Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Hey did you see what I tagged you in?”

For my digital project I want to investigate the social protocols, spoken and unspoken rules, regarding phone and social media use in different situations in today’s world of expanding connectivity and technology use. I aim to discover the reasons behind why it is deemed acceptable to engage with media forms in some situations such as when hanging out with friends but perhaps not when you are with your parents.

Week 6 and 8’s topics were related to public spaces and media use alongside how distracted people are in today’s society when constantly surrounded by multiple different means of consuming media.

In our tutorial we discussed some of the situations where it would and wouldn’t be acceptable to pull out your phone such as in the middle of dinner with your parents as opposed to friends. We discussed that this is because of the generational difference between our parents and our friends, as older generations would deem pulling your phone out to Snapchat the awesome lasagna mum cooked up disrespectful and rude. Whereas, your friends are more likely to take it as a compliment that you were bragging about their cooking on social media.  I’m also interested in the relationship between phones in a workplace environment including university. I’ve observed some tutors don’t seem to mind if you send a text during class where others see it as very impolite.

Further many places I’ve worked at, have all had different rules regarding phone use, however in the majority of these, employees would either blatantly disregarded these or found ways to get around them. (myself included) Usually this  involved keeping your phone stashed on your person and ducking off to the bathroom a little too regularly or hiding in a back corner of a warehouse to send a quick message.

Two of the more notable places I’ve worked which had explicit rules banning phones was a trampoline arena and a retail store. In both of these places employees were constantly utilizing the above tactics and had their phones on their person at all times.  In the case of the trampoline arena I believe this was due to two factors, one was that the staff was made up of 16-24 year olds who all experienced growing up with technology. The second was that it was in general a very quiet and frankly boring workplace without much to occupy employees with. Even the managers would sit up in their office aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook. Online shopping while at work was not an uncommon occurrence.  The retail store wasn’t as extreme in the online shopping scene, however it was similar in the sense that on quiet days, it was really boring so people would satisfy their short attention spans with the usual social media consumption.

I now work at a café and leave my phone in my bag because it’s so busy I don’t have a second to go to the bathroom for real let alone to do the sneaky bathroom scroll every hour or so.

I find this all really interesting and will explore the rules and the reality of phone use in the workplace in my digital assignment.

To complete this project, I will undertake a few social experiments involving my friends, parents, fellow students and co-workers and report on the different reactions to my phone use in different situations. I aim to take all factors which may influence their actions into account and will interview them about what they would constitute acceptable phone use in different situations.

References;

-Image Credit

Jackson, K, Cellphones at Work, Pintrest, viewed 28 September 2016, <http://quotesgram.com/img/cell-phones-at-work-quotes-and-sayings/6752216/&gt;

My Autoethnographic Experience With Yoga.

Digital Asia

For my autoethnographic project I will be attempting to practice yoga and observe whether it has an impact on my lifestyle and relaxation levels. I have a basic knowledge of yoga, essentially that it is an ancient practice which is a really good form of exercise as it lowers blood pressure, stress and can enable people to have a more relaxed outlook on life. As a broke and stressed out uni student I need more of all of those things in my life and therefore have absolutely nothing to lose by attempting this. Except maybe a little dignity when I discover I am not as flexibly inclined as I originally assumed.

yoga-piccy Caitlin Turner who goes by  Gypset Goddess on Instagram. Photo via Instagram

I have been doing yoga for the past 8 months in between uni, working and  going on holidays I can’t afford, in an attempt to get some…

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Balancing my Yin and Yang Through Yoga; an Autoethnographic Experience

Digital Asia

In my first autoethnographic response to yoga I’d begun analysisng my experience with the practice even though I’d already been doing yoga for quite a few months. I still find it fun, however since I’ve been practicing yoga for this project, my uni load has increased ten fold and I’m lucky to get to go once a week. They say if you don’t have time to meditate 20mins every day, then you should meditate for an hour. They obviously don’t understand how limited your time is when pulling all nighters to submit 3000 word essays.

I complete my practices at the Yoga studio down the road called Body Awakenings. The teachers are really helpful and nice and there is no judgement because everyone is just as terrible as you are. The classes do have a female majority of all ages but there are usually a few men who complete…

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State of Gender Equality in South Korea

Digital Asia

Today I am analyzing my own auto-ethnographic account of the South Korean documentary on professional gaming ‘State of Play‘.

Autoethnography as defined by Ellis et al, 2011 refers to the act of observing a cultural experience and discussing how your own personal cultural experiences affect the way in which you experience this.

In my initial autoethnographic account of ‘State of Play’, I was left dumbfounded at some of the situations exhibited in the documentary. This included the huge amount of fame given to professional gamers, these gamers then giving the majority of their ridiculously high earnings to their parents and the lack of equality exhibited in gender roles through South Korean society. After the initial shock of these differences wore off, I conducted research into South Korean traditions and values and found many answers to my questions of cultural difference.

Despite only 1% of South Koreans actively identifying…

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Media Spaces and Those Fortunate Enough With Access

Growing up at the end of Gen Y, I have been exposed to many different media formats from a young age. I witnessed the rise of the DVD and the fall of the VCR. The first ‘Media Space’ I constructed to begin the shaping of my online identity was a Bebo profile made at the age of 12 quickly followed by an MSN account. These accounts spread like wildfire through school with everyone asking each other

 

‘You gonna be on MSN this arvo?’

 

Is that not the most Aussie playground phrase ever?

 

These accounts gave us kids a means of communication and a link to the outside world, as back in the day only a lucky few had access to mobile phones. Jumping on our parents computers and internet connections which were shared with the phone line, was an easy means to communicate with our peers. The most exciting thing was that it was not only new to us as children, it was a new concept for the rest of the world and we were among the first to test out instant messaging.

 

Now today that feels like ancient history as I type this on my laptop connected to the internet through Wifi on the lawn at Uni. For me ‘Media Space’ is less immersive these days in the sense that it is so easy to connect to anywhere in my world no matter where you are. You’re less grounded to a particular place such as the computer room, rooted to the desktop computer connected to the phone line. Of which, you would have to quickly vacate when mum had to call her friend Kate. The notion of engaging with one aspect of technology at a time is long gone. I personally have on numerous occasions scrolled through Facebook on my phone using Wifi, while my friend is on speakerphone, sitting in front of the TV and having my laptop on my lap to do uni work simultaneously.

 

Currently I am studying a Bachelor of Communications and International Studies majoring in Global Communications and Sustainable Development in my 3rd year. My degree is constantly shifting and changing with the times and I firmly believe if I tried to take it in say the 1980’s, my degree would either be a completely different course or not exist entirely. I constantly rely on the different Media Spaces to complete my course work both on Moodle and researching for assignments. I think I have only ever used a hard copy book in one assignment and I hated every second of it.

 

Wifi access is something you don’t think about until it’s not there or not working. I have scoped out all the best places for decent Wifi at uni, nothing worse than trying to watch a lecture that keeps dropping out. Throughout my 3 years studying at Wollongong they have improved their internet connectivity immensely which I find makes lectures and tutes less stressful. If you don’t understand something, a decent connection means you have instantaneous information at your fingertips. Which is an incredible concept.

 

Media Space has become a part of everyday life for many privileged individuals living within the global north. However there are still many people globally who lack internet and even phone access, inhibiting communication. The Washington Post reported  that a lack of internet connectivity worldwide affects 4.4 billion people and this correlates for the most part with individuals living in impoverished areas who already lack basic necessities like health care, education, infrastructure and employment with a further 900 million of those people being illiterate.

 

I find this puts an interesting perspective on what we call ‘the world wide web’. As apparently it doesn’t have the global reach once thought. As Media Spaces not just online, but through TV and phone communications can be enriching learning experiences about the world around us, the fact that this is unequally distributed means that 4.4 billion people miss out on educational experiences, having their say and creating online personas to connect to the world around them. With this in mind, I feel it puts another take on the concept of ‘Media Spaces’ which could be visualized as pockets around the world connected to other pockets, instead of a globally encompassing form of communication.

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This image highlights the areas where those are connected and the dark pockets of the areas where individuals miss out.
However, as immersed as my world has become in alternative media spaces, realistically I only got my first MSN account 8 years ago. It feels that we have progressed so far in those 8 years already, imagine what media spaces will hold for the next 8.

Why so curious?

They say that curiosity killed the cat, but that’s no reason to sit on the couch your entire life. Everything we do is driven by curiosity and the yearning to know more about what something is like. From doing that extra loop around the car park to see if there is a closer spot, to University Degrees and research programs which without curiosity, would be non existent. That NASA have a rover on Mars with the name of ‘Curiosity’ really sums that whole concept up quite neatly.

The Oxford definition of curiosity is both “A strong desire to know or learn something”, and “An unusual or interesting object or fact”. Now imagine a society with no desire to see or learn about something interesting like cooking a new meal or finding that big undiscovered island. We would probably still be eating gruel and living somewhere in Europe, with a mass overcrowding problem that no one would have the motivation to fix. Simply as there would be no inclination to see what the society would look like if we fixed it. It would be complete chaos.

Curiosity for me has lead to my desire to travel and see the world. Being born in London, and spending my childhood in New Zealand before moving to Australia when I was 7, has left me with a desire to see ‘home’.  I was always curious for insight into how my life would’ve turned out if my parents had never left London or if I’d stayed in New Zealand. Traveling across the ditch was no problem, I would go back and visit my kiwi relatives all the time and did many road trips through the beautiful NZ countryside.

London however is a bit longer and expensive than the typical 3hour plane ride to Christchurch, meaning until I was 20 I had never had a chance to go back. One of the more odd desires to have come out of this was to simply see the hospital where I was born. This may seem silly, but a lot of my friends would drive past their hospitals daily. It was something little and probably underwhelming but to simply see it and to say I’ve been there was actually really important to me.

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So at the beginning of this year, my friend and I packed our bags, saved our pennies and went backpacking around Europe! Starting in London (with a visit to Kingston Upon Thames hospital in Wimbledon), we made our way through 6 different countries in 6 weeks. Obviously was the best 6 weeks of my life. We experienced so many different and interesting cultures, met some amazing people and saw some of the prettiest sights through our own eyes and not just a photo.

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The Scottish Highlands

Without the human desire of curiosity, none of the things which make life worth living would mean anything. Even if they’re little ones.