MEDIA & COMMUNICATION

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/

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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

For years it has been a struggle for women to get employed for a work regardless of being highly educated. This has been especially for moms who don’t have economic resources, who cannot make choices whether to take time from working outside the home to work inside the home and spend more time with their children. In my opinion, women has the ability to multitask: they raise children and work inside and outside home, they do extraordinary things. Nevertheless they are often misjudged by not only the employers, but employees as well.

“How in the world are you going to be able to commit to this job and all your kids at the same time?”

Job requirement for a woman No Children! - Imgur Source: Imgur

However, thanks to today’s technology, we found a better way for moms who want to work – yes… Working from home! The liquid labour has given us the opportunity to perform work task remotely in a ‘networked environment’ beyond time and space. Now moms can definitely make a choice: take care of their kids, maintain their home and still work in a job that best suits them.

“The location and time of one’s labour becomes a secondary consideration to the task of managing the expectation and/or possibility that one is available and willing to work” Melissa Gregg, ‘Function Creep’

Working home moms - Imgur Source: Imgur

Reference

Gregg, M. ‘Function Creep: Communication technologies and anticipatory labour in the information workplace’, viewed on 4 September 2015, <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/470732/mod_resource/content/1/Gregg%2C%20M.%20-%20Function%20creep.pdf>

Huhman, H. R 2012, ‘Become a work-at-home mom’, Forbes Woman, 10 May, viewed on 5 September 2015, < http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/05/10/become-a-work-at-home-mom/>

Lapowsky, I 2015, ‘Want more women working in tech? Let them stay home’, Wired, 4 July, viewed on 5 September 2015, < http://www.wired.com/2015/04/powertofly/>

Technology is surpassing our daily lives with every single day. With this growing technology, the usage of mobile phones have become a normative public behavior regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. It has glued us to be constantly connected to others. The ability to easily connect to social network has given us increased dependency on mobile devices, resulting them frequently being used to access social media while driving, especially young drivers (Weller et al. 2013, Seiler 2015). However, the mobile phone usage while driving has caused numerous accidents leading to death and serious injuries.

People who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to crash. These crashes has caused more than 3000 deaths and 400,000 severe injuries. Even though being aware of all this, people still tends to continue using mobile phones while driving today. This brings up the question, as to ‘What is worth more? A simple text message or losing your life?’

8616716812_2218a48a82_zPhoto credits: Defense Information School

References:

Weller, JA, Shackleford, C, Dieckmann, N & Slovic, P 2013, ‘Possession Attachement Predicts Cell Phone Use While Driving’, Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, pp. 379-387.

Seiler, SJ 2015, ‘Hand on the Wheel, Mind of the Mobile: An Analysis of Social Factors Contributing to Texting While Driving’, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., vol.18, no.2, pp. 72-78.

Domestic broadband

Zooming into what life was like in the 60’s people used to spend time with their families, children used to play outside more often and they used to be more interactive among each other. So, has the advent of Wi-Fi and domestic broadband changed the way we view our home?

Now if we look into the era after the arrival of the TV it is obvious that the TV has made its mark among the family members of each individual homes. When I was a kid I remembered how my mother used to have her favorite drama, how my dad loved watching the sports channel and how I loved watching the cartoons which were being played. So what has changed since the arrival of the broadband into homes? I think it is merely an extension of what we used to have in the TV. Some time ago we used a single box for our whole families’ viewing, but now we have our own personal gadgets to view our preferred selected channels or programs.

I am not exaggerating here, but don’t you remember how angry you used to be when you had to share the TV with someone? Especially when one of your siblings want to watch a different show which happens to be at the same time as yours? I used to be furious if my siblings changed the channel when I was watching my selected program. What makes it even worse is when your parents want to watch a different program as well during different times of the day. And they never fail to use the guilt trip tactic on you! Stating that they are paying the bills, and that it is very tiring after all the work at home and at work, and all they want is to watch 30 minutes or 1 hour of their favorite show.

If we look at how technology has evolved since then, we can now stream videos from our own personal devices. But of course the set back is that we rarely look up to converse with one another. However, zooming into the hidden hypocrisy beneath it all is the fact that, back when the TV used to be our source of entertainment, we rarely talked as well. How? It was because the only time we actually talked was when one of us wanted to switch the channels. If you look closely even when we were arguing about whose turn it was, we rarely did any talking, just loud arguments which was always won by the loudest arguer. So the hypocrisy lies in the details.

Photo credits: Todd Leopold, CNN

Photo credits: Todd Leopold, CNN

Today when we stream from our very own personal devices we also barely talk with one another. But the complaints come from our parents, claiming we rarely have family time together. Whereas back then in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, family time was also reduced to sitting in front of the TV and watching it being played, while none of the family members talked to one another regarding anything related to their lives. So my guess is the real problem lies with our parents themselves. Back then during their generation, they used to have a barely minimal conversation with their siblings because the TV was being a distraction, they had minimal talks among each other. If I remember correctly my grandmother used to complain how her children (my mother and her siblings) used to lack communication among themselves as compared to my grandmother and her siblings. So what is making our parents complain that our generation is spoilt because of indoor broadband? My guess is that, they have finally reached an age where they are missing the good old rare times of conversation they rarely had with their siblings and now blaming our generation fearing we would end up the same. But nevertheless the concept of domestic broadband is very similar to the TV and radio. The interaction among family members have seen a decrease in both cases. So in my opinion domestic broadband is merely an extension of the TV and radio.

Photo credits: Kensley

Photo credits: Kensley

It was not much long ago when Maldives had their first television which was in 1978. Much younger than it was as compared to Malaysia which had its first television in the year 1963 (Latif 2005). Since my family is back home in Maldives, I decided to interview a local. To be specific I interviewed Ms. Adelle Soo a staff at INTI College Subang Jaya.

She said she remembers the television coming into her house when she was a little girl and she remembers the black and white and soundless movies being played. Back then there used to be no sound effects to the television, and the audience had to read the subtitles to understand the movie. She also added that there were very limited screenings back then as compared to nowadays.

Photo credits: Paul Townsend

Photo credits: Paul Townsend

She carefully narrated how her mother being typically Ceylonese (Sri Lankan decent) disagreed with the idea of television because it was very expensive and was a “devils tool” to keep the family members from talking to each other and reduce family time. The notion however was rebutted by her dad who was more of a modern man who liked the idea of change, and was happy with the idea of a change in the house environment. After a few initial weeks of quarrel, they finally got a TV set. Adelle and her sisters used to love watching the shows played on TV.

A few years after the initial TV came out, the colored TV arrived in Malaysia, which according to Latif (2005) is in the year 1978. And this time, Adelle said that her mother was the one who personally went to the store to get the colored TV. While the emergence of colored TV boosted the sales tremendously in Malaysia, Adelle and her sisters got attached for cartoons. She clearly remembers how she watched The Little Mermaid, Bambi and Cinderella in full color. Apparently Disney had a tremendous part of her childhood, and surprising enough Adelle immediately confessed that she secretly likes cartoons even until this day. So I guess the love towards cartoons will not fade away no matter how old you become.

Sometimes I wonder what it was like to live before the age of the television. Adelle said that she was quite young when TV first came to Malaysia so she grew up accustomed to watching TV during play times. I remembered a conversation I had with my mother once about life before TV, and I remember my mother saying that free times were spent going outside and playing with the neighbor’s children and making new friends every day.

I guess I will not be able to imagine a life without TV, since I grew up with TV being a part of my life. It really is something growing up with characters on TV being your close friends who teach you the meanings in life.

Reference

Latif, MPBA 2005, ‘The use of electronic media to gratify cognitive needs among the semelai heads of households in Tasek Bera, Pahang’, Universiti Putra Malaysia, pp. 1-25, accessed on 26 August 2015, http://psasir.upm.edu.my/5881/1/FBMK_2005_20%281-24%29.pdf

The Evolution of Phones

Photo credits: LouieCocchiola

Today mobile phones have become a lifeline of our daily life. Almost everyone has at least one personal cell phone of their own: whether toddlers or the oldest man. Moreover, the mobile phone device has currently outnumbered the global human population, growing more than 7.2 billion.

“No other technology has impacted us like the mobile phone. It’s the fastest growing manmade phenomenon ever – from zero to 7.2 billion in three decades,” said Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Co.

However, if we look back at the past of these smart technological devices which made us communicate faster and easier with the ability to perform multi task, it was something entirely different from what we see now. Something beyond our expectation of having around us and using it.

The immense improvement of technology has played a massive role in changing the history of telecommunication: how humans communicate through smoke signals to the stylish mobile multimedia platforms we use now. Let’s take a look back to the past at how the communication has developed and made the multimedia device the world’s most ubiquitous needy gadget.

http://prezi.com/icocwseovggl/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Reference

Shortel 1996, ‘The history of Telecommunication’, accessed on 19 August 2015, http://bit.ly/1LMxDN0