BCM240 Digital Project Proposal

Throughout the entirety of my Media Audience Place subject, what has really suck with me and continued to intrigue me, has been the increased use of phone usage. I plan to focus my project onto the amount, why, and how that the generations that have grown up alongside the sudden increase in technology (generation X and generation Y) use phones, in comparison to that of a generation that has had to learn to adapt afterwards (Baby Boomers). My reasoning for looking at this specific subject is because I find it interesting, from observing at my parents behavior with technology, that some have learned to adapt to the increased amount of technology, and some have not. What is furthermore notable is the use of specifically social media accounts in Baby Boomers, and why some may be selective about platforms that are considered such a norm.

Through this research I believe that evidence of a storyline between someones childhood and how they are brought up, will become increasingly apparent. Over this study, I plan to incorporate the use of qualitative, ethnographic and narrative primary research, alongside with the collaboration of secondary studies. So far through minor research and brainstorming, I plan to present my project and findings over the media platform Soundcloud. I will present in the form of a series of podcasts hopefully accompanied with a photograph relevant to each podcast topic. Blog posts would have been a standard avenue to tackle with this topic and research type, but I believe that with the use of Soundcloud I will be able to capture a more personal and authentic study which can have the option to include recorded interviews. Through my experience, it is much easier to engage with a vocal narrative, and allows excessive emphasis through different vocal techniques such as tone; furthermore, through editing I will be able to add in relevant affects.

Considering the entirety of this project, so far I am still at the beginning, and cannot predict changes and alterations that I may make in the future to better suit the study and production. But for where I am at now, I plan to focus on four specific questions that can go into four podcasts (allowing that more podcasts will be added if an exceeded amount of data is accumulated for a specific question). But for limitations on my study; I will present no more than ten podcast episodes, roughly 5-7 minutes in length.

My podcast questions and topics will include:

  • Perceptions and interviews from Baby Boomers and Generation Y, on how effectively they believe that they have adapted to technology (specifically smartphone and social media usage) and any issues they encounter. Furthermore, how they think the story of their childhood has had an impact on their use of technology and social media.
  • Baby Boomers use of social media. What they use it for, is there a difference in gender or demographics in relation to use, did they feel an obligation to be involved with social media platforms? (This topic will include a survey)
  • An ethnographic (consented) study will be conducted on individuals from both generations, on how effectively each can tolerate not having access to technology or social media for a day.
  • Lastly, over the period of an hour, I will monitor four participants from both generations (equal volunteers of male and female), to discover how frequently they use their phones, what they use their phones for, and how distracted each participant becomes if their phones buzz with notifications.

 

It is important to the study that I allow an even diversity of participants from both genders, sexes, and range of overall volunteers, to reach the most actuate results for the study. It is also necessary that each participant gives consent, and acknowledges how their information will be used, and how they will be presented. This research topic and the outcome of the study, rely on the authenticity and diversity of the participants involved; in order to achieve the results and an accurate conclusion, the participants involvement will be exceedingly valuable.

Through previous studies (Kumar & Lim, 2008), conclusions have been asserted that there is an overall difference for generations and use of technology and social media. However my study will differ, I plan to immerse myself into a personal study that shows more than just statistics. Through the incorporation of ethnographic, narrative, and qualitative research, this study will determine the statistical nature of the research topic, and give reasons to why there are differences in technology and social media usage in this qualitative data. Overall, through use of ethnography and authentic research, the clarity of the story behind technology and social media usage will enhance.

 

 

References:

Kumar, A. & Lim, H. 2008, “Age differences in mobile service perceptions: comparison of Generation Y and baby boomers”, The Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 568-577. [Viewed 1st October 2016]

Media Regulations

Don’t you think that it’s slightly unfair that a select group of individuals are able to dictate what the rest of the country are able to view, in terms of media? Some may agree and believe that it is unfair; but nevertheless, media regulation is in practice to help. For example, you may hear of a film that has been banned in Australia because it was deemed too offensive, this is an instance of media regulation. Regulation and censorship of films and media impact the space and place that an individual can experience them; this sparks some controversy.

We are governed by a set of regulations that dictate what we can see through the media, these reasons for regulation include:

  • “Prevent copycat behavior”, in place so that individuals do not copy what they see through the media and bring harm to themselves.
  • “Protect children and adults from material likely to offend or disturb”, the classifications board categorizes films and television programs based on whether they are appropriate or not for different audiences, or whether they should be shown in Australia at all.
  • In order to “Protect cultural identity” in Australia, the certain number of foreign and local films and television programs are monitored.
  • “Preserve media diversity”, ownership and control of media organizations is monitored and restricted to allow for diversity.

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 10.08.59 PM.png

Some may believe that it is not right for someone else to deem what is right for another, but media restrictions are in practice to protect and help society. An example of a film that was banned from being shown in Australia was The Human Centipede II (full sequence), it was banned from Australian viewing (without substantial cuts and editing); reasons for banning the films were, “as the level of depictions of violence in the film has an impact which is very high”.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-04-54-pm

Human Centipede films, specifically the second and third films, caused extreme anxiety over releases, at least not without cuts and edits to the films. Anxieties occurred over the specific release of Human Centipede II (full sequence) due to “copycat behaviour”, and use of offensive cruel behaviour due to the crude nature of the film. In relation to the film being banned, it has had an impact to do with the type of space and place that the film is presented. Space and place implying that you couldn’t view the full sequence in the cinemas, or rent it from the video shop, or even watch it over legal Internet streaming sites such as Netflix or Stan. The place and space that the film was required to morph into was overall generally illegal downloading online, or even bringing a copy of the film back from over seas. But for some, people believe that they should have the rights or even have the choice to view and consume media that their own disposal, or al least decide for themselves what they feel is right for them.

In most cases, I believe people would agree with the general media regulations; such as the classifications of films so that you know what to expect in terms of themes, and the diversification of media organisations to allow for alternate perspectives; these are affective regulations because we are still given a choice in the matter of viewing. But when told what we can and cannot watch, especially considering that it relates to the quality of the experience in the sense of space and place of the film, many do not agree with that form of censorship on what should be use of free speech. Overall, the space and place that media (especially films) is experienced impacts the medias quality and the individuals freedom of choice.

 

References:

Lamb, 2013, Australian Media Regulation, Available From: < http://lessonbucket.com/media-in-minutes/australian-media-regulation/ > [Viewed 30th September 2016]

 

SBS Film, 2011, A review by Australia’s censors means the horror film won’t get a release in Australia without substantial cuts, Available From:

< http://www.sbs.com.au/movies/article/2011/11/29/human-centipede-sequel-banned-oz > [Viewed 30th September 2016]

 

Australian Law Reform Commission, 2012, One size fits all? Classifying media in the digital age, Available From: < http://www.realtimearts.net/article/issue108/10613 > [Viewed 30th September 2016]

Can I Have Your Attention Please?

Microsoft recently conducted a study on the average current attention span, in comparison to the average attention span for an individual from 2000. It appears that our average attention had declined from a previous 12 seconds, to currently 8 seconds. The introduction of the smartphone has been a key contributor towards the decline of attention; but in terms of attention quality and attention economy, that 8 seconds is even more precious and valuable to competing media outlets. With the shortened attention span most likely caused by the smartphone, it just so happens that the ability to multi task has increased, so not all so bad.

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-7-11-57-am

In order to confirm that the average individual is more so distracted, and has a shorter attention span; I conducted a short experiment on my family. I had arranged for us to watch a family movie together (something that tends not to happen so much anymore). My experiment entailed documenting the number of times that each member of my family got distracted; or if those numbers are too high, for how often they were concentrated on the film. I am able to generate a hypothesis of my family considering that I am very familiar with their behaviors and use of technology, specifically with each of their smartphones. Due to the fact that each of the members of the family (mother, father, sister) generally have more compelling offers of distractions on their phones in comparison to a family movie, I predict they will all be distracted for the ongoing length of the film.

I decided on the film Pulp Fiction for the family movie, a film that is admired by all members of the family. At the commencement of the film, the attention of the film was promising; members only checked phones or were distracted by other devices when they buzzed, and attention was divided only for small periods of time before returning their attention to the film.

As the movie progressed, attention became increasingly divided, my sister was basically only on her smartphone for the remainder of the film; that was until she left to go to her room about three quarters way through the film. Both of my parents have loved the film Pulp Fiction for as long as I can remember, so naturally I expected for them to see the movie through with the majority of their attention focused on it. They did quite well, but in the last quarter of the film they were both on their phones quite frequently (average – checking phones every 3 minutes), and they didn’t make it to the end of the film without dozing off to sleep a couple of times either.

Considering that only a small sample size of one family were observed for this experiment, these results cannot deny nor confirm any theories, but a gap within generations is noted to be quite significant. Aside the experiment, I have noticed that younger generations that have grown up with the increased development of technology (such as the development of the smartphone), tend to rely on such technologies as distractions more than that who have grown up with the absence of it.

From the experiment conducted and the relevant studies and research on the recent average attention span, it can be asserted that attention economy is becoming increasingly more valuable for those competing for it. It is so common nowadays that if an individual is bored or dissatisfied with a situation, they can divert immediately to their phone. In terms of media economy, it may not be so bad that the average attention span has declined, because the main premise for that has been the use of the smartphone. If a media outlet wanted to grab an individual’s attention, the best source would be through smartphones.

 

References:

Ingram, 2015, The attention economy and the implosion of traditional media, Available From: < http://fortune.com/2015/08/12/attention-economy/ > [Viewed 23rd September 2016]

 

Watson, 2015, Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones, Available From: < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smart/ > [Viewed 23rd September 2016]

Do I Have Your Consent?

It can often be difficult to photograph or film a public space, everyone is different, and everyone has personal preferences on whether or not they care if they are in the background of a photograph. Personally, if I’m in the background of a photograph, I won’t mind that an individual is taking a photograph of a public space that I am in, but if I am a focus of the photograph then I have an issue. But this is a different instance to that of getting photographed at a nightclub, photographers will generally ask if they can take a photo of you and go from there, even sometimes they will show you afterwards the final photo.

 

Both these instances of public places and private, deal with consent and ethics when looking into media practices. People have different preferences when it comes to being involved in media practices, especially when the one performing the media practice is a stranger. With friends, the ethics and consent seem to be irrelevant, or at least altered; I have encountered circumstances where friends will take photos to intentionally embarrass friends, even when their consent for a photograph is firmly declined. The difference is, when a stranger asks to photograph the public space that you are in, is that you don’t know the stranger, they could have intentions for the photograph in question that individuals may not be comfortable with.

 

I recall attempting to take a snapchat of what was on the television in a gym once, to send to a friend, what I didn’t take into consideration at the time was that there was a stranger standing right next to the television that was included in the photograph. The stranger did not attempt to question me about the issue of their consent (I am quite certain that the stranger thought I was taking a photo of them). Whether the stranger was concerned of being included in the photograph, or not, no engagement in conversation was implemented to enquire the details or involvement that the media practice demonstrated.

Screen Shot 2016-09-20 at 8.52.09 PM.png

Ethics and consent can be a difficult obstacle when using media practices in public spaces, especially when involving strangers. Private spaces are generally more forgiving, given the presumption that being in a private place means being with people that are known. Personally, I value my privacy and always attempt to treat others with the consideration that I would like myself. Engaging with strict consent when dealing with media practices and strangers in public places is vital and ethical.

 

I have engaged with this discussion of consent by performing media practices in public spaces. On a public train recently, I was in a carriage with only three others scattered throughout; I had approached all three passengers and inquired whether they gave me their consent for taking a photograph of the carriage with them in the space. I detailed that the photograph would not be used for anything; it was just an experiment for a University assignment. The couple sitting together approved their consent, and did not seem too bothered; the individual sitting by herself however, did not consent and reacted awkwardly and distant. Therefore, no photograph of the public space was taken.

 

It can be difficult to engage in media practices in public spaces when asking for consent, it is possible that you can just take a photo without asking for consent and no problem will occur (as demonstrated when taking a photograph of the television in the gym). However it is evident that privacy is something that people value and takes into consideration when dealing with strangers. Detailing the intent of the media practice is essential when asking for consent, specifically to represent the individual in their preferred state. Everybody is different and everybody has their own preferences to be involved in a strangers media practices, but involving participants with the correct ethics, proves and demonstrates value to the practice.

 

References:

Glogger, 2007, Picture of outdoor public art sculpture, Available From: < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_art#/media/File:Hydraulophone_water-pipe-organ-flute_as_public_interactive_art.jpg > [20th September 2016]

 

A Failed Cinema Experience

When the idea of going to the cinema came about, I felt disappointed; the cinema experience just is not what it once was. I recall a time when going up to the shops to watch a movie was almost a weekly activity with friends, but with the rise of the Internet and watching films online for free, the idea of paying money to go and sit in a room with strangers that chew loud and talk; when you have better experience at home, seems like a waste.

1024px-The_Main_House_Theatre,_The_Maltings_Theatre_&_Arts_Centre,_Berwick-upon-Tweed,_March_2009.jpg

Illegal downloading of films and the introduction of sites such as Netflix and Presto have been a game changer for the cinema industry. In 1974, the average cinema attendance per person per year was 10.5, and then to jump to 2014, has presented a decline with the average attendance being 6.8 per year. The decline was not steady from 1974 – 2014, the highest point of cinema attendance per year was recorded to be 1996 with 11.3 visits per year, but after that year the decline falls consistently.

To analyze the difference in cinema attendance, a description of Hagerstrand’s three constraints is in order.

Capability constraints – Physical constraints such as: eating, sleeping, and financials.

Coupling constraints – Schedule constraints such as: meetings, appointments, and commitments.

Authority constraints – Imposed limitations on where activities can take place, enforced by external parties.

I endured a recent venture to the cinema with my partmner to see the all hyped up Suicide Squad, and I regret to say that I was not fond of the experience. Limitations and restrictions were imposed throughout my cinema experience; to explain, an analysis of my recent cinema venture can be further engaged through Hagerstrand’s three constraints.

Screen Shot 2016-09-20 at 9.34.23 AM.png

Capability constraints that we discovered, that over a two hour period, you get hungry. The constraints of capability and authority came into play when wed wanted lunch, but not the over priced snack food that the cinema offers. An authority constraint demonstrated by the cinema, was that outside food was prohibited. Again, this is an example of why online film and show audiences are inclining, with no restraints on hunger or food. Considering that I was wearing a poofy jacket, I was able to stash our sandwiches in my sleeves and enter the cinema undetected.

Coupling constraints were encountered when we had firstly planned to view the film Suicide Squad, the film was only ben shown at specified times. When travelling to the shopping centre for the first time, we had come at a time when the film was not being shown until a couple hours after. The limitations on scheduling impacted our cinema experience by not allowing an experience at all. This restriction furthermore adds to the power of watching films on the Internet. Watching films online offer no coupling restrictions besides the individual watching.

Authority constraints were employed by the cinema in what I thought to be a ridiculous way. When entering the cinema, we were directed to our specifically assigned seats (limitations for seating placement), but when looking down our row of seats, a gentleman had taken one of our seats by mistake. To avoid conflict, we considered it harmless to just sit on some other vacant seats a few chairs over. After a couple of minutes passed, a mother and daughter entered the cinema and were directed to their seats, as it turns out, we were sitting in them. The mother went to speak to the usher about their seating misplacement; what I found very interesting was that instead of inquiring about the seats with us directly (so we could explain that someone had in turn taken our seats), the usher had to call a third party employee into the cinema to take to us. This begged the question, since when was it so hard to ask someone to move over a seat, was this line of questioning so important that it called for further assistance from a more authoritarian employee?

The combination of Hagerstrand’s three constraints were enforced whilst engaging with the cinema experience, in contrast to the online film and show experience which enforces close to no limitations or restraints, this analysis gives details to the decline in cinema audiences. The cinema experience of my childhood was even still, ever so different to that of today; prices were lower, seating wasn’t specific and strict, and people were happier to approach you about moving a seat down.

 

References:

Corbett, 2001, ‘Torsten Hӓgerstrand, Time Geography’ CSISS Classics, Avalable From: < https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/690394/mod_resource/content/2/Hagerstrands%20time%20geography%20%28Corbett%29.pdf > [Viewed 19th September 2016]

 

Witheridge, 2015, HAGERSTRAND NOT THE IRRATIONAL MAN: AN ANALYSIS OF WHY TUMBLEWEEDS HAVE REPLACED JAFFAS ROLLING DOWN CINEMA AISLES, Available From:

< https://givernywitheridge.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/hagerstrand-not-the-irrational-man-an-analysis-of-why-tumbleweeds-have-replaced-jaffas-rolling-down-cinema-aisles/ > [Viewed 19th September 2016]

 

Maltingsberwick, 2009, The Main House Theatre, The Maltings Theatre & Arts Centre, Available From: < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Maltings_Theatre_%26_Cinema#/media/File:The_Main_House_Theatre,_The_Maltings_Theatre_%26_Arts_Centre,_Berwick-upon-Tweed,_March_2009.jpg > [Viewed 19th September 2016]

Internet in the Family Home

A family ‘home’ is seen as quite a sacred place and environment, not just a house, or place to live, but an environment which you always come back to and where you grow. The understanding of the family home is that it is, in fact,  on the family; we then pose the question, has the introduction if the Internet, into the family home, changed its space or practices in that household, furthermore, the appliances or aspects of the family home?

internet-1181587_960_720

The introduction of television has been described as one of the biggest developments of technology and made an impact globally; to contrast, I asked my grandmother what the Internet was like when it was firstly introduced, and she could barely describe it to me. My grandmother is quite tech savvy and up to date with technology, so it was quite interesting to me that she was lost for words. This enticed me to question my parents, they might have better knowledge about the Internet and technology, but they too, had similar responses to that of my grandmother.

I questioned her about what it was like when the Internet was firstly introduced, she described it as very gradual and slow, not the same as televisions enormous introduction when it first came out. The best that she could recall was initially using the Internet for email, “but not everyone had email anyway” she added. This was quite a shock for me; I expected something slightly grander, but one cannot expect the Internet to have as big an introduction as television, if its first uses were only minor?

Although the introduction of home broadband may not have had an impact on the family home for my grandmother, it has surely transformed the household environment. Take television for instance; I recall watching movies as a family on a Saturday night when I was a child, it was a family activity. With the introduction of the Internet, even if the family is all in the one room, we are generally on our phones (Internet) whilst in that setting. The introduction of Netflix and television on the Internet has furthermore impacted the family home environment. Considering that most individuals have their own computer, or television, it is much easier to isolate yourself from the rest of your family and retire to the comfort of your room to watch television shows or movies.

Netflix_logo.svg

Before the take off of Internet on smartphones, the computer and Internet was something that you would experience at home, a useful tool to do some work on, or play a game; the home computer and Internet was something that surrounded the family home. My grandmother notes the gradual impact that the Internet has had on learning as very positive. She describes “your mother used to have to go to the library and borrow books to do all of her school work, but look what you can do with it now, you can put in half the effort and find better information than a library book”.

Although the Internet may not have had the impact that television had when it was firstly introduced, its development has most definitely caught up. The availability of the Internet has evidently had both positive and negative impacts on the family home, but with the growth of technology humanity evolves and so do the traditions of the family home. The incredible development that the Internet has made enables it to collaborate with television and therefore impact the living of the family home, although not all aspects of this development may be positive, it allows accessibility and an easier lifestyle. The advancement of technology allows us to learn faster and smarter.

 

 

References:

n.a. 2009, ‘The Evolution of Cell Phone Design Between 1983-2009’, Available From: < http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/05/the-evolution-of-cell-phone-design-between-1983-2009/ > (22nd August 2016)

 

Netflix, Released into the public domain, n.d, Available From: < https://www.flickr.com/photos/121483302@N02/14019907992 > (22nd August 2016)

 

PeteLinforth, n.d, Computer/Communication, Available From: < https://pixabay.com/en/internet-global-earth-communication-1181587/ > (22nd August 2016)

Television and its Involving Development

This week we looked at how to undergo ethnographic research, and the strengths and weaknesses that accompany involved audience research. “Ethnography is a qualitative orientation to research that emphasises the detailed observation of people in naturally occurring settings.” This form of research and discovery was new to me, to immerse yourself within your research to find what you may not have if otherwise.

Ethnography has often been used to study foreign cultures and further understand ways of life. An early example of ethnographic research on culture and way of life is seen in the film ‘Nanook of the North’ (1921), by filmmaker and ethnographer Dir Robert J Flaherty. During the film, the audience is taken with Flaherty as he uses the research technique of ethnography, and immerses himself within a family of another culture. Flaherty’s cross-culture research was beneficial in understanding their way of life. This research demonstrates that “only through living with and experiencing ‘native’ life could a researcher really understand that culture and that way of life”.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 2.34.14 PM

But ethnography is not only used for cross-culture research, it has a print in media research also. I have put ethnography into practice to discover what others have come to learn and understand from childhood television. Previously, I had decided to interview my grandmother to discover some common themes and attributes about television during childhood. What I have learned through the research technique of ethnography is that; the introduction of television had an incredible impact on that generation.

It is always interesting to try to understand things from another person’s perspective, especially when the individual in question grew up in a different era. Since discussing childhood memories of television in interviews, clear themes and commonalities seem to emerge throughout other conversations. Many interviews were conducted with parents or grandparents who could describe the impact that television had on society when it first came out, and how it came to evolve from black and white to what it is today.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 2.36.22 PM

From immersing myself in others blogs and interviews, I have learned that the development and progression that television has made is incredible, technology has come so far, to even think of not having a television in the house would be strange; What would you do to unwind and relax after a long day if there was no television?

This collaborative effort from both parties allows us to see past what has been documented about the development of television overtime, and dive into an even deeper approach to research. Through collaborative ethnography we are able to fill in the emotional gaps of what television meant to the family, and how its presence and development impacted family life.

Ethnography as a research tool can be very useful in documentation and research progress, but there can be some negative aspects that the research can offer when looking at quantitative situations or data; it is this use of quantitative research that leaves gaps that often, other contributing factors such as emotion can fill. What quantitative research can’t tell you is all the excitement of television, and milestone that it meant for technology and humanity as a whole.

Ethnography has aided the progress and development of different kinds of research, when used in the appropriate circumstances. Through ethnographic research, and analysing multiple interviews, we are able to discover how the development of television impacted, changed, and even produced media audiences; and how these media audiences have grown and developed overtime to the present day.

 

 

References:

Randall, Rouncefield, 2013, ‘The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction’, 2nd Ed. 31.1 What is Ethnography?, Available From: < https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/ethnography > (Viewed 15th August 2016)

 

Bill Nichols, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Summer, 2001), pp. 580-610, ‘Documentary Film and the Modernist Avant-Garde’, Available From: < http://www.columbia.edu/itc/film/gaines/documentary_tradition/Nichols_Documentary%20and%20Avant-Garde.pdf > (Viewed 15th August 2016)

 

Robert J Flaherty, 1920, ‘Nala, wife of Nanook’, Available From: < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanook_of_the_North#/media/File:Robert_Flaherty_Nyla_1920.jpg > (Viewed 15th August 2016)

 

n.a, n.d, ‘Family Watching Television’, Available From: < http://cdn.worldsciencefestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Family_watching_television_1958_800x494.jpg > (Viewed 15th August 2016)