MEDIA & COMMUNICATION

Archive for the ‘BCM240’ Category

Attention – Hard to grab!

Attention is the notice taken of an individual or something, regarding as interesting or important. It is someone’s focus on a certain topic, object or person. For instance, in a normal lecture or classroom, where students’ attention is supposed to be directed at the lecturer, it is usually diverted at their smartphones or their friends. Today, it can be said without a doubt that people are way more than distracted than they used to be and specifically as a result of combining factors; smartphones, apps and the internet. Traditionally someone would be distracted by the television, but nowadays even when watching television people are constantly distracted by other devices specifically personal smartphones and laptops. Individuals, especially the younger generation are constantly distracted as compared to younger generations 20 years ago. If all 22 year olds at a college like INTI was to ask their parents of their behavior when they were at their age in terms of their personal devices it would greatly differ from how they act now.

 Photo: AJEKXM, Skillip Computers and Society

Multi-tasking ability involves multiple processes happening at the same time. Therefore, measuring multi-tasking requires an assessment that can evaluate many tasks at the same time. Specifically, we want to think about the number of tasks, the time interval of the tasks, and the frequency of task-switching. Multi-tasking has saved individuals and companies more time and money across the world as a result of productivity metrics, sales performance and overall performance.

However, when we analyze the idea of attention economy where it is said that attention is a resource and that a person has so much of resources (attention). When multi-tasking an individual can only give enough attention at a time for each task at hand and reduces competency and efficiency to do each task at the best of someone’s ability. For instance, in a classroom where laptops and smartphones are constantly being used by students, most of them will be unable to absorb lectures while being constantly distracted by their various devices, thus, the use of those devices should be prohibited in places like classrooms (Wiseheart 2014).

What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, calls working memory “the mind’s scratch pad”

When an individual is distracted or is attempting to multi-task, like a university lecturer marking assignments at home while also trying to socialize with family and watching television, that individual will be dividing his scarce attention. However, applying spatial thinking, each task allows us to systematically recall the other tasks. like the situation above, when the lecturer now goes to school in the morning and attempts to complete his marking he will be brought back to thinking of the television show he was watching when he was previously marking the assignment and what his family was discussing with him at that moment.

485207551 Michelle Miller

Therefore, attention is a growing issue everywhere, at home, in classrooms and even at work. It has its proven benefits in business and education, but its drawbacks are endless and long-term too.

Reference

Wiseheart, M et al, 2014, ‘Laptops hinder classroom learning for both users and nearby peers’, accessed 14 October 2015, http://www.yorku.ca/ncepeda/laptopFAQ.html

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Public Space Photography and Individual Privacy

The twenty-first century has brought with it a very different phenomena, with an increase in people around the world publicizing their private lives through social media using their personal devices, mainly their smartphones.

This video is a great representation of how personal devices have allowed for private spaces to be turned into semi-public spaces with the various uses of mediums such as apps on smartphones like Instagram, Facebook and the newly popular Snapchat. People feel the need to publicly share everything through the use of their smartphones, such as important or even unimportant events like seen in the video; the proposal for marriage, birthdays, winning a bowling match, conversing at lunch with friends and even watching a live band show. Nowadays before even eating their plated food, people feel the need to publicize it. People cannot just enjoy a moment in the moment, but instead first thing they do is remove their smartphones and cameras and start semi-publicizing their space or view.

Looking into the video, it indicates in this day of age people are incapable of doing direct connection to people as they are always distracted by their personal devices. The couple walking on the beach, which is traditionally meant to be a romantic act, however turned into hollow, the male is too busy on his smartphone to even pay attention to his female partner/girlfriend.

Moreover, photographing or commenting on what you see in public spaces can easily be considered as sightseeing, appreciation or dislike for what people see. For instance, seeing a marching band show in public is usually appreciated and people do so by photographing and commenting. To most people they don’t find such an act illegal or a breach of someone’s privacy, but in ethical terms, it actually is especially if the photographer plans to use the pictures for magazine covers or for public viewing as there is currently no tort of invasion of privacy in a lot of countries, for example in Australia.

However, in ethical terms, people should seek permission before using photographs or videos of another individual especially if the material is going to be publicized. This avoids what is known as defamation which is the law that deals with injury to someone’s reputation. Even art is protected by copyrights laws, unless craftsmanship that is permanently situated in a public place, or in premises open to the public. With the increased use of our smartphones, copyright and defamation seems to be the last thing on people’s minds as the world moves into the electronic era.

apple-china-decline-635Photo credits: Reuters

Reference

Arts Law Center of Australia, 2015, ‘Street photographer’s rights’, accessed 09 October 2015, http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/street-photographers-rights/

Cinema or Streaming?

1365991613883_761Photo credits: Huang Ying

Going to a cinema to watch movies has always been a trend for me. Not only because I get to see the movie on big screens with awesome loud sound, but the joy of meeting my friends before the movie starts, grabbing popcorn and Coke, and getting to watch the movie in a comfy seat or a beanbag. My parents were also big fans in hitting cinema to watch movies. I still remember how my mom and dad used to go line up with their friends in queue to get a seat from the first show of every movie releases – and mom always sew a new dress for the show.

However, as time evolved with modern innovative technology and advanced lifestyle, people have slowly shifted their habit from watching movies in theatre to home. With big screen high definition TVs and surround sound of home theatre systems, anyone can get the same experience of a cinema or even better, just being at home. The easy accessibility to internet in every house today – such as instantly streaming or downloading a new movie – made home viewing experience far more better option for the viewers to choose watching movies in the comfort of your home.

11243566003_e50ae60bad_hPhoto credits: Lauren Lewis

There are several factors for today’s viewers – mostly Gen Y and Z – to shift towards viewing movies at home than going to a theatre. And these factors certainly fit to the three human constraints of social planning identified by Hagerstrand (cited by Ellegård & Svedin 2012); Capacity (also capability), Coupling and Authority.

Capability or capacity comes when indicating the individual’s physical capacity to get to the cinemas. Like for me, I can buy a movie ticket at night for Rm 18, call up some of my friends and go grab popcorn and watch a movie back then. However, being occupied in college work today, and not earning anymore on my own to buy tickets and snacks makes me incapable and fit to this criteria. And this could be the case or similar, with many others. Moreover, the convenience of illegal downloading of movies and TV series on illegal sites like torrent, it is as easy as click of a button for viewers to get hold of movies and watch it at home without spending a penny. Who would want to pay when you can get it for free? Also, many do feel unworthy of going for cinema to watch every movie – movies like romance or comedy does not need a larger screen with high sound, rather prefer to watch on their laptops or tablets.

Coupling in regard to cinema is the ability to be in cinema right before the movie starts, and be able to sit there in silence for continuous two to three hours if they do not want a minute of the movie to be missed out. These time limits constrain the time a person leaves the home to go to the theatre – not to mention if the person lives far from the theatre and get caught in traffic jam, and also the time a person would want a break for toilet. Nevertheless, being in the comfort at home, viewers can easily start the movie anytime – not getting forced to watch 15 to 20 minutes of trailers before actual movie begins – and have the convenience to multitask and pause the movie for toilet breaks. Furthermore, home viewing becomes more of individual experience than public communal one in cinema, where we are surrounded with strangers. The distractions of kids’ crying or people talking, popped out heads of tall people blocking the view, ringing of phones and making noise with soda and straw simply doesn’t exist at home.

You don’t have that awkward person that laugh’s at every little thing that’s not funny.”

Authority with regard to cinema indicates the set of limits, rules and regulations for the movie viewers attending the theatre. Some movies are restricted for viewing below 18 years and cinema staffs check and reject young people before entering the theatre. Rules like ethically accepted dress codes, attendance procedures and prohibition of outside foods, are constraints that people consider to shift for home viewing. Home viewing does not place age blockade on people who are younger than age, it definitely doesn’t restrict the viewer to watch the movie wearing just pyjamas and munching their own snack packs.

MTE1ODA0OTY0MjY3MTMyNDI5Photo credits: Lara Naaman

With all these placed on board, the questions arises whether is it still worth going to cinema to watch movies? Will the future generations be completely shifted for online streaming? Will home viewing kill cinema industry in future?

Reference

Ellegård, K, & Svedin, U 2012, ‘Torsten Hägerstrand’s time-geography as the cradle of the activity approach in transport geography’, Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 23, no. Special Issue on Time Geography, pp. 17-25, viewed on 25 September 2015, http://bit.ly/1Hwl4XG