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.

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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 😉

Is the movie theatre a waste of time and space?

I love going to the movies, not only to watch an exciting new movie on the big screen, but also as a night/day out to experience something new and eat lots of popcorn with people I love.

I remember when I was young, being taken to the movies every single school holidays by my dad along with my three best friends where we would first eat Maccas, watch the latest movie together, have some cinema treats and then have a sleepover afterwards… this is one of my fondest memories about going to the movie cinema and one that I will always associate with this space.

Today, my family and I still go occasionally however I go on a more regular basis with my boyfriend. We love it. It is a chance for us to leave our usual space and do something together. I know a cinema isn’t really a place for talking or catching up, which is why I wouldn’t really recommend it for a first date, however being in someone else’s company and experiencing the same thoughts the film gives you is a great feeling. We laugh and cry at the same time, and I think that is something that can bring people closer together.

Last Saturday night I actually visited the movies with my Mum and younger sister. Dad was away and my other sister Abbie was at a party, so we had a bit of a girls night out. We went to United Cinemas Narellan, and we sat in the recliner chairs which is always a treat. I sat between the two and we all brought an extra jacket simply to put over our legs to keep warm during the movie. We watched the new movie staring Meryl Streep (I forget the name – oops!) The movie itself wasn’t too bad, however I would have never picked to see it myself. The fact that I got to spend time with my family and share an experiences together was the best part. Being invited to the movies, with a physical lift and free ticket allowed me to easily accept the offer and make the trip – fitting into Hagerstrand’s theory constraint, the first being capability. I was physically able to go to the movies, with no other plans and easy access.

Due to the fact that my mum invited me, and were going together, allowed for the theory of coupling to come into play. Once again it was an easy decision, and an easy venture to the cinema. I didn’t plan to go, so I didn’t need to ask people myself, the offer was right in front of – who can turn down popcorn and choc-top anyway!?

Being that we watched a ‘grown-up’ movie late at night, there wasn’t any children which is always a positive! No annoying laughs, or people on there phone. It was actually a pleasant experience… well up until I had to pee! Probably my biggest pet peeve about going to the movies is having to go to the bathroom after sculling your coke, and needing to squeeze past everyone and miss part of the movie. Either that or you miserably hold it for as long as you can, uncomfortable and unable to even concentrate on the movie. These are the moments where I truly cherish my pause button on the foxtel remote (and the fact that I don’t have to say excuse me to every second person on the way out.)

Foxtel, Netflix and technology in general I belive has had a major affect on conema attendance, and will probably continue to affect its popularity in the future. I honestly believe though that cinema going will never go out of fashion or get too boring. I love it and so does everyone else I know, so I think the excitement of going to the movies will never die.

What do you think?

Em x

Are we truly connected?

With 200GB of Internet data to play with each month, you would think a family of five would be considerably happy with the access they have with this large of a data plan… right? Wrong. Compared to dial up internet, of course this is a great improvement, however when you live with four other people (3 three being teenagers) often 10 different devices, movie downloading, internet surfing and Netflix watching can get a bit too much. You can definitely say that our family of five has evolved with the technological world, yet complaining about the speed and reliability of our internet access is a constant discussion topic.

With seven TV’s in our home, 3 laptops, 3 tablets/iPads, and 6 iPhones, the people within our home are constantly connected to the outside world, but are we connected within the home? Every single person in my family agreed that they wake up and automatically check their social media, emails and messages and fall asleep doing the exact same thing.

In Dana Boyd’s book, Its Complicated she discusses the issue of becoming ‘addicted’ to social media, and many teens feel the need to deactivate Facebook for instance to take a breather. I asked my two younger sisters if they have felt like they were addicted to social media and they both said yes. Olivia, the youngest at 14 admitted “sometimes I find my self on Facebook for literally hours, but I just cant get off… it’s a place where all of my friends communicate, make plans and share other moments.” Both agreed that sometimes they put more importance on what is happening on social media, rather than what is going on in the home and with the people whom they are physically it. This, I believe is a problem. While being more connected online, are we disconnecting ourselves from the real world? Real life?

Cherie clarified this notion that her two daughters get absorbed in their phones. “We may all be sitting around the dinner table, and then one person will just not respond… they could have no idea what is going on around them, but they are fully aware of what is going on online. Its crazy really.” While Cherie sometimes despises this aspect of the ‘connected home’ she can’t help but admit that she is often in the same boat as her daughters. “I can get sucked in too for sure… it could be hours and then I realize S**t I haven’t started dinner.”

Hands up who has shopped at the dinner table? Who has scrolled down Facebook during class? Who has watched Youtube while at the gym? Or who found themselves stalking people they don’t even know on Facebook at work? All members of my family put their hand up to all of these questions (or offered similar alternatives.) Is this a problem I asked? “It’s a little worrying to be honest, but its just a habit, its becomes a normal, everyday function.” My Dad answered. Sherry Turkle further explains this idea of being alone together, and how it could potentially affect relationships, especially within the home. ‘We’re getting used to a new way of being alone together. People want to be with each other, but also elsewhere — connected to all the different places they want to be.’

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, accessing the Internet has increased about 20% since 2006. Over 80% of households in 2013 access the Internet everyday. This can be seen true when analysing my families online household usage, with all five people accessing the Internet at least once every day.

Households with internet access(a), frequency of access, 2006–07 to 2012–13

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While studying my families online usage, and online habits, I think it is fair to say that we will definitely be getting the NBN one day. However this may not be in the near future, as it is not available where I live just yet. New suburbs close to my house have NBN availability Though, which is good sign and an indicator that it is coming closer!

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NBN availability at my home and surrounding.

Em x

Life without a Television Remote? ~

Bewitched, The Brady Bunch and I Dream a Genie… some of my Mum’s favourite television shows growing up, that she would watch every night without fail. These shows and characters are a representation of what the television means to her and what it reminds her of today. Great childhood memories and family time, that will always be associated with the television.

Mum's favourite TV character growing up.
Mum’s favourite TV character growing up.

The sound of the television is nothing but background noise in most modern day homes. When the TV is on today,  a conversation, game paying, internet surfing, eating and shopping can all be present. Noise over noise. During my mum’s childhood, the TV was to be turned off using the dial (no remotes – crazy huh!?), when a visitor came to the door, or when someone called the home phone. Mum remembered being heartbroken if it was during one of her favourite shows!


The nature and meaning of the television differs depending on geographic location, culture, beliefs, age and whole range of different aspects. When interviewing my mother Cherie, age 45, happiness and great shared memories were brought back when asked to think about what the television meant in her home growing up. There are times in my home today where there will be several televisions on at the same time (whether they are being watched or not) in different rooms. In Cherie’s house growing up there was only one single TV in  the main lounge room.

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My Mum, Born in the 70’s has changed her perception of television a number of times throughout her lifetime, as the meaning of the object has evolved.

“One thing that’s completely different for sure, is that never would we ever, EVER dream of eating dinner in front of the TV.”

When I asked Cherie how she remembered watching television as a child she responded by saying that it was a ‘special occasion’ type of thing- a reward at the end of the day. Cherie, remembers always laying on the carpet floor in front of the TV with her parents sitting on the Brown and orange lounge behind. “I loved laying on the carpet and watching shows. It was fun, a special treat almost.” 

For Cherie, the Tekevision in her family home was an object for gathering the family and brining people together – Much like the kitchen. In Sonia Livingstone’s article, she explains the idea of the ‘The quintessential image of the television.’ “Audience is of the family viewing at home – children and parents sitting together comfortably in front of the lively set.” The introduction of the television was to connect people and bring people together and also to share information. Today, the television still connects people with the world around them, however it is much more of an ‘object.’

In our home today we have several televisions. If my parents want to watch a particular show or movie, it will go on the big screen in the main lounge room, and if anyone else in the home objects they can watch whatever they like in their own spaces. Most of the time, if all five of our family members are together watching a show, we aren’t truly watching. We are all on our own devices, Facebooking, Instagraming and perhaps even tweeting bout the TV show we aren’t really watching. We are together in the same space, but are we actually watching it together? Was this the Quintessential image Livingstone was talking about?

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My mum remembers watching the Granville train disaster on her small wooden television with her parents, and realising for one of the first times just how necessary and important the TV is. A small screen can bring people from all over the world together to watch a news event or a television show. “I remember thinking, WOW, this thing can tell us so much.” This idea brought up my Cherie made me think about my own television experience… I have never been without a TV, so in a way I can’t help but think our generation has taken advantage of its useful and entertaining qualities, as thats all we have known. For as long as I can remember, google and the news were at my finger tips.

Today not only do we connect with people from around the world by being informed on local and world-wide events, but also big sporting games like the state of origin which brings friends and family together. Whether it’s the bar TV or the one in the main lounge room, the television creates a sense of belonging and community. The television I believe was and still is a symbol for bringing people together and connecting through a show, the news or just being in the same room as one another, (even if everyone is on twitter, we are still together right?!)

This year for the state of origin I watched it with about 15 of my friends, all huddled on a huge leather lounge, eating pizza and drinking soft drink. It was so much fun – yet I don’t even watch footy – I don’t think I was even watching the game at all, but the fact that we were all doing something together talking and laughing over the top of the TV made the experience.

By getting my mum to look back on the evolution of the television in her home, and the memories associated with watching TV, I think allowed mum to appreciate not only how far TV has come, but also how much technology in general has changed and shaped our lives today. Cherie believes that the television will always be a big part of the family home, and of everyday life in general.

Em x

This is my space. And YOU are my Audience ~

Welcome back to another semester of you having to read my blog about the media and the exciting things that it brings to our contemporary world. Most readers of my blog are fellow BCM/Journalism students, so an introduction as such isn’t entirely necessary… but just to refresh your mind I am Emily Bradwell and I am an aspiring Journalist. My major is marketing so I’m sure I can paint a pretty okay picture of myself and make media space seem particularly intriguing… which no doubt it most definitely is.

My Media space, as to most other’s revolves around social media. To me social media not only creates a once un-imaginable and idealic platform for networking and of course social engagement, but it also brings people from all over the world of any geographic, financial and environmental situation together. To me my media space involves researching, learning new things, interacting with old, new and current friends, tweeting and retweeting, hashtaging, and capturing memorable moments and posting them on Instagram to let everyone know just how exceptional my life is! LOL.

Media, for the most part, has always been apart of my life, from bebo and MSN even getting my very first mobile at the age of 9; the online and technological world has evolved immensely and was quick to become an everyday action.

Whether I am having a good or bad day, whether I am standing in the pouring rain, or sneakily playing on my phone at work, no matter what physical or not physical place I am in, my media space and my audience within that space is constant.

Em x