A Reflection on Space, Place and Media Audiences

For the past nine weeks, I have been creating content on my blog site for a Media and Communication University subject, BCM240, which explores the role that space, place and locality play in the understanding of media audiences.

The act of learning played out quite differently to other subjects generally experienced in my time at University. There were no set readings and we weren’t spoon-fed information. Instead we were supplied with a topic, required to hunt for relevant sources that intrigued and attracted us, and then needed to write about our findings and our attitudes towards these in our weekly blog posts. Being the perfectionist that I am, the search for sources meant quite a lot of reading, but it was reading that I was interested and engaged in, so the time wasn’t really an issue and I feel as though I now have a greater understanding of media audiences because of this.

I’m going to be quite sentimental and suggest that what I have valued most about the subject is the rich conversation that arose from the research I conducted with my parents. To gain insights into historical cinema and television experiences and spaces, my mother, father and I sat together at the dining table with a bottle of red wine, long into the night, as they shared with me their precious nostalgic memories of their first experiences with cinema and television. It gave me an awakening insight into their childhood and reminded me that my parents actually lived their own lives before my brother and I were on the scene, a time which I know so little about. The results of these nostalgic moments were the posts ‘Memoirs of Early Television: Fried Rice Fridays and Cellophane Improvisation’ and ‘A ‘Flea Shed’ Cinematic Experience’, possibly two of my favourite posts for this very reason.

My all-time favourite post, however, would have to be the one that generated significant online and offline conversation. It was my very first post for the subject, ‘iLoo? Guilty’, which explored the notion of media consumption in the most private of spaces, the bathroom. With 32 views, 5 likes, 10 poll participants and multiple favourites on Twitter, it was undoubtedly my most successful post for the subject so far in terms of readership. I attribute this mainly to the controversial and comical nature of its content. Due to its popularity I’m hoping to explore the subject further through my digital storytelling project over the coming weeks.

My readership statistics could have benefited from regular promotion on Twitter, as my tweets were quite sparse over the course of the subject. I believe that promotion on my personal Facebook would have also lead to increased hits, but first I need to overcome the fear of university-outsiders reading my blog content before I commit to such sharing – which is something I need to work on.

Although I did ‘like’ and leave feedback on the blog posts of other students, I could have commented more frequently and over a greater variety of posts, even on the work of those not in the BCM240 subject. Gardner (2012) suggests that effective and thoughtful commenting not only contributes to the conversation, but also leaves your ‘digital footprint’, whereby other readers and writers can find their way to your blog, creating traffic and ultimately increasing readership.

Although the production of weekly blogs has been challenging, it has also been a rewarding experience and I feel as though I have created an aggregation of posts discussing media audience motivation, behaviour and experiences which I am quite proud of. Through historical and modern explorations of place, space and locality, I have gained a deeper insight into media audiences and the true power of new media technologies.

References:

Gardner, B 2012, Why You Should Leave Blog Comments on Blogs, Brian Gardner, 21 May, viewed 26 September 2013, http://www.briangardner.com/blog-comments/

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Mobile Technologies as Unconscious Distractions

It’s clear that mobile telephones are revolutionary in their role of technological convergence. They transport many traditionally physical elements into our very own palms like the clock, calendar, camera and the Weather Man. But it’s the more unique applications within these devices that intrigue me and the places and spaces in which they transport us to.

I call them our distraction devices. Instagram distracts from a boring train ride, SnapChats from our seemingly never ending piles of assessments, and text messages from the people around us, like the guy set up out the front of Subway trying to steal all of our pennies for Surf Life Saving. These devices transport us from previously monotonous public situations, to our own private realms where and when we choose. But the question stands, is this distraction even a choice anymore?

I just returned from a beautiful trip up the coast, to a camping ground called Pebbly Beach, just north of Coffs Harbour, NSW. When we arrived at the destination, I sign greeted us:  ‘No Running Water’. I tried not to think about it but I knew what that meant – no toilet and no shower for five days. However, it didn’t phase me too much. Something much more shocking was to come.

After the 20 kilometre dirt road and creek crossing we arrived Pebbly. It was absolutely stunning. Much to my boyfriend’s disgust, I reached straight for my phone and snapped a photo on Instagram. Distracted. Then all of a sudden I noticed those hated tiny symbols at the top of my handset. I had no reception and no 3G coverage. No way of making the folks working back home jealous of my adventurous vacation up the coast. I was undeniably upset.

I switched my phone of for the first four days of the trip and became somewhat empowered by the freedom of living in the moment with no distractions. On the fifth day, however, I cracked. I went for a run at 5am along the surrounding beaches, until I stumbled across some reception and my phone went into an acoustic frenzy. What followed was an overload of Instagram posts and a strange feeling of relief deep inside of me.

insti

Mobile phones are becoming an extended part of our beings, transporting us and ultimately distracting us. Facebook in lecture theatres, phone calls in restaurants, text messaging whilst driving, Instagram on remote beaches– this distraction is everywhere and the majority of it is no longer premeditated.

Urban Screens: Wasted Space or a Step in the Right Direction?

The television screen was once a technology that privatized the public sphere, bringing civic engagement into domestic space (McGuire 2006). As contemporary audiences are increasingly engaged in their own private smartphone and laptop screens, these traditional mass media channels have begun to struggle to grasp audience attention and are now developing new ways of reaching them. Cue the proliferation of media screens in public spaces…

We are beginning to see the reverse effect of initial television: the private space is now relocating itself within the public arena. Since the mid-1990s, screens have emerged worldwide on unlikely urban surfaces and can now be found anywhere from taxis, gyms and restaurants, to doctor surgeries, festivals and shopping malls. They display anything from advertising and promotional material to television and film content. McGuire (2011) suggests that the very content that they display is often associated with their demise and that with the density of the displays, also comes their diminishing impact.

At the University of Wollongong these urban screens are abundant. They sit balanced on walls and fittings surrounding the main thoroughfares on campus, the library entrance, popular cafes, eateries and common entry and exit points. But the question stands, is anyone truly watching?

screens

These screens have found their place in my eyes as visual pollution, of which my subconscious inevitably removes from processing. I have passed these screens on a daily basis for almost two years now and have never stopped to appreciate what they are trying to tell, or sell, me. I can assume that like most methods of public screening, they host advertising material or content unrelated to me. In my mind, they may as well be switched off. If these screens are to succeed in capturing the attention of distracted and time-scarce students and academics on campus, they need to evolve in order to take advantage of their infinite abilities instead of simply recreating traditional advertising billboards with the added effect of high definition movement.

Interactivity is the key. With the roll out of the National Broadband Network, high speed internet connectivity is making this interactivity increasingly possible (McGuire 2011). Take a look at Coca-Cola’s use of their iconic digital billboard in Kings Cross during the recent ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, involving streetwalkers in new and exciting ways. RayBan uses interactive screens so that users can virtually try-on different sunglasses and Toyota’s ‘Vision Wall’ has taken touch screen technology to new levels. These interactive screens all have obvious hidden marketing agendas, but audiences seemingly don’t mind. Instead, they are actively contributing to the ‘buzz’ of the campaign by circulating and sharing content on social networking sites. These alternative spaces are also fostering new relationships, as they bring participating audiences together to interact.

So I pose the question to University of Wollongong students and academics, what do you want to see on the screens located around campus? Personally, I would like to see an interactive map; I still get lost at the start of each session trying to find buildings I haven’t seen before and I can’t even begin to imagine how an overwhelmed one-off visitor would navigate around campus. If we manage to integrate audience interactivity into the screen content, no doubt the University will be moving one step in the right direction.

References:

McGuire, S 2011, ‘Networked Urban Screens and Participatory Public Spaces’, Telecommunications Journal of Australia, vol.61, no.4, pp64.1-66.10.

McGuire, S 2006, ‘The politics of public space in the media city’, First Monday, vol.4, http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1544/1459

You Bad Fan, You!

Now you were probably expecting some content this week surrounding the crazed teenage fans of One Direction. I could write for hours about the crying and screaming teenage girls pushing and scratching their way through crowds, or about the death threats directed at girls that are too close for comfort with the band members, or even the legal marriage documents of the ladies a little too wrapped up in their fantasy worlds. But no, instead I’m going to touch on a fan behaviour that is supposedly far worse… Media piracy.

I’m talking about the illegal downloads of your music idols’ mp3s, P2P sharing of your favourite videos and television series and pretty much the use of any media content that isn’t yours, which, correct me if I’m wrong, we are all guilty of at some point in time.

In recent years we have seen a proliferation of copyright cases on the internet due to media piracy. I’m sure you are familiar with the YouTube notification, ‘This video has been deleted due to copyright infringement’, displayed every time you attempt to watch a video that has breached copyright laws in one way or another. Often these are blatant use of music without permission from its producers, but can even be trivial home videos with music playing in the background like the bouncing baby video that had Prince’s lawyers in a fluster.

All consumed media content was once paid for or made available through supporting advertisements. Now, however, audiences and fans are building relationships with media content outside those traditional spaces and institutional sets of rules (Castells & Cardoso 2012). Piracy cultures have become a part of everyday life in the online environment, from the immense P2P file sharing bases to re-writing and re-mixing of media content in online communities, all of which is seeing damaging repercussions on media industries (Castells & Cardoso 2012).  

But who is to blame for this phenomenon? Is it the pirates for their active curiosity and ‘criminal’ conduct, the media industries for their high prices, or shall we shift blame on the internet itself for its inherent sharing capabilities?

I believe that along with changing media consumption trends, needs to be an accompanying change in copyright laws. If we continue to place outdated restrictions on media audiences, where will that leave creativity and participation in the online environment? The internet is a networked structure fundamentally balanced on the very notions of interactivity and the freedom of information. Such changes also need to be applied to media distribution efforts. After all, if something is available freely elsewhere, why would we pay for it?

References:

Castells, M & Cardoso, G 2012, ‘Piracy Cultures: Editorial Introduction’, International Journal of Communication, vol.6, pp.826-833.

From Spice Girls to One Direction: The Transformation of Fandom

Fandom- the word takes me back to the year 1998 when I was a 10 year-old school girl at Jamberoo Primary. To say that I was a fan of the pop group, the Spice Girls, would be an understatement.

Can you really blame me?

I’d wake early every Saturday and Sunday morning just to tune in to Rage and Video Hits for a glimpse of their girl power on the TV, no doubt using a hair brush for a microphone as I sang along eloquently. My bedroom hosted countless pieces of memorabilia that I had managed to collect over the years with the help of the tooth fairy, pocket money and generous amounts of begging over the festive season. It started off with Spice Girl mini books, stamps and stickers and my collection soon evolved to comprise of all five dolls, handbags, stationary, backpacks and posters that lined every inch of my bedroom walls.

It was safe to say that I was a fan – but I wasn’t the only one. The love for the pop group was rampant through our small school and my friends and I decided to take our mode of fandom a little further. We created our own Spice Girls group. As I was the athletic one, I was pronounced as ‘Sporty Spice’ and my best friend claimed the role of ‘Posh Spice’. The blondie of our group took the role of ‘Baby Spice’ and a freckly red-head girl, Shannon, from the grade above was invited to be ‘Ginger Spice’. To complete our quintet, we asked Alana to be ‘Scary Spice‘, as she was from the Seychelles and had dark skin. Stereotypical much?

The five of us would meet for song and dance rehearsals in the majority of recess and lunch breaks (I needed it) and we would perform at weekly assemblies in front of the entire school, no doubt wowing them with our voices, enthusiastic dance moves and costumes. We were rather obsessed.

Even as a child, I knew that the chance of meeting and engaging with my idols was almost impossible. I can vaguely recall us posting a handwritten letter to England for the Spice Girls, but I suppose we never really expected a reply. That didn’t happen back then. The closest you could dream of meeting your idols was to be the screaming girl in the front row at a concert, but at our ripe age, that was out of the question.

I can liken my own infatuation with the Spice Girls to the current hype of school aged girls towards boy-band sensation, One Direction. Although, with the comparison of the two, hasn’t fandom seen a dramatic transformation with the rise of new technologies and participatory audiences? The role of the ‘fan’ has suddenly become a multi-dimensional one. Fans that were once simply consumers buying music and memorabilia are now engaged and actively producing their own fan content.

Sullivan (2013) suggests that fans have now extended their interactions with their idols by logging onto online discussions and building communities with others who share the same passions. Some fans go even further as to modifying and appropriating characters, storylines and settings of their favourite media texts to suit their needs and interests (Sullivan, 2013).

Conversing with idols is no longer a far off fantasy. Platforms like Twitter are making these interactions every bit possible within the online environment, meaning that fans have an increased chance of being noticed by their idols. This increased probability mixed with crazed teenage fans makes the likelihood of ‘fandom gone wrong’ higher than ever. That’s an issue that deserves a space of its own, so I’ll  save that thought for next week. Stay tuned.

References:
Sullivan, J 2013, ‘Media Fandom and Audience Subcultures’, in Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power, Sage Publications, London, pp. 189-212.

Mobile Phone Users: Addicted and Disconnected or Talented Multi-taskers?

Despite their distinct advantages and technological innovation, there is a tendency for new media forms to be viewed as contaminating elements within our already complex media world. Currently, we are surrounded by literature attempting to make valiant connections between media and all that is evil; Social media is linked to damaging of moral fibre and relationships, laptops to disconnected audiences, text messages to distractedness and risk, smart phones to social isolation, electromagnetic radiation to cancer, and it doesn’t stop there.

An increase in mobile phone use has often been likened to user dependence and ‘addiction’ to such technologies. For many, mobile phones have become the modern-day version of a security blanket and typically, when users misplace their device, have it stolen or lose reception, panic tends to set in.

This state of fear has even been given a name – Nomophobia – which is the fear of being disconnected from one’s mobile phone. The physical side effects include panic attacks, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, sweating, chest pain and nausea (All About Counselling 2013) and according to a recent study by Cisco,the condition affects 9 out of 10 mobile phone users under the age of 30 in Australia (Michael & Sheppard 2013). If you say so, Cisco.

Similar conversation and research surrounding mobile phone ‘addiction’ is rampant. A study by Walsh, White and Young (2008) suggests that over-use of mobile phones disrupts social environments, encourages reliance on technology, increases the risk of accidents and leads to an increase in theft as adolescents attempt to pay bills that they cannot afford.

It is individuals’ removal of presence and disconnectedness from the very physical space in which they reside that has many critics caught in a moral fluster. However, as users are disconnected from their surrounding space, they are often reconnected elsewhere – through social media, text messaging, forums and the like. These very spaces in which the technology transports them to, foster conversation and cultivate vital interpersonal relationships, yet society seemingly ignores such physical and psychological benefits.

The fault surrounding the labeling of media ‘addiction’ and its associated disconnectedness is that it assumes that audiences are constantly in a state of constant attention, which is not the case (Bowles 2013). Often, one can be socially faulted for using a mobile phone whilst being spoken to, however, without the media in front of them, who is to say that their subconscious mind would not also be transporting them elsewhere, to thoughts of their grumbling belly and bread choice for their Subway six-inch? The truth is, often conversation is mundane and audience attention drifts. Are media technologies simply amusing the active mind in otherwise mediocre moments? Can we assume that audiences using their mobile phones are in fact disconnected, when perhaps they have multitasking and information processing in the modern media environment down to a fine art?

What are your experiences with your own mobile phone use? Do you consider yourself to be a multi-tasker? Or are you all for living in the moment? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

References:

All About Counselling 2013, ‘Nomophobia’, Internet Brands Health, viewed 30 August 2013.

Bowles, K 2013, ‘Media Content and Moral Panics’, lecture, BCM240, University of Wollongong, delivered 26 August.

Michael, P & Sheppard, F 2013, ‘Nomopobia, the fear of not having a mobile phone, hits record numbers’, The Sunday Mail, 2 June, viewed 30 August 2013.

Walsh, S, White, M & Young, R 2008, ‘Over-connected? A qualitative exploration of the relationship between Australian youth and their mobile phones’, Journal of Adolescence, vol.31, no1, pp.77-92.

Memoirs of Early Television: Fried Rice Fridays and Cellophane Improvisation

Meet Peter, my father.

photo

This photo was taken when he was four-years-old, around the very same time that the wonderful medium of television entered his world. He remembers his family’s first TV set vividly. It was a HMV, wood grain and black, with four legs to stand on. It sat in the sun room; a room that once contested for company was now rearranged with lounge chairs orientated toward the new technology. It was the summer of ‘59 and television had only recently graced the shores of Australia. The sun room was transformed into a new meeting place where Peter, his mother, father, two sisters and brother would all gather together to be entertained in unique new ways. The experience was by no means commonplace and was subject to the completion of chores and homework.

Friday nights at the Kennedy household were ‘fried rice Fridays’, memorable solely for the fact that the family ate in the sun room with the television switched on, presumably quite a controversial act back then. To this day, our family eats around the kitchen table. No excuses. So not surprisingly, this came as quite a shock to me.

Dad’s father was an architect and his family were quite affluent, so when colour TV technology was gaining momentum, their HMV was soon replaced with a newer, more vibrant model. Needless to say, the household suddenly attracted a few more friends:

“I remember Tommy over the fence. He was an older Greek man. He had a TV set, but he’d come to our house and bring a few of his mates just to watch programmes in colour. He loved it. Mum and Dad didn’t mind, they’d always make a night out of it. Tommy used to bring over this home-made red wine that he made from scratch in his back tin shed. I guess that was his form of bribery.”- Peter

Dad’s first experiences definitely differed from my own, and even dramatically from my mother’s. Mum was the daughter of European migrants, barely scraping the money together for a television set, let alone a colour one. Mum remembers the ‘cellophane-like’ single coloured sheets that they would drape over their black and white TV set, creating ‘colour TV’ for her and her sisters and bringing new life to Bandstand and BP Pick a Box. Apparently it was just as new and exciting for them as the colour set was for my father. The Cehic family weren’t the only ones improvising with coloured plastic; a budding entrepreneur obviously saw opportunity surrounding the hype of colour TV.

In the 50’s and 60’s, television needed to be integrated into home life, causing significant implications for domestic time, space and routine. Television colonised home life, challenged the importance of family and redefined the pre-existing domestic leisure culture both inside and outside of the home (O’Sullivan 2007, p.163). As an ’88 child, things were a little different for me. I was born into an era of television, a culture consumed by it and a household that wouldn’t know itself without it. The television to me is not a physical object; it’s a technology, with the ability to be consumed over an abundance of mediums. Sometimes this occurs in the presence of others, but mostly it’s alone in my own private spaces, used solely as a tool of entertainment and time-passing.

Aware of the viewing culture of our predecessors, it’s easy to see how truly disparate and fragmented television audiences have become.

References:

O’Sullivan, T 2007, ‘Researching the Viewing Culture: Television and the Home’, in Wheatley, H (ed.), Re-Viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography, I.B. Tauris, London.

A ‘Flea Shed’ Cinematic Experience

Imagine a building with four slanted red brick walls and a rusted tin roof. Inside there were no windows and only one door to go in and come out. You could only venture inside in the pitch darkness, once the sun has disappeared completely behind the surrounding hills. The floors were made up of dirt and exposed rocks and if you listened really closely, you could hear the distinct squeaks coming from the vermin right up front. It doesn’t exactly sound like somewhere you would be too thrilled to visit, now would you? My mother, however, could not wait to go there. This was the building where her very first cinematic experience took place, the local picture theatre at Scarborough.

It was known to the locals as the ‘Flea Shed’, a pretty self-explanatory title according to Mum. But she remembers the anticipation of her first trip there like it was yesterday. “It was a momentous adventure and a very special occasion”, she recalled.

At dusk, Mum’s father walked her and her eldest sister Monica (in their pyjamas, might I add) from the foothills of the Wombarra escarpment down the where the ‘Flea Shed’ sat nestled on the cliff at Scarborough. If Mum’s memory serves her correctly, it was the year 1962 and she was seven years old. The rows of old chairs were gradually filling as locals gathered to watch the local premiere of the horror film, Gorgo.

Mum remembers her and Monica being terrified. Their father had fallen asleep in the chair next to them, providing no comfort and reassurance for the two young girls clearly distressed by the giant life-like monster on the big screen. This may well be a contributing factor to Mum’s animosity towards horror flicks.

When I asked if there was some sort of store or counter to buy refreshments or popcorn, Mum scoffed at me; “It was very primitive. In the way of amenities I’m sure there was only the toilet, which was a tin shed out the back in the dark. The walk to shed was almost as scary as Gorgo himself!”

 gorgo_08

Yes, I see what she means. What a realistic and terrifying looking beast he was.

The physical space of the cinema along with the participative experience itself has changed over the years. Modern day movie cinemas are spacious, luxurious and overly air-conditioned. Running the risk of sounding like a wet-blanket, I personally can’t find the time, money or effort to make it to the local cinema these days. I actually can’t even recall the last film I watched there. If I want to see a particular movie, I download it on a torrent (shhh), plug the USB drive into my plasma, relax and enjoy in the comfort and privacy of my own home.

Am I just a wet-blanket, or do you share the same opinion? If so, what do you think that means for cinema-going in the years to come?

Social Media and Private Space Naivety

The differentiation between private and public space was once somewhat simple, determined by tangible privacy. A private space was seen to be one that was our own, somewhere where we could exist alone or with the people we entrust the most. Public spaces were virtually everywhere else. Streets, parks, universities, museums, shops, beaches and all other autonomous space on earth. The lines between public and private however, have often been blurred. And with the introduction of new media technologies that have the ability to transport us to private or public realms, these distinctions are hazier than they have ever been before.

Annet Dekker (2008) suggests that new technologies impact our spatial dimensions, with our environments no longer determined by physical space alone. When we are in private we are publicly connected through technologies. On the other hand, media users in public spaces are transported to private conversations, denying those around them and building their own private ‘personal bubbles’ (Dekker, 2008).

‘What happens when our private life becomes public and we use the public space for our private concerns? What happens with the way we communicate, socialise and relate to each other and to the space around us? What happens when technology becomes invisible and disappears from our awareness? What happens to our autonomy? Who still has agency?’ – Annet Dekker (2008, p.140)

Along with these changes in technologies, new forms of privacy within public spaces arise. Let’s take a look at the big wide world of Facebook. It’s highly unlikely individuals would yell out their typical Facebook statuses whilst lining up for their morning coffee, yet so many users feel the need to share these crummy witticisms with the 1 billion others on Facebook. Although I understand that not all 1 billion users see it, the point I’m trying to make is that if they wanted to, they could. Not everyone would witness them picking their noses whilst walking down the street either… but again, people could, and this thought usually stops them from doing so (at least I hope it does). I think that so many people are unaware of the space that Facebook provides us to communicate in. Is it that they have a naïve sense of security of a private space, even with their settings set to ‘public’? Or is it that with these changing spaces we are also seeing changing audiences, willing to let down their own peripheries of privacy and control?

I’ll leave you with this little number; It’s a screen shot from the amusing We know what you’re doing website. Chances are high that what some believe to be their ‘private spaces’ aren’t so private after all…

We-Know-What-Youre-Doing

References:

Dekker, A 2008, PPS: PublicPrivateSpace: Where the public space turns into private space and the private space opens up to the public, International Symposium on Electronic Art 2008, viewed 8 August, https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.isea-webarchive.org%2Fmmbase%2Fattachments%2F114574%2FWhere_the_public_space_turns_into_private_space_and_the_private_space_opens_up_to_the_public.pdf&ei=j7sNUpSnPKf7iQfpgoHYCQ&usg=AFQjCNFs73MpT42G941Yl1qo_hBgF30Ugg&sig2=qFRI0XVCKejia2YRLKizQg

iLoo? Guilty.

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Okay, so this may be a cringe worthy topic, but I think I need to shine a little light on the matter; I’m talking about media consumption in the most private of all private spaces, the bathroom.

Now if I’m being honest, my smartphone typically doesn’t leave my side. And if I’ve got to go, it comes along with me. I’m not a gamer, Facebooker or Tweeter whilst on the loo, I’m too much of a germaphobe for that. But if I get a text, I will have a read.

Now before you begin to judge, take note that the stats are on my side. A recent survey by Sony and O2 found that a whopping 75% of both males and females use their smartphones whilst on the toilet, with 25% admitting to making a call (Drewett 2013). Furthermore, a quarter of men admit to sitting down to urinate so that they are ‘hands-free’ to continue their smartphone use….. ahhhh?

To seek further reassurance (as not to humiliate myself in front of my fellow bloggers), I decided to carry out a little of my own research via a group iMessage with my closest pals. When asked if they engaged with their iPhone whilst on the loo, their varying responses were amusing and fascinating to say the least:

J: ‘I go on Facebook chat, Instagram, Twitter and check my emails, I do it all. Nothing wrong with that!’
A: ‘Yep! And Candy Crush! That’s a given.’
K: ‘Omg. Never.’
C: ‘I do it all the time!!’
K: ‘Ummm, please tell me that you all Dettol wipe your phones when you’re done?’
C: ‘I said I use my phone Kiaya, not wipe my bum with it.’

… and so the banter continued.

So as it turns out, I’m not alone and media use in the bathroom is gaining momentum. Perhaps it really is time to purchase some Dettol wipes.

When exactly did this method of consumption become acceptable daily practice? Or is it acceptable for that matter? What are your thoughts? Media technologies and our questionable consumption of them have transformed the most private of all spaces into a space in which we are privately yet unavoidably connected. An icky thought to say the least.

References:

Drewett, M 2013, ‘75% of people use their phone on the toilet’, Digital Spy, 8 March, viewed 2 August,  http://www.digitalspy.com.au/odd/news/a464219/75-percent-of-people-use-their-phone-on-the-toilet.html