Stranger Danger

Growing up did you ever attempt to attend a movie that you were old enough to see? Or parent.jpgfake your age just to be able to access a variety of social media platforms?

Well these restrictions can be identified as ‘media regulations’. Media regulation is the control or guidance of mass media by governments and other bodies. It not only monitors what certain age groups can and cannot access, it regulates where we can and cannot use media. For example in Australia it is illegal to use your mobile phone when driving, when working and when in the cinema.

While some think that media regulations can be an ‘inconvenience’, the Australian Government is updating media laws to adapt to an ever changing landscape.

“The Government has announced the most significant reforms to Australia’s media Media-regulation-MO-INFOGRAPHIC_v1B.JPGlaws in a generation, supporting the viability of our local organisations as they face increasing global competition in a rapidly changing digital landscape.”

With advancing technology and the rapid growth of the World Wide Web, we now have instant access to any content from around the world. As a result I think it is necessary for these restrictions to be enforced, particularly online.

The Internet is becoming a popular source of information and entertainment for children. Increasing numbers of schools are coming on-line and material on the Internet targeted at children is burgeoning. As with television, there is increasing community concern that young people are being exposed to pornographic and other inappropriate material such as aggressive marketing on the Internet.[82]Placing or possessing material on the Internet that infringes existing legislation regulating, for example, racial vilification or defamation may be a criminal offence. These laws are difficult to enforce as the originators of Internet material can rarely be identified.

The instantaneous nature of the internet is revolutionary, however it is becoming a common action that children are neglecting the age restrictions set by websites. For example when I signed up to Facebook, the minimum age was 16 and I was 14. Now social media services such as Facebook and Instagram now require the user to be at least 13-years old.

What is the problem with this but?

An article from the Daily Mail explains that a study in 2014 found that 59% of children are networking at the age of 10. A poll highlighted that 21% of children have posted negative comments and 43% have messaged strangers on social media. It is these statistics that should concern individuals, while developing an online presence is a social norm, at such a young age it diminishes the barrier between their public and personal life.

Furthermore Dr Richard Woolfson explains “children are gaining access to social media Cqs8yWPXYAAgHiE.jpgsites at a younger age, which could expose them to content, people or situations that are out of their depth and which they’re not emotionally prepared for“. It is evident that what younger generations are seeing on social media websites is increasingly influencing their daily lives.

Online presence can be altered to reflect yourself or to transform into an entire other being. The implications of children being on social media at such a young age is that they can  fall into the traps of strangers online. “The capacity for communications to be online, and yet under the radar, is something parents, teachers and policy-makers need to remain aware of“.

In 2014 an incident regarding online stranger danger occurred, where a 12-year-old girl had met and invited an unknown man to her house through online interaction. The platform that was used was the popular messaging app Kik, where the minimum sign up age is 17. A casual conversation had begun between the young girl and old man, he who had been pretending to be younger than his actual age of 32 and eventually led the man to her front-door. Investigators found that this was not the only platform the two were using and he was not the only man she was communicating with, Xbox live had been a popular communication platform for the young girl. Later that year in November Microsoft supplied a 30 day transcript of the girls conversations with strangers.


The offender was immediately jailed and charged, this incident has acted as a cautionary tale in Baltimore to warn children of the implications of their online behaviour.

Media regulation is vital in keeping all media users safe. Age restriction is important to limit young children, it is common that young children who are unaware of online stranger danger, cyberbullying and how permanent their actions are.

The rise of the gold fish

Whenever we see (…) appear at the end of a post on social medi, whats our common thought? “I can’t be bothered to read this….” Unless of course it is a topic that interests us. If a video is longer than the average 30 seconds our minds start to wander.goldfish2.jpg

A study from Microsoft Corporation has highlighted that as a result of the increased use of digital technology, it has made it difficult for individuals to focus shortening our attention span from twelve seconds down to eight.

“Consumers’s lives are increasingly digital – at work, home and everywhere in between. With news reduced to 140 characters and conversations condensed to emojis, how is this affecting the way [we] see and interact with the world?”

In 2014 Microsoft conducted a two part research project. The first was an online survey andmicrosoft-research-on-evolving-attention-spans-100585696-large.idge.jpg
game to test its participants attention span, respondents were divided into three groups based on their performances: low, medium and high attention. The second was neurological research, where participant brain activity was assessed as they interacted with different media and participated in a range of activities. Results highlighted that the main factors impacting attention were:

  • Media consumption
  • Social media usage
  • Technology adoption rate
  • Multi-screening behaviour

Living in the 21st century, it is becoming almost impossible to avoid using some form of technology. Susan Greenfield explains that our brains have the capacity to mirror or transform into what we are absorbing, the ‘personalisation of the brain’.

To test this theory I gathered my girlfriends for a girls night in. I decided that we were going to start the night with a game of Cards Against Humanity, however without any
alcohol. I wanted to test how long the girls would engage with the game before deciding to check their phone and give up. A 30 minute game found that:

  • Instantly minds started to wander
  • From start to end amongst 10 girls their phones were checked over 30 times
  • Messages were replied to at least 20times
  • 7 posts to social media sites were made
  • And 4 people complained

During this observation I noticed that, what was supposed to be a quick and easy game turned into a prolonging activity all because of our constant urge to check our devices.

After reading out their individual statistics it was safe to say that each and every one were in denial. “I’m not obsessed with my phone”, is the response I constantly received. Phone-Addiction1.jpeg

However, our constant use of technology is not only shortening our attention span. It can be said that we are suffering from “nomophobia(short for no-mobile-phone phobia). Symptoms can include feeling anxious or panicked when being away from your phone, and in the more severe cases feeling the vibrations of your phone when it is not ringing or receiving a notification.

After researching into these issues, I found that there were online sites where you could test whether you have an internet addiction and an attention span test. Have a try and feel free to comment your results!

Attention Span Test:

Addiction Tests:

Calling all soccer fanatics

With the ever-growing technological advancements our society is experiencing, our most simplest and traditional activities are transforming.

For instance Digital Storytelling has had an incredible influence, it is the combination of text, photographs, animation, sound etc which are used as an ‘expressive medium’ online-collaboration.jpgcombining various forms of subject matter. Couldry explains that the movement has popularised the means of producing and exchanging stories afforded by digital media. However at the core of storytelling are story circles, they are at the centre of collaborative and transformative learning. Couldry describes the concept of story circle as “a group of people sitting face-to-face commit to produce stories and listen to each other’s stories“.

Although like any project that requires technology and collaboration, researchers are able to identify success and limitations. As part of Couldry’s project, he devised three concepts: multiplications, spatialising (narratives of narratives) and habits of recognition. Multiplication refers to the relationship that is created by the story and the platform, as a result of the convergence of media and technology it has allowed for an ever-evolving communication scope. Spatialising explores the the creation of a narrative within a narrative based on its geography. Lastly habits of recognition highlights how differently the communication occurs when face-to-face and over social media, however interacting over social media does not hinder collaboration. Couldry explains that “the digital story circle does not replace relationships… but provides a means for sustaining and amplifying them“.

Understanding Couldry’s breakdown of the factors of a digital story circle, has allowed to identify a potential topic for the upcoming digital project.

Growing up in a sporty household and as a former athlete, tsports-watching1.jpghe nature of watching sporting
events has drastically changed. Now you are able to almost have the same experience of
attending the game, but presently seated in your own lounge room, eyes glued to the newest high definition television and surround sound blaring. Could we call this a man cave?

As an avid sports watcher, my viewing has gradually spanned over a range of channels on both the Free to Air channels, Foxtel and now online streaming channels. While we now have the luxury of being able to watch out favourite sporting teams in the comfort of our homes, our access to such games and events are dramatically changing.


For the upcoming digital project I have decided that I will be focusing and observing how jMtu4x25.pngaudiences watch the EPL. The way I intend to present the project will be through a range of blogposts, recounting my observations and experiences in different environments. I also want to include public opinion, therefore conducting a survey will also give me insight into where soccer fans prefer to watch their games and how atmosphere effects this.

Creepers keep creepin

After attempting to take a sneaky picture of a girl this week, I got caught and was given a death stare so I didn’t attempt again.

But it really made me wonder what was going through her head, what is that girl looking at? Stalker? I wonder how I look?

What are the circumstances we accept being randomly photographed in and the ones we are not? So I decided to post on tumblr and these are some of anonymous the responses I got:

  • “If i’m out for the night and all glammed up, I don’t care take pictures left right and centre.”
  • “I can’t take a selfie, what makes a random think they can take a photo of me?”
  • “I judge others, so its only fair if they judge me.”
  • “If he/she are attractive snap away, if you look stalkerish i’ll call the cops.”

Unfortunately the answers just got worse, but it did help me to understand how some people think.

There is a different between taking a photo of someone or something in private and in public. You would assume that privately the subject of the photograph or object have given consent to allow this act to pursue. Whereas in a public space, it is again assumed that no consent needs to be given as you are in a ‘public space’. Arts Law states supports that photographers are able to take photographs without permission, however how it is used and if the subject wishes for it to be deleted, legal and ethical implications should be put into place.

An example of unethical photography is the latest issue of “Online schoolgirls pornography ring“. “On the foreign-hosted forum, users post requests for people to share pornographic images of girls at schools or universities in exchange for other images.”  Although it was not only photos that had been sent around, they were photos that were taken out in public. These photos firstly should not be on public display, and secondly they highlight how they can be used and/or sold to humiliate and expose their subject(s). Yes these sorts of photos should not have been taken in the first place, however the activity they have been put towards crosses all ethical and legal boundaries.

Further reading into the issue it became evident that stalkers were trading photos to shortly be rewarded by their ‘desired’, “a user offered to trade up to 300 nude images of other victims in exchange for a single pornographic photo of one girl he was tracking. Another user said he had been trying to unearth nude images of a particular victim for more than five years“.

I do agree that yes girls should not have allowed anyone to take explicit photos or have sent them. However the environment of schools and universities are supposed to be places where students are safe, and not be seen as a stalkers ‘prey’.

To control photography in the public space would be nearly impossible to do, living in a time where basically all devices have a built in camera and the internet is so easily accessible. Apps such as Snapchat, have changed the game of stalkers. Once the photo is snapped and a time is set – the receiver will open it and shortly after it becomes unretrievable.

Public photography targets both ends of the spectrum, you can be the subject of or witness the bad side as stated above. OR. You can witness the beauty of someone or the world around us.

Have you ever had a stranger take a photo of you? Comment your experiences!

The buttery goodness will never fade

Who can say that they’ve been taken to the cinema as one of their first dates?

The cinema is not only a traditional location to catch the latest award winning film, or a place to hang out for a movie marathon. The cinema is a traditional location for relaxation, blooming first love and of course the 11.jpgplace to stuff your face with buttery goodness.

It is said that the movie theatre, similar to cable television is gradually dying as a result of the infamous World Wide Web. “Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos says that we’re witnessing a generational shift“. Attitudes are changing as cinema ticket prices are climbing, ‘laziness’ is increasing and the thrill of adventuring to the movies is dying, why pay up to $40 for a ticket, popcorn and drink when we can google a torrent for the desired movie and wait for it to be instantly downloaded? No charge, no rules and the comfort of your own home right?

Well, according to Torsten Hagerstrand and his theory of individual time geography, he devised three main constraints that hinder individual daily activity: capability constraints, coupling constraints and authority constraints. Together these three categories reflects how “human spatial activity is often governed by limitations and not by independent decisions by spatially or temporally autonomous individuals“.

Reflecting on my own recent cinema experiences, I have discovered that my two greatest limitations are: capability constraints and coupling constraints.

The most recent cinema experience was courtesy of my boyfriend, who surprised me with tickets to Suicide Squad to kick off my birthday celebrations. Over the past 3.5-years we have developed a routine when going to the movies. When picking the movie it is vital that we pre-book tickets no earlier than 7.30pm and ensure we have two middle seats towards the back of the cinema, as well as ensuring that no one has chosen to be next to us (unless it is a sold out movie). Upon arrival he will buy a large popcorn and coke, and I will have  a small coke and packet of star burst.

To begin the night our first constraint was a coupling constraint. He booked the tickets online, however failed to notice that he had not selected the correct day. Although luckily the staff at Event Cinemas  were understanding of the situation and changed our tickets, free of hassle. Shortly after we encountered a capability constraint, prior to the movie we decided to indulge in our dinner and continued to indulge in popcorn and sweets. As the movie was drawing to a close I began to hear someone snore, he had fallen asleep.

While this movie trip does not high lightly the full effect of Hagerstrand’s constraints, it can prove that these constraints appear naturally.

Time, place and cost are the three biggest issues an average person consider when 41968871-Online-cinema-internet-streaming-flat-illustration-Stock-Vector.jpgattending the cinema. With the increased reliance on internet and technology, many ar
e preferring to stream or download movies rather than actually go. Having instant and free access eliminates Hagerstrand’s constraints, and the ever growing web will prove to beat the purpose of a cinema.

Although how can we abolish the old and replace it with the new, when there are so many individuals in society that value tradition? It is evident that through the introduction of the Gold Class experience, VMAX, 3D and 4D experiences cinemas are already trying to enhance our viewing.

So yes cinema is losing to online streaming, but for those who love their traditional cinema routines will find that it will be the environment to change not the practice.

Generations at war

Every generation has its own distinct characteristics, and the way each and every one has interacted with digital media vastly differs. It is said that older Gen Y’s and all of Gen X can be described as the ‘digital immigrants’, preferring TV over youtube. Whereas younger Gen Y’s and Gen Z can be considered ‘digital natives’, preferring to surf the social media world and pass time on Youtube.

As the more newer generations are growing up their abilities to interact and work online is becoming far more advanced. We are now in a world were connectivity is so easy and thereScreen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.54.40 AM.png is now a heavy reliance on ‘digital machines’.

As a result of our constant reliance on our devices, it is driving change in the media landscape. The changes are almost so instant and noticeable as people are cutting TV chords and instead now paying up to $14.99 a month for a premium and unlimited package on Netflix.

However it is not only the latest online streaming programs that are kissing the traditional television package goodbye, it is the younger generations interest in exploring TV shows, movies and sport from around the world. The interest no longer lies only in the local sporting events or national TV, rather interests are now wanting to explore on a global level.

My boyfriend, an avid TV show and movie watcher, sports fan and soccer fanatic (Arsenal to be exact). However his show/movie consumption is mostly done off the computer, a mixture of torrented TV shows ranging from Suits, The Walking Dead and Power and live streamed sports events. “Watching shows off the internet is easier and instant. I can get them a day earlier without the constant Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 12.46.02 PM.pngannoyance of pointless TV commercials”. However when Foxtel announced that they no longer will be showing all Live English Premier League games he was not impressed and his television consumption was cut more than half. “We can stream games but most of the time the streams are unclear and if you have Facebook there is no point waiting for the repeats because someone will have spoiled it,” he said. “It is good publicity for Optus and they are offering  more options than what Foxtel ever did, but for those of us who aren’t with Optus it is really annoying because we aren’t left with many secure options.”

From 1,677,000 Australian EPL watchers, “15% of EPL viewers switched broadband provider in the past 12 months, compared with 10% of all Australians 14+ with a fixed line service in their home. ”  “EPL viewers are also more likely than other fixed broadband customers to stream TV, movies or video via computer during an average four weeks: 44% compared with 38% of all people with a fixed-line internet connection at home.”

Going back to the interview I completed with my dad, he laughed when I asked if streaming shows or sporting events would be something he would consider. “Why would I want to stream anything and have to stare at a tiny computer screen? I go on the internet to check my emails and I watch my TV shows to relax on the lounge after a hard days work. If I had to be on the internet to watch TV I wouldn’t bother.” As you can tell he was not a fan of the ideas merging.

As ‘millennials‘ are advancing in technology, networks such as the EPL are now expanding 56VRLRFE_400x400.jpgtheir outreach to fans beyond games, live broadcasting and merchandising. They are also tackling social media to reach out to fans and gain a greater viewing. This can be seen through twitter @premierleague, where live updates and the latest news can be found.

It is said that traditional television may be seeing its last years, as a result of the internet and social media influence. However for people like my dad and many others, the internet isn’t as he described “the be all and end all”. Maybe traditional television won’t fade so quickly.

What would we be, without TV?

Sesame street, Play School, Bear in the big blue house and the Teletubbies.tumblr_l9qsq9YMFZ1qaxl7oo1_500.jpg Only some of the popular television shows that shaped our childhoods.

As the years changed throughout primary school, traditional weekly morning tv didn’t. ABC was the prime channel for children’s morning shows, where sing-a-longs to ABC’s got me through the dreadful process of getting ready for school.

Television impacted the way I told the time, school mornings I would often wake up with Bear in the big blue house at 7.30am and once I heard the Sesame Street theme song I knew I was already late for school. Of an afternoon, 3.45pm was prime time for Rollercoaster and shortly after watching Neighbours and The Simpsons I knew I could be expecting my parents to arrive home from work.

When I started high school, my family set up Foxtel into my home. The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon became my routine on weekdays and on the weekends. Whereas now my TV intake is almost half of what it used to be, being introduced to torrenting has greatly influenced the way I access and watch TV shows. Now TV watching is done behind a laptop screen however, on the off occasions at 8.30pm tuning into ARENA with my family to watch Real Housewives of Melbourne.

After observing my own relationship with television, I asked my dad. What are you memories of growing up with a TV? His answer greatly differed from my own, and highlights the generation gap.

“When the television first came out your grandparents thought it was nonsense. But after years of being the only family out of all my friends to own a television, they eventually got one. It was nothing but a square box with two antennas on the top. I used to have to stand at the TV and move the antennas for certain channels, and everything was in black and white” said dad1980s-tv.jpg. “These days TV isn’t a privilege, but when I was growing up TV meant family time, if I was good I was allowed to watch my favourite show for 30minutes a day. After dinner we all had to sit around in the lounge room and spend the rest of our night together, when you and your sister were little we used to do that to but now that everyone has grown up it isn’t like it used to be”.

In our household we have six televisions, with two Foxtel boxes. As a result of this the television dynamic has changed in our household. During my trip to Italy this year, I found that each culture value television in different ways. For instance after visiting two families on my trip only one had a TV where the other explained that when living with so much family a Television isn’t needed.

“We only have one TV in the house, we’ve never wanted more and we hardly use this one. In this apartment building there I have four other siblings living with their families, we are always together. A newspaper and my family is all I need for entertainment and news, televisions are just a waste of money and time” says Attilio. “I bought a TV for my children, so they don’t miss out on growing up in this new age. When I was a little kid, we read the newspapers and went out in the town and spoke to locals. That was entertainment, not being hypnotised by a box”.

After leaving Australia and experiencing another culture for five weeks, you begin to understand the cultural differences and values. The cultural values of television not only differs between culture and ethnicity, but also generations too.

Over a decade ago educator Neil Postman described the ascendancy of the Age of Television and the decline of the Age of Print as “the most significant American cultural fact of the second half of the twentieth century”. Modern media acknowledges “television is undeniably the most powerful influence in our society today… we can communicate anything we choose almost anywhere in the world… instantaneously, in a puff of electrons” . The evolution television has had numerous positive impacts throughout the world, from education to cultural awareness and awareness of the current news and events happening around the world.

However, no matter how greatly the infamous television has impacted our world. It is evident that through upbringings and diverse cultures that the memories and dependence we have on TV greatly differs. Imagine if the world reverted to a time where there was only newspapers and the local radio, how would the newer generations cope?


Growing up in an Italian household, my dream had always been to explore my origins buried in the rich history of Italy. And this year I was given the opportunity to retrace my family roots.

Over the course of five weeks I had decided to document my trip with at least one or two photos posted to Instagram. The purpose of these photos were not only to show my friends and family at home the beauty of the country, but to act a a reminder and memory of my trip ahead.Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.15.02 PM

However, not only was I posting to highlight the beauty and simplicity of the cities and coastal towns I was visiting. But I was drawn to the feedback and ‘likes’ I was receiving for every photo.

I found myself aiming to take flawless photos to post, to spark interest in my trip and to inspire. Exploring the concept of media space, has caused me to explore the layout and interests of my own media spaces. Facebook contains news, personal updates, food and memes. While my Instagram is not only filled with my family and friends, but also my daily ‘inspo’, from fitness to food and travel.

Doreen Massey describes space as being “simultaneity of stories-so-far.” In this case I have utilised the social media space of Instagram to highlight my journeys thus far. However it is not only on our five week journey I’ve had the constant desire to post, it is also through my day-to-day life.

It is increasingly evident that young teens are now out and about attempting to find an ‘Instagram worthy’ photo. I can put myself in this category, we look for landscapes, foods or cool objects to post or blog about and catch people attentions.

While the addiction to social media may be an increasing problem, when used in the correct way it can be a form of personal and social expression. The ability to be proud of who you are, what you are doing or what you have seen.

My social spaces highlight what I cherish in life and also bring out my own personality. As I aspire to become a journalist, promoting myself and my work is a big part of forming my social space and my social identity.

Nowadays with smartphones, Internet TV, tablets etc our connectivity to the cyber world is so instantaneous. Could we say that our reality is becoming our media space?