. But as soon as we are in the company of other people and surroundings, there may be.
In my family home, we have an extremely strict rule. This is DO NOT under any circumstances look at your phone when at the dinner table. I never really thought much of this rule, I always thought it was normal and that every family had their “no-phone zone” dinner time. But as I grew older and went around to my friend’s houses, I noticed that many families do use their phones at the dinner table.
It’s interesting because growing up having this rule around using my phone, has taught me the value of having this quality time with the people you are with and ,I guess, the insensitivity of being on your mobile phone in an intimate situation.
Although this rule, is not formal or regulated in the public space, there is certain conversation around the topic.
Research reported by the Daily Mail Australia have found that “mobile phones can damage personal relationships merely by their presence even when not in use.”
Two studies found that a mobile phone that is visible during a conversation, people feel less positive towards the person they are with. ‘In both studies we found evidence mobiles can have negative effects on closeness, connection, and conversation quality,’ said lead researcher Andrew Przybylski.
There are loads of other scenarios where mobile phones are also deemed inappropriate. The Pew Research Centre has found that the rudest public places to use a mobile phone are at a church or worship centre, at the cinema and other quiet spaces, during a meeting, at a family dinner and at a restaurant.
What do you think about using phones in the presence of other people? Do you think it’s downright rude or socially acceptable in this modern day?
Let me know in the comments!
In the meantime, read some really cringe-worthy moments of inappropriate phone use by clicking here.
You’re walking down the main street in the city, looking around for a nice cafe to have lunch at. You see a man wandering around and taking photos. Feeling quite uncomfortable, you try and stay of the shot. He turns around in front of you and takes a picture of the street crowds, this time you know you’re in the shot
Many people believe street photography is an art form and a way to document society but with this there are lurking concerns of privacy, consent and ethics. As a street photographer, people may confront you about photos that you have taken and even ask for them to be deleted, so should you? Technically, to photograph people in a public space is legal and many photographers may go ahead and use the photograph anyway. Is this ethical practice?
“Ironically, today everything we do is becoming increasingly captured on digital surveillance- whether is be at the ATM, in a shop, or even at a set of traffic lights – and due to this public awareness is increasing as opinions and debates form around the topic of street photography.”
User UtahN8 on Street Photography in a Paranoid time also comments on this idea. Arguing this it is not that artistry of street photography that society should be worried about, but surveillence that should concern us.
By walking out of our homes we essentially consent to be filmed and watched and photographed by any number of entities; at least a street photographer is making photos out of some interest in art or their fellow human being.
I thought I would test it out for myself and see how I felt about taking photos of people in a public space without asking them before.
I walked around the university campus and took photos of people engaging with a media screen (being either the uni’s televisions or their phones, iPads or laptops). I felt like I had to give myself a defence, like pretending I wasn’t actually taking photos of them for fear of looking like a complete weirdo. In saying this, I definitely felt uncomfortable taking a photo of someone without asking for their permission first.
It’s the photographic community’s task to educate the public about what they’re doing. In other words, instead of posturing about what they can do, street photographers better tell the public how what they’re doing is not only mindful of the public’s concerns, but also constitutes an important and valuable artistic practice that enriches not just the practitioners’ but everybody else’s lives.
I looooove movies! It’s honestly hard to think of a movie that I haven’t seen yet. Lucky for me, I have a just as eager movie companion (a.k.a my boyfriend) who comes to the movies with me around once every fortnight. Whenever I tell people how often I go to the movies they are always surprised. I get responses like “as if you can be bothered, why don’t you watch something at home”, “I haven’t been to them in months!” and “why would you waste your money when you can just stream it?”
To me, going to the movies is an experience. One in which you can escape from reality, learn something new and get you thinking about things that you might not have before. With an average Australian going to the movies 6.8 times a year, I quadripple tripple that (I’m not positive that’s a number but you get what I mean) So thanks BCM for giving me another reason to hit the movies!
We chose to go to the movie Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials on Friday for a 9pm session. Usually I choose an earlier session but I wanted to see this movie in VMAX- an ungraded movie cinema with bigger screen, bigger seats and waaaayyy more personal space. My boyfriend picked me up and we drove to the local cinema which is around 5 minutes from my house. We picked our seats before we left and cruised our way through the crowd to the candybar.
The seats that we chose in the movie theatre are the same as where we usually go. Because VMAX cinema’s have four rows of viewing rather than three, we sit on the isle (which is technically in the middle) which is perfect because it allows me to run out and pee from sculling my drink during the ads!
It’s also interesting to notice that although the cinema is quite full- presumably due to the time slot, newness of the movie and the upgraded cinema- each group of people are separate from one another. I know when I am booking online, or sitting down at a seat, there is one or two spots in between myself and everyone else. It seems in a public space, people are creating their own private space and bubble where they feel they are at the movies just with the people they have come with.
As I said before, the cinemas as a whole area at Miranda Fair has become extremely busier than they ever have before with their upgraded Event Cinema. In previous experiences at the old cinemas there and even at the cinemas at Cronulla, the audience would be around 10% of what there is at this movie.
I think this gives quite a good insight into where the cinema will go in the future. With an increased accessibility to stream movies online, especially now with Netflix, and interest from the 14-24 year old age group, the future of cinema is unknown. I think the movie industry has responded and increased interest in cinema’s with new cinema screens all over the world, such as gold class and Vmax.
Don’t worry though Event Cinemas, you’ll still be getting ticket sales from me!
NBN (National Broadband Network) is starting to roll out in suburbs across Australia and is”set to change the way Australians access the internet, with lightning-fast fibre-optic, fixed wireless and satellite technology being made available over the next 10 years.” (iiNet, 2015)
iiNet (20115) state that “there are plans to connect more than 93 per cent of Australian homes to the NBN’s fibre-optic network, allowing access to download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second – that’s four times quicker than the fastest ADSL2+ broadband currently available.” Faster internet?! Heck yes.
It’s all fun and games until you realise that NBN may not even be coming to your area… just like me.
I live in a house with my mum (Jackie), dad (Terry) and sister (Bree). Little amount of people, big amount of internet. With 2 desktop computers, 3 laptops, 3 iPads, 4 phones and 2 Netflix subscriptions, you could say we are internet fiends. Which means we need a lot of internet, unlimited in fact… thanks dad!
Whenever dad is not at the TV, he is at the computer. He spend his time on his desktop, reading the news about his favourite soccer team, playing fantasy league and watching the surf cameras. When asking him about faster internet, he said “It would be good but I’m right near the wifi so I don’t really notice it that much.”
Mum is a new internet fan, once she bough her iPad she was hooked. From being completely internet illiterate to streaming health seminars that go for literally hours. I know when the internet is slow because I can hear mum complaining that her video wont load, so it’s safe to say that she would be ecstatic to have fast internet speeds.
My sister and I are avid internet users. We use it for Netflix, uni, work, but mostly social media, which is a lot. When the internet is slow I could almost chuck my phone out the window.
Yeah… that’s exactly what I though when I first heard it too. So what is ethnography and why should we care? Well they are the questions that I’m answering today, and more specifically how collaborative ethnographic research can be used to analyse contemporary media used in the home.
As a media student, I hear a lot about and perform collaborative research often. For those of you who don’t know, collaborative research is the working and coming together with other people in order to achieve a shared result or outcome. Well as I now know, the term ‘ethnography’ plays a large role in this type of research.
Ethnography can be defined as the “study of social interactions, behaviours, and perceptions that occur within groups, teams, organisations, and communities.” The aim or goal of ethnography is to provide detailed insight into people’s views opinions and actions, as well as the culture, sights and sounds of the location that they live, through information from detailed observations and interviews (BMJ,2008)
To obtain the best results possible, researchers should aim to work collaboratively. Participating in collaborative ethnography helps bring in a qualitative or personal angle to research in order to compliment quantitative data and allows the audience to obtain more information to analyse results and findings.
But is ethnography a good form of research when discussing contemporary media used in the home? I will discuss this is relation to two articles that I analysed in class today.
Firstly, Nile & Hillygus (2005) conducted a research article ‘the impact of internet use on sociability: time- diary findings’. The article “explores the complex ways in which the Internet affects interpersonal communication and sociability.” (Nile & Hillygus, 2005) They use a ‘time-diary’ method to analyse whether internet usage in homes is in fact replacing face-to-face social time with others. This method of documenting was highly detailed, regularly recording participants online activity, but was quite impersonal and factual. It did not feature any ethnography research and was therefore lacking in the ‘why’ and ‘how’ elements of the article. An ethnographic approach to this article would allow audiences to understand their reasoning and cultural influences within the trends.
Secondly, OZTAM’s article, ‘The Australian Multiscreen report’ aims to update audiences of new household technologies and trends in major age groups who view media. This article is useful in demonstrating a broad view of contemporary media in the home through the use of quantitative data but leaves the audience asking questions and doesn’t add that personal approach. In this case, ethnographic research could add to the article by being able to question the age groups and their views behind the media devices that they use and why they use them, giving better insight into these trends.
Researchers can perform ethnographic research by conducting interviews both one-on-one and focus groups, conduct surveys or through observation.
From these articles, it can be seen that quantitative data provides accurate data but without the collaboration of ethnographic research fails to include a personal approach. It can be concluded that collaborative ethnographic research is an important component in research, as it considers the affects of cultural, social and lifestyle influences and how this can affect media usage in homes around Australia.
He squints his eyes and taps his fingers- thinking hard about the days of television that seem so long ago. Back to a time where the best entertainment meant wrestling with your siblings and talking to your friends meant meeting up at the local park. It’s hard for me to truly understand and appreciate what things were like back then when today we are all immersed in such a technologically advanced world. Television these days are a household standard and people of all ages are entertained by the increased television culture. Growing up alongside the major developments in the history of television, dad helps to paint the picture for me.
The 60’s were the childhood years where my dad lived in a little white home in Sydney’s Gymea Bay. He spent his time with his parents; June and Les, and 2 brothers; Gary and Lee, as well as a dog, 2 ducks and chickens. In the living room, parallel to the front door, features a chunky black television that is held up four legs. The TV buzzes on with the black and white static screen. Using the round dial, you would have the choice between 4 different channels that would display a black and white picture.
Dad recalls his fondest memories around the television, his brothers and himself would lay on the floor in-front of the lounge (since when is the floor comfier than the couch?) and watch cartoons like Bugs Bunny. He also watched shows like Get Smart and Gilligan’s Island but only when his parents didn’t watch TV. He says “My parents always chose what to watch- it was usually educational stuff but when they weren’t there we would always fight over what me and my brothers wanted to watch. We would always pick cartoons though”.
“Television was such a novelty, imagine not having your phone or your computer, you literally have nothing but the television for entertainment.” Dad says as he explains what it was like to have a TV when he was younger. “It was so popular and we wanted to watch it all the time but mum and dad were strict about it”. Trends in the times where dad watched television showed that he was only allowed to watch it at nighttime after dinner and definitely not while they ate dinner (doesn’t that suck!). “Sunday night was always Disney. We would watch it for hours”, says dad about his favourite moments watching TV.
Most of dad’s childhood was seeing life through a black and white screen, until late teenage years when colour television began rolling out. “It was magic”, he says. “Thinking back now I can’t believe how long I was watching black and white television for. When it came out in colour, it was like everything came to life and the television was even more exciting”.
Back then, the importance that our culture placed on television was not nearly as high as it is now. Going from one household television to six, dad loves the new ease of entertainment although he does miss rolling around in the backyard and playing catch with his dog, Trixie.
Thanks dad, you’ve given me so much to think about! I guess I’ll go sit in front of the flat screen now and watch gossip girl.