Korean Cinema

Okay, so we have spoken about globalisation in the essence that our world is getting smaller, and national boundaries are closing; we have talked about cultural appropriation in terms of using elements of one culture in a negative way; and finally, international students and the need to interact and learn from them more. Now its time to talk about Korean cinema, and how it can be seen as a media example of cultural hybridisation – that is, how Korean culture has essentially had an influence on not only the film industry, but on Australia and other Asian countries in general.

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Woongjai, 2009 argues  argues that the ‘Korean wave is an indication of new global, as well as local, transformations in the cultural and the economic arena,’ and I completely agree. Asia, in particular Korea has seen to have a huge impact on the western world in terms of culture, what we watch, who we look up to, how we dress, trade, investment, global communication as well as film production and consumption. These trends, according to Woongjai, are particularly evident in the recent popularity of South Korean cinema and culture.

“Along with the strong tides of global economy and culture coursing through the Asian region, the last decade has also witnessed the development of a unique pattern of media production, distribution and consumption, in which one can see the signs of an increased diversity of originating nationalities.” – Woongjai, 2009.

With the rise of cable TV, the internet and satellite, new media channels and avenues of distribution have become evident, which has played a huge part in the popularity and growth of Korean film and global film in general. ‘South Korea has become the seventh-largest film market in the world, with national film attendance totals by 2000 exceeding 70 million.’

The recognition of such Korean films has lead to this ‘Korean wave’ or phenomenon. The term ‘Korean wave’ simply refers to the popularity of South Korean popular culture in other Asian countries, including Australia.

Modern Korean cinema is growing in interest, importance and relevance; and is getting the attention of Hollywood, film critics and film studies. Shin, C.Y., 2005, also describes Korean cinema as a ‘cultural phenomenon.’

“South Korean Cinema is finding it place in the sun. At the dawn of the new millennium, the growing enthusiasm for Korean movies is evidenced by intense activity on multiple fronts.”

In summary, Korean Cinema can be seen as another platform, or ‘lens’ by which cultural hybridisation and globalisation and its effects can be understood and appreciated.

Have you watched a Korean film? or do you want to? Here are the Top 10 Korean films of 2015 if you’re interested in getting more of a taste of the ‘Korean Wave.’

 

Internationalising Education

 

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Are you an international student? Do you know an international student? Are you planning on one day becoming an international student by studying abroad? What is the first thing you think of when you hear the term ‘international student?’ Is it foreign, non-english-speaking, outsider, smart, brave, or insane? 

International education is Australia’s third or fourth largest export industry, depending on the price of gold at any one time, and on the Australian dollar and on visa policy… It is more than a profit-making business. It is an educational and social experience.’

Australia is an extremely popular destination for international students and those looking to study elsewhere to experience and different culture, study and travel all at the same time. Each year Australia gains more and more international students, with most of these enrolled in higher education (University and TAFE courses.) In2013, Approximately half a million international students were enrolled in education programs in Australia, with more than half of that figure in in the higher education sector, and these numbers are and will continue to rise.

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(Image from studiesinaustralia.com)

As you can see from the graph above, the top ten nationalities of international student enrolments in Australia in 2013, were all of non-english speaking background. According to Marginson, 2012, 80% of our students are from Asia. These students face an array of challenges not only in their studies and understanding the content, but also with trying to fit in with our society. Learning English however, will be one of the most valuable skills for international students, in order to expand their job opportunities and social life.

Peter Kell and Gillian Vogl concluded that while most international students spend a large amount of time learning english before they come to Australia, they are unaware of  Australian colloquialism, varying accents and fast speech which make the learning experience even harder.

“A crucial element in the achievement of success for international students is not only their academic adjustment but also their adjustment to the social and cultural environment. While academic success may heighten a student’s confidence, social and cultural adjustment can be important factors that lead to this academic success (Novera 2004, excerpt from Kell, et al 2006)”

This quote suggests that interaction with local students benefits the international student in a number of ways. This interaction also benefits the local student, as learning and experiencing different cultures is invaluable, and further leads to globalisation as discussed in my last blog post. 

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Marginson 2012 also agrees that these intercultural encounters strengthen the international student’s language proficiency in English, communicative competence, confidence and agency. We as local Australian students need to make an effort to forget the stereotypes we have in our heads of international students and make an effort to become less parochial and reach out and interact with these students. You never know, you may learn something new, teach someone something they didn’t know, or even make a close friend.

Globalisation and Cultural Appropriation

I’m sure we can all agree that the internet and trade has shrunk national borders in terms of communication, accessibility, and time, making it so easy to buy anything online from anywhere in the world; watch anything from anywhere in the world; experience and learn from areas all over the world; and even travel the world at a significantly lower price than ever before. This all comes down to globalisation of communication.

O’shaughnessy, 2012 says that globalisation has been shaped by economic, political, and military interests, as well as technological innovation, which in contemporary society largely includes social media and the internet.

O’shaughnessy says globalisation of communication is characterised by:

“Instantaneity, interconnectedness, interdependence, and a trend towards corporate mergers and conglomeration.”

Cultural appropriation however has become an issue due to globalisation. Different cultures, religions and beliefs have become much more accessible and exposed to the world with a click of a finger. Whether that be through social media platforms, books, education or television; many cultures are exposed to others.

Cultural appropriation basically means that a dominant culture uses elements of a minority culture, and often exploits that particular culture. This can be seen in offensive dressing such as wearing Indian gems worn to festivals that are sacred and meaningful to that culture.

Katy Perry can be used as an example of someone (a very well-known someone) who constantly uses cultural appropriation in her music videos.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Katy Perry performs onstage at the 2013 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

The image above was taken from her opening performance at the 2013 American Music Awards and was widely criticised for her ‘racist’ imitation of Japanese culture and her ‘unhealthy fascination with Geisha’s.’

‘During the performance, Perry donned what many termed “yellow face” while dressed up as a geisha, culturally appropriating and misaligning a portion of Japanese entertainment typically performed in a much more socially aware context.’

Take a look for yourself; what is your view on cultural appropriation?

Looking at others; suffering.

It is hard to ignore that in today’s society, suffering, death, sickness and tradgety are in the forefront of all media and in our faces every single day. We are asked to donate to charities, suggested to sponsor a child and even to simply share or like a Facebook page/image/link, in order to create awareness and spread the issue throughout the social media world. Is this all done however for the good of the subjects, or for promotional and business perspectives?

Almost 15% of Australia’s population is living in poverty. That’s a confronting 2.5 million people, many of which are children. This is not okay and something that must change. Is enough being done to create awareness on a national level? Should more be done?

The SBS documentary, Struggle Street, claims it was attempting to do just that – create awareness of what poverty in Australia looks like and depict, though images and real footage, how some people have to live. However, there was much dispute and outrage after the relies of the first episode last year, with many saying it was disrespectful and that the ‘documentary’ was essentially making fun of these people who live ‘on the dole.’ The guardian published an article about the backlash of the series and how it was seen to have exploited the lives of the subjects shown. The article raises the question, ‘is any coverage, good coverage?’

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Struggle Street documentary. 

While many people did not sympathise at all with any of the individuals on the show, and many finding it a disturbing joke with most of the episodes containing swearing, drug use, fighting and eating fast food; it is also extremely hard to look away. This raises many questions… Is it poverty porn? Is it making fun of these poor people? Is it making little of such a big issue, which is an even bigger problem in other countries? Or is it sending an important message about poverty in Australia?

Struggle Street was highly talked about due to its images and way of portraying many individual was truly shocking. But did it send the right message? It definitely brought it to the attention of many – that people in Australia are suffering, and will do almost anything for money. Whether the subjects can truly help it is the real question…

What is poverty porn exactly? Steven Threadbold says it’s ‘Like mainstream sexual porn that produces sexualised images from the male gaze for male gratification, poverty porn produces abjectifying images of the poor through a privileged gaze for privileged gratification.’ Basically, people make these types of videos, for other people to make fun of the subjects and to have a laugh about their life.

Poverty porn, also known as development porn or famine porn, has been defined as “any type of media, be it written, photographed or filmed, which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate the necessary sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause”

Poverty porn is also evident in images where the subject is depicted in a beautiful or inspiring way, but are truly deprived, sick, mistreated and unfortunate. The set of images below create artistic pieces out of those who are suffering… is this ethical? Is this okay if we are using these images to send a particular message about poverty and famine? Or is exploiting the individuals in the images? Is better or worse if these images are staged?

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from his book Sahel the End of the Road 2004 (about the drought in Sahel region of Africa)Unknown
A vulture watches a starving child in southern Sudan, March 1 1993 (Kevin Carter)kevin-carter-vulture

 

I believe it is much worse if you are using real people in desperate conditions, and staging them for photographs; no matter what the intentions are. Suffering should not serve as entertainment purposes, for art, for commercial reasons or for fame; but unfortunately in today’s society, and with social media being an easily accessed, information sharing medium, it’s very easy and common to do.

To read more on a similar topic visit Amelia Murphy’s blog post.  I believe she pointed out some very important issues and topics on the subject, and shows some great examples.

 

Can you Take a Picture of me Staring into the distance so I can Post it on Instagram!?

From the kardashians, to fitness gurus, beauty bloggers and foodies, Instagram now plays a huge role in business, clientele and reputation. It is also a platform that acts as a storytelling medium for many ordinary people and simply, a place where individuals share photos and small video clips with friends/followers.
I admit, I check Instagram literally whenever I get a chance. My phone is basically always in my hand so im constantly on social media, especially flicking through Instagram. I post photos regularly and love to make my page look pretty and following a theme, however I wouldn’t necessarily say that I care what others think of my images, or think that by posting images forms a sense of self establishment in a ‘show-off’ manner. Does this till mean I am quantifying myself? Am I collating ‘facts’ and figures and experiences and knowledge about myself on one, public platform?

Gary Wolf explains what the quantified self really means in his TED talks segment. He talks about the number of new technologies that essentially collate every single fact and figure about yourself, from sleeping patterns to the number of steps you did that day. He explains that these facts and figures are for self knowledge primarily and should be used to get to know yourself better. Is Instagram the complete opposite of this? Is it a place where we fake ourselves to make us look better? Or is it another fact about yourself? Does the number of followers or likes you have contribute to you self knowledge, or self perception? Leaders and followers: Status in the tech scheme states that ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ on various social media platforms ‘are all metrics that provides comparable measures of importance.’

My 14-Year-Old sister can be used as a perfect example of how Instagram use, may be linked with status. Olivia, times her photo-posting so as to attract the most views/likes/comments. With her growing up literally with social media, it is a much more crucial part of her everyday life. It’s not necessarily for validation that Olivia likes to do this, but more so to reach a larger audience at a given time and share with them something she is doing/loving/did/wearing etc… It is a part of her everyday life.
Status does however play a huge factor in Instagramer’s posting regime. For many, it’s all about photographs, filters, making your page flow and hash-tagging the right things for more likes, so you attract particular followers, views and even brands to your page. Sometimes Instagram is used as a platform to ‘show-off’ or even pretend that your doing something amazing, when its not really like that all the time. Most users will post the best parts of their life and completely exclude any negative connotations from their feed all together… and do we really blame them? I don’t. Does this basically mean people are faking their lives to make themselves look better? For self validation, or peer acceptance? For fame? In the article called Leaders and followers: Status in the tech scene, it explains that status refers to what your peers think about you. “yet what’s considered high status differs from context to context.”

It can be all about visibility, self validation and what people think of you and how you are perceived in the minds of others. And I admit, sometimes this is true for myself. You basically want people to know that your instagram theme is visually asthetic and flows and if you constantly post then people will always keep up to date with your feed, wait for more posts and like your images. It is a platform where people (including myself admittedly) post a picture whenever they are doing something cool or are visiting somewhere nice or when your view is nice or you are having fun with your friends or if your drinking a fancy champagne or wearing a new outfit, and as mentioned before, it is not REAL life.
This can lead though, and has, to many people being jealous of a particular person, feeling even more down about themselves and comparing their life to others.
On the other hand, you do sort of want people to think your ‘living the life,’ and most of the time it is not a true representation of your life. You could post a picture the next morning of ‘yay cocktails for my birthday at a rooftop bar’ looking all pretty and fancy, but in reality you went home and had a huge fight with your partner, or you got kicked out home for being too drunk etc…

Many individuals however, can and do make a living from promoting themselves and products on Instagram. Take Kim Kardashian for example, her Instagram feed is basically an advertising platform of HER and her life, which keeps people up-to-date and interested in following her – and thus watching ‘Keeping up With the Kardashians’, leading to more money for them.Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.05.22 pm.png

Kim K believes this selfie was posted because she is ‘liberated’, proud of her body and as a symbol of self empowerment. Other believe it was for attention, for advertisement, for the shock value… Whatever the true underlying meaning for the posting of this ‘selfie’ was, the fact that Instagram was the platform of choice and to see just how widespread the image became, proves that Instagram is a part of everyday life, apart of our lives and an important social media platform… whether we like it or not.

Does Texting Lead to Miscommunication in Relationships?

While texting has positively affected communication channels, safety and accessibility to one another; has it also become a reliable form of relationship building? Is this a good or a bad thing? Has this media taken the intimacy out of relationships?

For my BCM240 final project, I conducted an ethnographical study that aimed to uncover the truth about texting in relationships, and whether texting led to miscommunication. I chose to make a short interview style video, featuring people of different relationship stages and ages to get a true grasp on how they felt about texting, and whether or not this was the preferred form of communication.

I chose to include my talents speaking and to show their faces to further convey the argument; that emotions and facial expressions truly send the message. I aimed to layer both positive and negative opinions of text messaging in relationships in the video.

Finding talents proved to be slightly difficult, as not many were willing to open up about their personal relationships and communication approaches; hence why two participants were family members. This was an advantage to me, as trust was already gained and established, therefore there was no need for conversation or ‘scene-setting’ before hand. With my other talent however, I needed her to know exactly what was going on and how the video would be depicted; thus, we spoke about the topic prior to recording and I shared my thoughts and opinions with her as well, allowing for an ethical and collaborative ethnography.

70% of the people surveyed for this project said they text their partner ‘all day every day.’ Many of those who took part in this small-scale research project were Gen-Y’s; so having grown up with texting, it naturally became a reliable source of communication for them. While many participants were young (under 25) and not married, thus not seeing their partner everyday, this resulted in many more texts sent throughout the day to keep in contact.

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My survey revealed that 95% of people have had a fight through text, and when asked individually as to why this was the case, many responded by saying that it was often the case of miscommunication.

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This research project was based off research already conducted about the use of texting and mobile phones in romantic relationships. One article written on the topic is ‘Using Technology to Connect in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Attachment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Stability in Emerging Adults’ by Lori Cluff Schade , Jonathan Sandberg , Roy Bean , Dean Busby and Sarah Coyne. One aspect that stood out to me and that led to form the basis of my research was, ‘the use of texting with cell phones can increase intimacy by making partners more available and expanding their repertoire of connection (Henline, 2006).’ Does texting your partner truly allow the relationship to become more intimate? Or do we solely rely on using our thumbs to communicate, and think that is enough? Many respondents believe that face-to-face communication is still the preferred form, and will never take over texting. However a large portion of participants agreed that a mix between the two is what keeps a relationship together in our contemporary society.

In an article written by Christine Murray and Emily Campbell, they undergo research into the way technology is used by couples and how it affects the relationship. “Couples have the opportunity to stay connected in a way they never have had before.” I aimed to explore this issue more and ask the why and how question and even challenge this idea through exploring whether texting actually leads to miscommunication.

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Has the digital world and accessibility to social media and instant messaging taken the place of real life communication and relationships? My aim was to find out. Generally, younger relationships that have grown up with mobile phones and social media at their fingertips form and base their relationships (at least the communication aspect) on the convenience of text messaging. It is easy to hide behind a computer screen or mobile phone to get a message across, but when it comes to real face-to-face communication, often sharing thoughts and feelings is much harder. These spaces therefore change and are adapted depending on the person to whom we are communicating to.

For relationships, such as marriages, which were formed without text messaging, mobile phones and social media even existing; face-to-face communication is much easier, faster, convenient and preferred. Access to media and the many technological advances are only advantages, and seen as another way to communicate when they are not with their partner. However, due to this and individuals knowing how their partner communicates in person, can lead to a miscommunication through text messaging. Abbreviations and the use of emojis as silly as it may sound, if used the wrong way or if auto-correct steps in, assumptions and accusations can be made, leading to potential arguments. ‘Mobile messaging is the modern way to communicate. It’s instant, location independent, and personal. That’s why the new mobile phone generation has started to favour messaging, making it one of the fastest-growing segments of the mobile communications industry’ (Nokia, 2002).

Text messaging therefore seems to provide an opportunity for intimate personal contact whilst at the same time offering the detachment necessary to manage self-presentation and involvement. (Donna and Fraser Reid, 2004)

Overall, this experience taught me that text messaging has both negative and positive effects on an intimate relationship. While communication can be more constant and accessible thanks to text messaging, it can also prove to cause miscommunication and even superficiality within these relationships.

Texting in Relationships – Does it lead to better communication or miscommunication?

Today, I am sharing my proposal for my #BCM240 digital media project.

I am aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of texting in relationships, and whether or not it truly assists in the communication process. My research will be inducted via interview – This in relationships ranging from new and young partners, to those who are married, engaged, divorced and adults with new partners. My results will be presented in video form, and will include a ‘voxpop’ style of my tenets responses. I will also include an infograph of the results and share this right here on my blog.

Questions I will be asking my interviewees:

How often do you text your partner?

Do you show affection through texting?

Have you ever had a fight through texting?

Has texting ever led to miscommunication?

Do you believe your partner is different through texting, compared to when you are together in real life?

Have you ever gotten mad or annoyed that you partner hasn’t text you, and the day is almost over?

This research is based on research already conducted by Joshua R. Novak , Jonathan G. Sandberg , Aaron J. Jeffrey , Stephanie Young-Davis in their article The Impact of Texting on Perceptions of Face-to-Face Communication in Couples in Different Relationship Stages; as well as research conducted by Christine E. Murray , Emily C. Campbell in The Pleasures and Perils of Technology in Intimate Relationships.

Media: Mobile phones (texting)

Audience: People in relationships.

Place: real life communication vs communication through cyber space.

To Write, is to Inspire. To Blog, is to Create.

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Why blog? There are oh so many reasons why I love to blog, and would recommend it anyone and everyone.

“While there are many articles written about why you should blog to grow your business or become an expert or make a whole bunch of money—the best recommendations are still found in the personal realization that blogging changes you, the writer.” – Joshua Becker

In reflecting upon my blogging experience for #BCM240 this semester I have learnt many things including: connecting with and attracting readers; blog design as a whole including producing a blog that is easy and efficient to navigate; tweeting to promote my own blog and others, as well as engaging with fellow students about media and space; and producing a curated online environment which prompts discussion and debate.

I aimed to attract readers by using the BCM240 hashtag on social media sites, which led people to easily find my blog in the course. This hashtag on twitter also allowed me to visit other peoples’ blogs, and therefore get inspiration and ideas through what others have written and articles they have linked to.

Using categories and tags on the WordPress site itself also allowed other readers of the public to find my blog through information that is relevant to the tag they are searching. Also tagging things such as #multitasking and #mediaspace on twitter attracted readers outside of BCM240 which was a pleasant surprise. One follower tweeted me a podcast that was relevant to attention spans, that I then later included in my blog post to further enhance the information I was providing.

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On my blog itself, I including a ‘recent comments’ section in the footer, which allows readers to view other posts which I have liked, followed or commented on; adding to the overall picture of what I want my blog to portray, and what it says about me as a person.

In relation to my theme, I wanted to keep it simple, yet adding a contrast of the bright ocean (an image from New Caledonia I took myself) as I feel not only does it make the design visually appealing and not cluttered, it also says a lot about myself. I love the water, travel and re-connecting with myself and the world around me; I always have, so that was important to me in communicating my personality.

This blogging experience, as well as the many articles which we were provided with in the course, allowed me to learn more about this online environment. When reading other peers’ blogs, the use of images, large fonts, quotes and links truly strengthens the piece. I believe the shorter the blog, the more interesting and attention grabbing it is. A long, essay like blog isn’t what I’m personally attracted to so I tried to sharpen my work and condense it as much as possible from the last assignment, so as to communicate to a larger audience.

Ferdig and Trammel noted four distinct learning advantages for blogging: the use of blogs helps students become subject-matter experts, increases student interest and ownership in learning, gives students legitimate chances to participate, and provides opportunities for diverse perspectives both inside and out of the classroom.

Much of the research and methodology I used were articles recommended in the lectures, however I also used other sources found through Google scholar and on Blergh.org.

A few ethnographic interviews were also conducted adding a primary research element, which I think enhanced my blog. In the future, I think I would try to find more articles to include, and even conduct more of my own primary research as I found this methodology was most effective. Being able to speak to my parents about their experiences with television, the internet and media, added depth and further insight into media, audience and place.

In attempt to make my blog a more curated environment, I tried to engage my readers in further conversation by asking questions throughout the post. I also linked to other students’ blogs in order to convey a collaborative effort. These connections with readers and other bloggers/students will hopefully continue on throughout my life, as they gave me great insights into thoughts of media, place and audience. 

From this experience I have learnt that posting frequently, and continually engaging in followers is important between blog posts in order to keep your audience interested – this I only learnt right at the end, and my twitter favourites, comments, views and likes on blog posts increased. I also learnt that conducting research is so important and adds so much depth to a post, something I wish I used more. Time management and resources were lacking in this department, as I regret not doing the week 6 blog ‘Public televisions and personal devices’ even though I found this the most interesting subject of them all. Unified in Social Media, But Segregated in Reality was one of my favourite posts from that week, and a blog in which I engaged with frequently.

I am very thankful that blogging was apart of this course, not only because it is enjoyable, informative and I got to engage with new and exciting people; It has also created a curated online environment in which I can show future employees my writing skills, and how I connect with other people. A job add for a large company I came across, also includes that personal blog management is required/preferred. This further clarifies the importance of producing a curated environment.

An article I found online, that has inspired me to write not only throughout this experience, but also in everyday life, is by a blogger herself. Victoria Michelson explains that blogging and the conversations that it created, increased her job opportunities.  The article talks about the benefits of blogging, and how important having an online audience/presence is.

“The aim of any blog, no matter how big or small, is to create conversation.” – Michelson

I hope that I will continue to blog on this site, as well as creating a secondary more personal blog as I believe having an online presence definitely gets you out there and teaches you so many new things. James R. Baker and Susan M. Moore believe ” blogging has beneficial effects on well-being, specifically in terms of perceived social support.” I am thankful that BCM240 has taught me many things about the online, media world, and just how important staying connected with others is in today’s society.

Mobile use at the dinner table

When is it okay to ban the use of a mobile phone? In class? a lecture? In the bathroom? Well, at my boyfriends house it is banned at the dinner table (and this rule is very strict!

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Are mobile phones and the internet creating a false sense of connection? Source 

Unlike in my own home, the use of a mobile phone isn’t really banned anywhere. yes, at the dinner table it can often be seen as rude, especially if the call or text message is not important, however it isn’t a strict rule.

In Jarrod’s home, there is a very enforced ‘Do not touch the phone AT ALL, even if it rings 43 times’ rule. (I exaggerate slightly) At first this took a little to get used to, especially if it was very loooooong winded 2 hour dinner, where there is literally no pause or leeway to check my phone. To be quite honest with you, at times it made me feel very anxious… Is this a form of social anxiety because I can’t rely on my phone to make a ‘real life’ conversation or help me feel ‘safe’?

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Seeing my phone light up or vibrate from afar and not being able to check it or even just peak at who is trying to contact you is very un-settling. It’s sad really, just how consumed and obsessed we are with our small online world that fits in the palm of our hands. These rules and regulations in Jarrod’s home are enforced through guilt, superiority and control.

An article written by the Sydney Morning Herald outlines the use of mobile phones in public spaces, and how social ettiquite is being demolished as a result. Is the dinner table a public space? Or is it seen as more rude to use a phone in the dining room because it is a ‘private’ space, saved for times of family bonding and conversation partaking? The lines between public and private space are becoming very fine, as access to the outside/online world is brought into our living spaces.

The Business reporter revealed that the 5 top rudest places to use your mobile Phone are:

  1. At a restaurant
  2. At a family dinner
  3. In a meeting
  4. At the cinema (or other quiet places) – probably a library too.
  5. At a church or worship service. (look up #funeral on Instagram and Tumblr if you feel like getting reaaaaally angry at humans.)

The mobile phone in essence changes the way in which space is defined. If I we were ‘allowed’ to use our phones at the dinner table, would we really be at the dinner table? Which space would we truly be in? #foodforthough

Let me know what you think! Tweet me or comment on this post so I can see what you think about the use of mobile phones in public (or private) spaces.

Em x

Who needs attention spans when we can multitask (and do a pretty good job at it) !?

Does multitasking mean our attention span is low? Or can we have full attention on all things we are doing?

Research conducted by Faria Sana, Tina Weston, and Melody Wiseheart, concluded that having a laptop open in a university lecture hinders academic performance. I’m not sure I entirely agree with this, although I can admit I am often guilty of having a number of un-related tabs open during a lecture, especially if I am not finding it engaging or important. Many students however, also use their laptop to take notes, Google mentioned ideas for clarification and to have their lecture slides and/or readings open in front of them. Many students who use their laptops are actually using it for a purpose, whether it is that taking notes is faster than taking them in a notepad. However our attention spans can be sacrificed.

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In a very small-scale research task, fellow BCM students Amelia and Jessica sat down in hope to measure each other’s attention spans. This didn’t go too well seeing as though we all had our laptops open, we were all munching on food, checking our phones and discussing very serious life issues (such as boys, the gym and food.) both sequential screening (move between devices) and simultaneous screening (using multiple devises at the same time) was evident. Although at first, the experiment was only between Jessica and Amelia, and I was merely third-wheeling, I couldn’t help but observe the process. I think I heard the words “Okay lets start” and “No seriously, let’s start the work,” about 78 times??? In their minds, they hadn’t began the exercise, however I had began my research long before, mwahaha! Lets just say, attention spans were not thaaaaat great.

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In ‘Attention Spans Report’ by microsoft Canada, it concludes that while the digital age has an effect on attention span length, being able to focus on an array of tasks has increased.

“tech savvy consumers are actually getting better at processing information and encoding that information to memory.”

I couldn’t agree with this more. In relation to the small-scale ethnography research conducted last Wednesday, while attention on one sole thing may be deteriorating, just like Jessica and Amelia couldn’t stay focus on any one thing (whether that be looking up fitness prgrams, texting, the assignment or having Facebook arguments.) However, attention to detail and precision has increased due to the fact that our tech-savvy generation is able to think actively and respond to many audiences and places at once. Take for instance, right this moment I am not only trying to write this blog post, I am also tidying my room, I have 13 tabs open, I am replying to text messages on my phone AND thinking about what to cook for dinner; yet I will still get this task done, and hopefully done well, before the assignment deadline.

Growing up in this modern day society is a crazy, crazy thing, yet it’s also so exciting and actually very efficient when you really think about it 😉