In this research, I am exploring the use of devices when people have group meet ups. Why it happens and how to deal with it. Here is a prezi presentation to help unpack my findings to you. Enjoy!
With the advancement of technology the use of social media has become more common in our daily lives. An average person would have around five social media accounts and would at least spend 1 hour and 40 minutes going through these networks everyday (Davidson, 2015). Reflecting on this information, I began to ask myself: “was it always like this?” I started to recall my high school life. Back home in Malaysia I was not allowed to bring my phones to school at all. If you were caught using a phone, it would be confiscated and your parents would have to either personally come to collect it or have a written apology submitted in.
It was only in 2013 where amendments were made to the Education Act to allow students to bring their mobile phones and other IT gadgets to school. The reason for this amendment was to encourage students and teachers to embrace modern technology (Tan, 2012). Personally I believe that this is amendment was necessary, if people fail to adapt modern technology and adapt to current societal values, the country will become further regressive.
Although the amendment was made with good intention, students did not just use it for innovative learning. Social media platforms, such as Facebook could still be easily accessed on school networks and students freely check their other social media app such as Instagram, twitter and tumblr within class time. In order to solve this issue I recommend a few different methods. One was that the teacher makes the students place their phones in front of the class in a pocket like system before they sat down in class.
Image source: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/04/04/article-2596991-1CD3118B00000578-930_634x423.jpg
Not only does this help stop students from browsing the net, it allowed a mutual respect to be establish between student and teacher. The teacher gave them a chance to be honest. If they still wish to keep their phone during the class period and get caught, they deserve it.
From here my mind trailed off to how people uses their devices when they are meeting their friends. In many occasions I have seen a group of friends going out for lunch but none of them talk to each other. Instead they look on to their devices and continue to eat in silence. What’s the point of meeting up if they themselves don’t interact with one another. The internet does give us the privilege to connect many different people across the world. At the same time if we take that device away we are left alone. Sherry Turkle has been studying how technology affects what we do and who we are (Turkle, 2015).
She brings up the concept of “Alone Together”. As stated by Sherry, people want to be with each other but also elsewhere (Turkle, 2012). People want to be in control of what keeps their attention. I personally see this happening, friends that meet up but spend 70% of their time together on their phones. To counter this there are 2 methods I believe that is very useful. The first is to be upright with them. When my friends starts using their phones I confront them of what they are doing in a joking manner. This allows them to not only realize their actions but they are here with me to hangout, not so they can observe them in a phone chat.
The next method is to play a game call phone stack. Everyone puts their phone face down and stacks it together. If someone takes their phone out of the stack (maybe to answer a message or pick up a call) they would have to pay the bill for the night (Ha, 2012).
This method is good as it allows them to really interact with one another without getting distracted. As a conclusion we have rapidly become addicted to this new technology. People are taking notice of its effects and are trying new methods in order to combat this issue. Which comes to my final dilemma. Is technology really making us closer or is it creating a barrier that may one day make us all silence?
Davidson, L. (2015). Is your daily social media usage higher than average?. Telegraph.co.uk, viewed on October 4, 2015, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/11610959/Is-your-daily-social-media-usage-higher-than-average.html>
Ha, A. (2012). The Phone Stacking Game: Let’s Make This A Thing. TechCrunch, viewed on October 4, 2015, <http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/04/the-phone-stacking-game-lets-make-this-a-thing/>
Tan, E. (2012). Students can take handphones, IT gadgets to school from 2013 – Nation | The Star Online. Thestar.com.my, viewed on October 4, 2015, <http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2012/07/16/Students-can-take-handphones-IT-gadgets-to-school-from-2013/>
Turkle, S. (2015). Sherry Turkle | Speaker | TED.com. Ted.com, viewed on October 4, 2015, <https://www.ted.com/speakers/sherry_turkle>
Turkle, S. (2012). Connected, but alone? Ted.com, viewed on October 4, 2015, <https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en#t-330252>
I like to see attention as a form of a spider web. We can stay focus on one path but at the same time our minds can branch out and focus on many different things. What better way to explain this concept of attention with a prezi mind map. Enjoy!
Being in Mckinnon Building I noticed that the television was playing some music videos. What was interesting was that there was no sound. Why play music videos in a public space when there is no music to begin with? Another interesting factor was that no one was paying any attention to the television. Even the girl sitting down in front of the television, her eyes were to her phone. Everyone was either chatting with another friend or they were on their own individual devices. I decided to come on separate days to see how people react to this television in this space.
Image source: http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/28000000/Domino-Music-Video-jessie-j-28076631-1209-680.jpg
For most days it was standard, no one payed attention. Then there was this one girl who was waiting for her friend. After she had sent a message she looked up and started watching what was being played. If I’m not mistaken in was Jessie Jay singing dominos. I thought to myself what caught her attention? Maybe she liked the artist or maybe she was interested in seeing how the video progressed. Through my observation I believe that the reason why the television is not leaving that strong of an impact in this space is because of the advancement of technology. Uses and gratifications theory (Uky.edu, n.d.) also explains how people use media to actively seek out their needs. In this case people use their smartphones to achieve that. Unlike a television, a smartphone can be used to specifically seek out what they want.
Image source: http://michaelhyatt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/iStock_000006003063Small.jpg
Now comes another question, the picture that I had taken. Was it ethical for me to do so? I observed that after I had taken the photo no one was bothered by it. Maybe be they thought that I was sending a snapchat or maybe they did not really mind. The generation that we now live in is going through what I like to call “live update”. Basically we tell the world about everything on what we are doing. Maybe because of this “live update” trend, we have grown more tolerant on getting our pictures taken. For example when people who do daily vlogs.
This is a vlog from Troye Sivan. This vlog is like most others in the sense where they record some aspects of their life and post it up. I like to focus on the people that have been capture in the process when he made the video. The people that were captured in the video may have understand that he was making a vlog. That way there are more accepting in being filmed because the trend of vlogging has been rising.
I asked one of my friends who loves to take picture in the public space on what his ethics is towards this. For him he said he would just take the photo as it is a public space and he is free to do so. He will still try and take it as fast as possible so that he won’t get unwanted attention. However he once tried to take a picture of a couple in a coffee house. As he was about to take the shot one of them say him and looked away. Instead of continuing to take the shot he stopped and moved on. This was interesting as for him he observes the person’s body language and made judgement according to that. Clearly the person did not what to be in the photo but instead of screaming “DON’T TAKE MY PICTURE!” he just looked away. As he may think that you can’t stop a person taking a picture in a public space, so why argue. Overall I believe that people are generally fine with getting their pictures taken in a public space. Unless the person captures a picture that can be damaging to that persons reputation or may be used in an advertisement, that requires their permission. You would not what something like that to happen to you either right (Thein, 2012)? So treat others the way you want to be treated.
Thein, M, 2012. The Ethics of Photographing Random Strangers on the Street. PetaPixel, viewed on September 9, 2015, <http://petapixel.com/2012/12/22/the-ethics-of-photographing-random-strangers-on-the-street/>
Uky.edu, n.d.. Uses and Gratifications Theory – Mass Communication Context. viewed on September 9, 2015, <http://www.uky.edu/~drlane/capstone/mass/uses.htm>
Hagerstrand’s three constraints talks about coupling, capability and authority effects social planning (Jean, 2015). After hearing that I would have to watch a movie for my blog post. I started making arrangement with my movie buddy, coupling check. The next issue was capability. With our weird timings it was really hard finding a time to go for the movies. We at first wanted to watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
From the trailer it looked really interesting with a mix of action and history. The problem was that the timings they had for event cinema was bad. Our classes would either clash with the timing or it would be too late and the shutter bus would have ended already. We are very dependent on public transport so we had to work our schedules around it. At the end we had to change the movie as none of the timing could fit our time. Instead we watched a comedy movie called Trainwreck. None of us knew anything thing about, we did not even watch the trailer. It was however the only movie that fit our timings so we went with it. All this planning was done one day before the actual date #BecauseWeCan. Finally on Hagerstrand’s theory was authority. The movie is rated with MA15+, this means that there may be sex scenes, drug usage that may be strong at impact (Classification.gov.au, 2015). This was interesting as in Malaysia if there were any sex scenes it would have been rated as 18+. This could be due to culture as Malaysia is more conservative towards this topic.
Before the movie started I went to Woolworths to go buy some food (We watched the movie in event cinema) and on that day I was feeling extra hungry. So I bought some chicken wings and a whole lot of fish sticks. After going into the cinema we noticed that there were only four other people in the same theater as us. Two sat at the place where you can put your feet up. The other couple sat 2 rows after them and me and my friend sat 3 rows up. All of us sat in the middle areas, this can be because it gave a more centered view when we watch the movie. We both enjoy sitting at the top rows, maybe because it gives us an outlook of everyone. I guess the reason why it was so empty was because it was a 6.15 movie on a Wednesday, oh well more room for us.
Image source: http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/eiM/Kpg/eiMKpgodT.jpeg
As the movie continue the couple in front of use sat one seat away from each other. Since there is so much space might as well get comfortable. Me and my other friend sat next to each other. This could be due to our habit on commenting on how the movie goes. Another interesting aspect I found out during this space was how slight movements would catch my attention. If the theater was full, I would not really take notice of it but because this was not only a small theater but an almost empty one. Sight movements really draws my attention. When one of the staff walked passed us I looked and stared, even the guy in front of me noticed too.
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As a conclusion the movie was actually really nice. Since none of use watched the trailer we did not expect anything. It was light-hearted and generally entertaining. The experience as well was interesting as I was able to explore with the space I had. I also kept comparing my movie experience in Malaysia. In Malaysia watching a movies are very common. There are movies running from 10am all the way to 1am and there is always a hand full of people. Never had I experienced so little people in a cinema before. Thinking about the future of cinematography what would happen to cinemas if it is to continue like this. Personally I feel that it depends on the culture itself. In Malaysia it is very common for people to download movies but at the same time people still love going to the movies. So maybe here in Australia the culture of watching a movie is different. People worry that because of shows being watched online may soon make cinemas close down. I highly doubt that because we are creatures of habit. We always fall back on older things. Like how vinyl records are trending now.
Classification.gov.au, (2015). MA15+ | Australian Classification, viewed on 30 August 2015 http://www.classification.gov.au/Guidelines/Pages/MA15+.aspx
Jean, J. (2012). (p. 132) Specialized Ethnographic Methods, Google Books, viewed on 30 August 2015 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=_eRtqmQxrNEC&pg=PA132&lpg=PA132&dq=Torsten+Hagerstrand%09idenTIfied+three%09human%09constraints&source=bl&ots=SwS_4RsQbz&sig=3pC2xYtnDGujguyHmAQE6-8zaEQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDIQ6AEwA2oVChMInYbsvfDQxwIVBCKmCh0iWAUY#v=onepage&q=Torsten%20Hagerstrand%09idenTIfied%20three%09human%09constraints&f=false [Accessed 30 Aug. 2015].
Image source: http://cdn.ndtv.com/tech/images/gadgets/popcorn_time_splash.jpg
Re interviewing my mom is always fun for me. Not only will I be able to learn more things about her about I get to catch up with things back home in Malaysia. Like how this weekend there is going to be a huge rally called Bersih 4.0. Normally I would use skype to interview her but the past few days my internet has been going through an emotional ride where its either stable or downright nonexistent. Instead I sent her a whatsapp message (a free online message app) with my questions and see what she answered.
The first question I asked her was what do you use the internet for. Most of her internet usage goes on using whatsapp as she has many clients to attend to. Having this platform allows her to keep close contact with her clients as well as informing them about any changes that needs to be done. In her leisure time she would watch movies on a platform called Popcorn Time, it’s something like Netflix but free. Like nowadays trend as she is watching a movie she is also on her smartphone scrolling on Facebook. The next question was how fast the internet is and is it to her liking. Currently she is on a 10 Mbps unlimited plan and it is very stable (Tm.com.my, 2015). As the rest of my family is either overseas of out on a business trip. My mom has the whole house to herself and with what she uses the internet for. The current speed is too her liking, she can even download a movie within 5 minutes.
The last 2 questions were when do you not use the internet and how do you do your work without being distracted from the internet. She replied that her work requires her to use the internet so she is normally on it all the time. At the same time when she does need to do some paper work. She would just leave her phone a side for a while and do her work. She still needs to check it as her clients will sometimes ask her for assistance.
Image source: http://blog.grovo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/facebook_news_feed_2012.jpg
This time I decided to also interview one of my house mates on his usage on the internet. For him the internet is his sources of entertainment. From watching anime to learning new dishes to make for dinner and the occasion of using the internet for his assignments #studentlife. He is also never offline, his computer is always on and he is always browsing on something. Could this be a new point? In which case we now live in a browsing society where people will just keep scrolling and refreshing their page when they know there are already up to date. Why do we do that? Even I do it from time to time.
Image source: http://funnyasduck.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/funny-pictures-your-wi-fi-connection-dont-need-internet.jpg
Compare to my mom his internet speed here is not only unstable but also very slow. What do you expect when 8 people try to share one connection. Not to mention how some are very considerate and download movies during the time where everybody else is using it. When this happens he just deals with it and patiently wait for the internet to speed up again, which may take 2 hours and even restarting the modem. If he was granted with the same speed my mom had and the stability. He would game and watch so much more then he would now.
As a conclusion comparing the 2 I have interviewed I can see that maybe having faster internet would let you spend less time on it. Simply because you know you can get all the things you want without delay. Compare to someone who has to keep on waiting till he or she gets back their connection. At the same time the similarities are that they are always connected to the internet. If they are actually using it that’s a different case but they always leave their devices on which gives them access to the internet. Now comes the final question. What are the effects of leaving your devices too long near you?
Tm.com.my, (2015). Promotions & Packages. [online] Available at: https://www.tm.com.my/Home/broadband/unifi/home/Pages/packages-VIP.aspx [Accessed 24 Aug. 2015].
Ethnography is the study of how people see and make sense of the world (Northey, 2012). This method focuses on understanding a person’s culture from their point of view (Mother and Child Health: Research Methods, n.d.). Learning about a person experiences in their daily life and how they react to different social situations. This allows the collection of data to be more personal. As it gives a more detail outline on why a person would act the way he or she is. Collaborative Ethnography, according to Lassiter (2005) talks about how the interaction/observation with the audience begins from project conceptualization, to fieldwork and in the writing process.
Collaborative ethnography research can be used to help analyze contemporary media at home by understanding how people change their habits and consume themselves in to the media. Last week’s blog post about television then is a good example of a collaborative ethnography. As it included interviewing a person directly which allows them to not just limit themselves from the question itself. They can expand from it, giving not only the answer but also their emotional and behavioral responds about it.
Another way to use collaborative ethnography research at home is to observe how the people in the house react to media. Quantitative data by Nielsen (2015) on Australian Multi-Screen Report showed that television is still the highest used media in Australia, with the rise of laptops, tables and smartphone. However during my tutorial class some had mention that they turn on the television as background noise. No one is actually watching it but it is left on to shadow the fact that no one else is at home. This would create an assumption that the data being gathered is not accurate.
With contemporary media being used so frequently people can’t just sit down and do one thing. If collaborative ethnography research can be conducted at home, some aspects to observe that can be done are people actually paying attention on the television? Are they being distracted from something else such as their phone? During the advertisements do they actually watch it or are they doing something else till it passes? From these simple observations more accurate data can be acquired. Another method to gain richer information is to interview the people at home on why they participate in these actions. Is it because of habit? Is it because the whole family does it that why the person may be pressured to do the same? Is the program they are watching not entertaining in which case why watch it in the first place?
As Flynn stated that one of the biggest drawbacks in observation is the chance of people changing their behavior due to them being observe (1986, p.27). So how to we solve this issue? How I would approach this problem is to first immerse myself with media before stepping into the observes home. The reason for this action is to simple show yourself to be a “busy person”. When people see you to be preoccupied they would normally ignore you and continue on doing the things they would normally do ,hopefully. The whole point is to be ignored and with that an observation can be conducted with a more natural vibe. For example, if my mother’s friend comes over to the house and I see her chatting and doing her own thing. I would continue doing my own things as well. Sure a “Hi, hows it going” will come about but after that things resume as normal. The key element to observe someone is to be able to blend in with the surrounding space, in this case the media space. This helps to achieve a “we are on the same boat” atmosphere.
As a conclusion collaborative ethnography research can be used at home to better understand contemporary media. Although people still debate if this research method is good enough, it would be a mistake to overlook it. As this research method does introduces a better understanding of people. People can be more natural due to them being in their comfort zone. This allows a better opportunity to understand their behavior and what motivates them to do certain actions.
Flynn, R. (1986). An Introduction to Information Science. [online] Google Books. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=3moLXEWwacMC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=prove+that+if+people+being+observed+change+their+habit&source=bl&ots=Q_FwQ7-zj-&sig=RVQn1h97cXh1tmAB7ccwRjCUjOw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAGoVChMIhJzchM6-xwIVAeGmCh2NWgHd#v=onepage&q=prove%20that%20if%20people%20being%20observed%20change%20their%20habit&f=false
Lassiter, L. 2005, Defining A Collaborative Ethnography, University of Chicago Press, viewed 12 August 2015, http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/468909.html
Mother and Child Health: Research Methods, Journal of Tropical Pedidatrics Qualitative field research, pp. 196- 197. http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/tropej/online/ce_ch14.pdf
Northey, M, Tepperman, L, & Albanese, P 2012, Making Sense : A Student’s Guide To Research And Writing : Social Sciences, n.p.: Don Mills, Ont. : Oxford University Press, c2012., UOW Catalogue, EBSCOhost, viewed 16 August 2015.
Nielsen, 2015, Australian Multi-Screen Report Quarter 1 2015, viewed 10 August 2015, http://www.oztam.com.au/documents/Other/MultiScreenReport_Q1-2015-Final%20amended%20P7.pdf