Trying to get a grasp of what the spatial nature of media practices and audiences is, kind of made my head spin a little. When first thinking of what I could talk about for this topic, I guess you could say I was heading for the easy route and thought of topics that we have already discussed throughout the semester. But, last week I was watching the Balmain x HM show via Periscope all the way from New York when I was sitting in my bed and then it dawned on me, why not write something that is completely retable to myself. I came up with the idea of how social media (Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat) changes the way we view fashion and where we view it, and how it creates the effect of wanting everything as we see it. It still baffles me how I am able to be sitting here in my room in Yarrawarrah yet still be watching fashions shows happening at the same time in Paris. I really believe it has changed the way the whole fashion industry has worked, from buyers to stylists to websites having to keep up with the quick pace of social media, and this is how social media is spatial in nature as it is changing aspects of the fashion industry all over the world.
The aim for the next few days of research is to first collect and collate all of my information. These will be my secondary sources from academic works and also personal online articles from fashion and social media experts. I also want to conduct primary research by interviewing my friend who I know is extremely interested in social media and fashion.
If anyone has any thoughts or idea that they could contribute, please comment on this post. It would be great to have more than one opinion on this topic as well as from people who may not be interested in fashion but can see the effects that social media affects how we communicate in a whole.
Since starting my blog almost two years ago for my Media and Communications degree, my entire blog layout has been the same. I hadn’t changed my blog theme, I only hashtagged the subject code, they were put into subject code categories and my writing style stayed the same. After receiving a review back on my first few posts this semester, while the comments were positive about my writing style, it was the skeleton of the blog that needed to change. This semester I was pushed to do more than just write. I needed the think about this blog a creative piece in its entirety. I needed to find the perfect theme that represents me but did not have too much going on to confuse the reader. Playing around with the colours on my blog, pink just didn’t seem to sit right. Having a pink background really was going to limit my audience to predominately females. I had to remember to not get caught up in the design though, because as Janine Warner points out in her book Creating Family Websites for Dummies (2005) “A great site design and technical gimmicks are no replacement for developing an interesting, readable writing style”.
Having had a review on my blog in week 5 really helped me evaluate what needed to be changed. Now reflecting on my work I submitted a mere 5 weeks ago compared to what I am submitting now, I believe has completely changed. The importance of self-reflection on a project like this is learning how to improve and listen to and implement constructive criticism. While some students may view reflection as “pointless”, Monash University perfectly describes the importance of self-reflection as a tool for the real world by saying “As well as facilitating learning and monitoring learning, the intention is to produce graduates who have acquired the habit of reflection as a means of continuing to learn and grow in their professions”. I feel like this statement is true as you reflect on yourself you understand your values and how you take on information given to you by others. It shows whether you’re willing to learn or not.
One of the things I learned was how to engage a bigger audience. I had a closed mind as I was mainly writing to my peers who would understand what I was talking about. What I really needed to do was to make my topics appealing to anyone who came across my blog. I found I could do this by making my blog more personal so people would know about me and not only about what Hagerstrand said for example. Warner (2005) points that it is important to have your own writing style and voice. She says to write like you’re having a conversation, avoid jargon and consider your audience. In my writing, I tried to make my style as personal as possible by trying to add parts of me to it. For example, in my post about public photography I tried to make it as me as possible. I love fashion so I spoke about street style photography. I felt as though this truly made my readers understand a bit more about me and what I love. By broadening what I was talking about, I then needed to think about how I could capture a bigger audience. Previously only hashtagging subject codes, it really didn’t bring much traction to my blog. It was suggested to me that I hashtag more than just subject codes. So on my first post after this advice I hashtagged things that were sprinkled throughout my blog. Within 5 minutes I had 5 likes which I had never had before and that post is still my highest viewed post.
It was extremely important that I took on the advice given to me as it really did broaden my audience. Although I was getting better at using WordPress as a tool to widen my audience, I still struggled with using Twitter as way to navigate my audience to my blog. I found that Twitter never really gave me much traction. I would regularly post links to new posts and hashtag BCM240, but reflecting on this now, maybe that was my downfall. I should have been tagging other tags that were alike to my post instead of closing in my audience to only my peers. Hines (2015) says that it is very important to promote your posts on social media if you want a large audience. Maybe if I had extended links to my blog via Facebook and Instagram I may have received more viewers but I personally didn’t see those platforms as being particularly helpful or relevant. Another thing that Hines (2015) says is that you need to post regularly to keep your audience coming back. I tried to do this by having posts completed by Sunday every week, also partly because I didn’t want to be swamped with posts at the end to write. I knew if I wrote posts at a good pace, I might receive comments on my posts or more views, as people would wish to come back and read what was new. I would like to compare the views on posts of people who regularly space out their posts compared to those who write them all at once.
Lastly, I found that for me it was really important to read my peers posts. In reading them, I could establish myself on how I felt towards a particular topic and what I wanted to write about. I found that reading other posts made me consider options I had never considered and also it was good to see what my peers thought of different topics. As we are looking at ethnographic research, it became a good way for me to have those personal insights into the ways people functioned regarding the media and I could conduct ethnographic research of my own. I had some advice on needing to engage readers so I decided to use my blog browsing to my advantage. Every post I would add my favourite blog post by one of my peers for that week’s topic and sent a link to the post so my followers could read it. I think that this was a great way for readers to find out more information about certain topics. This task has been challenging at times as I found it difficult to write about my thoughts and myself and also adding other sources and references. I believe blogging has made me become a better writer and has allowed me to better understand the topics that we have learned about throughout BCM240.
When people think about the rules and regulations of media, most people’s minds would jump to illegal downloading. Yes downloading is an illegal thing to do but what about other forms of media rules. The Australian Government has many rules in the media under certain acts, which relate to advertising, classifications and complaints for example the Commercial Television Code of Practice. There are also other forms of media regulation whether it be at a work place, in public or just at home and these regulations can be illegal or legal. Most people would agree that there is a common courtesy when it comes to mobile phones in public today. Generally, most people have their keyboards on silent so people don’t hear them clicking away. Longtime users of mobile phones seem to understand this whereas new users don’t. For example, my uncle is still only figuring out phones (like my dad) and only became aware that it is “not cool”, in his words, to have your phone on ‘loud’. Does this show a social fear? Has this one act shaped how we now think about mobile phones in public and rules when it comes to using them? Trying to find current articles on mobile etiquette proved to be a little difficult as the majority were written in 2013. BUT I did come across this fantastic BuzzFeed article, although not academic, it perfectly describes societies feelings towards mobile phone etiquette. I then came across a forum about why in movies and TV shows they have their phones set on vibrate. Has this societal fear of loud phones become a real thing? It really has shaped the place in which we use media, in the public and at home. While these rules are not enforced, they have been learned and have become a natural part of everyday, for some people (excludes obnoxious people on trains). Personally, I don’t think media regulation has to be defined by what is illegal and not, it is about the constraints of media and the use of it in society.
I think the rules and regulations in the work place regarding media are important to look at as well. I have had many jobs with all different leniencies on media use. At my first few jobs, it was easy to sneak my phone out while I was working, but soon my bosses figured it out (not just me by the way) and cracked down on it. Signs hung up around the staff room about how we would get fired if they caught us on our phones. They had lots of security cameras and always watched us. At this place though, the Internet was not blocked so you could basically search any site you wanted. This sometimes changed the dynamic of the workspace, with people becoming more relaxed but still hesitant to break the rules (not enforced but just known).
The next job was MUCH more relaxed. I could be on my phone all the time (for work which entailed using Instagram) and on many fashion news websites (which I usually browse for fun outside of work). There had been no warnings or rules regarding mobile phones in the workplace as it was different to most retail jobs I had had. I felt a much different feeling from being in a place like this just coming from somewhere so strict. I felt like I was breaking rules, but I wasn’t. Currently my position is in retail so mobile phones on the floor are a big no no! All Internet sites are blocked apart from the Intranet Using a mobile phone at work is not illegal but people are so afraid of losing their jobs that it has become a social anxiety. I asked my dad about his thoughts of mobile phones in the workplace. He was definitely not happy about it. He constantly complains about the younger people at his work are always on their phones and tablets. So maybe it’s just a generational thing.
Generally I search the BCM240 hashtag for some inspiration, so here is my read of the week for this topic by Amelia Murphy
“The mundane is elevated to a photographic object; the everyday is now the site of potential news and visual archiving”
– Daisuke Okabe, 2003
This quote perfectly captures the lives we live today. The ease of camera phones turns capturing a memory or moment into capturing the mundane. Pre-camera phones, it was film. Film was on the expensive side of things so every image counted whereas nowadays, digital photos make it easy to take as many photos as you want with no cost, no matter how terrible or important the photo or memory is. With this new found ease comes responsibilities. Whole new rules and guidelines of ethics were introduced no matter if the photo is public or private.
The ethics of photography can divide some people but for me, I find there is a difference between public space photography as an art and just taking a photo of something completely stupid. If someone were to be taking a photo of Circular Quay and I just so happened to be in their photo I wouldn’t ask them to delete it. Some public photos just have an audience too large for people to check the image. But, for example, taking a photo of someone on the train sleeping I think is an invasion of privacy particularly if it is to be posted on Facebook. If someone’s intentions are harmful or mean, then it shouldn’t be taken but it is also to be remembered that it is not illegal.
I think the best way to use ethnography in studying photograph ethics is to not be aware of who or what you’re taking photos of. The purpose is not to stand there and take photos of people intentionally to get a reaction or to be searching for people taking photos of you, but to do unknowingly. By doing this, personally, you feel as though you have an understanding of what your own beliefs and restraints are. Do you turn away if you notice someone’s taking a photo? Do you intentionally ask people if you mind taking a photo? To me, this is true ethnography.
I have seemed to have had my own lesson in ethics in photography without realizing it or needing conduct and ethnographic study to write this post. In 2011 I created an album on Facebook called “Outstanding Mullets” (yes, I was in year 10 OK). I endeavored to find the best mullets in Sydney and made an album for all of my finds. The hardest part for me was being sneaky enough to get a photo of the person without them or their parents noticing. Looking back at this now I realise how ethically wrong this is. I did not ask consent to take the photos nor to add them to a public album online and the intention was for a bit of a laugh. Now that’s the negative side of public photography. With the introduction of social media, it is now even more difficult to remove photos permanently, particularly of celebrities.
Now back to the art side of things. If there were strict legal rules about photos in public space, some of the most iconic and historic photos may not have ever been taken or released. Classic images from cinemas of couples, war photos, skate pictures from the 70s or fashion street style photos may never exist, which unknowingly shape our cultures. One of those in particular that I feel strongly about is street style photos. In the 70s, noted street style photographer Bill Cunningham, famously took photos of people on the streets of Manhattan. After doing this for decades, it wasn’t until 2005 when Scott Shuman started a blog to feature street style. Street style has undeniably become extremely important in magazines and influencing trends. Thousands of images are posted every fashion week season where I’m sure models and bloggers don’t mind getting their photo taken, posted online or in a magazine. One of my friend’s street style photos actually made it into British Vogue and she wasn’t complaining it. I did however watch a documentary on Bill Cunningham and did notice a few things about the subjects of the photos. Some of the people were reluctant to be photographed so they either turned away or asked him not to take a photo (probably unknowing of who and how influential he is). Bill was still persistent in getting the shot but I have now wondered whether he publishes those, which people ask not to be taken.
I think when it comes to photography in public or even private places, it can be tricky to define what should and shouldn’t be used. I guess as the photographer, you have to have common sense when it comes to identity and purpose in ethics and as a participant you have to voice how you feel about the image being taken.
I love going to the cinemas, don’t get me wrong. There are just some movies that need to be seen on the big screen like The Lord of the Rings or new advanced CGI films like Jurassic World. Now that I’m older, it seems as though I don’t go to the movies as much anymore. I could put this down to not having to be entertained during my school holidays any longer or that I can easily get access to movies online or through Foxtel. The last movie I saw at the cinemas was Paper Towns and before that, I can’t even remember.
Mum and I had been planning for a while to go and see Amy Shumer’s new film Trainwreck but it just never happened. Our plan was to originally see it on a Tuesday when tickets are only $13 but other things kept getting in the way. Relating all the factors that kept us from seeing the film to Torsten Hagerstrand’s Time Geography constraints, it is clear to see that no matter what we do everything has a constraint and we are really not as free to do as we wish. Hagerstands theory argued, using his space-time path model to demonstrate, that human spatial activity is often governed by limitations and not independent decisions (Corbett, 2001). Hagerstrand defined three categories of constraints (taken from Corbett, 2001):
“Capability: refers to the limitations on human movement due to physical or biological factors. Thus, for example, a person cannot be in two places at one time. A person also cannot travel instantaneously from one location to another, which means that a certain trade off must be made between space and time. Those with access to cars and bullet trains have a spatial-temporal advantage over those who are limited to their feet or bicycles for transportation.
Coupling: refers to the need to be in one particular place for a given length of time, often in interaction with other people. This coincidence of space-time paths is described as “bundled” paths in a station’s tube. In other words, your space-time path must temporarily link up with those of certain other people to accomplish a particular task. This could mean anything from visiting the supermarket to going to work for the day.
Authority: is an area (or “domain”) that is controlled by certain people or institutions that set limits on its access to particular individuals or groups. For example, a person’s space-time path is normally not permitted to enter a sensitive military base or private club”.
One of the reasons mum and I couldn’t go to the cinemas was because of a capability constraint. Mum had to take my pop to the hospital and North Sydney. I texted mum on the day asking if she wanted to go but she was just too tired from the day and helping my pop. Authority constraints also affected us. Because we wanted to go on a Tuesday, as the ticket prices are cheaper, this limited the days in which we could go. Not only is price an issue in the cinema experience, but is also a constraint in everyday life e.g. buying clothes or owning a car. This is due to the wages which institutions ultimately set limits to, like Hagerstrand explained.
As mentioned before, I feel like nowadays I rarely go to the movies and I wonder if other people feel the same. According to Val Morgan and Co of Screen Australia (2015) in 2014 68% of Australians visited the cinemas in the last 12 months with an average of each person seeing 6.8 movies in the year. These statistics were at an all time high in 1996 with 72% of Australians going to the cinemas in 12 months with an average of 11.3 movies being viewed. Screen Australian (2015) also conducted research on which age brackets were most likely to attend the cinemas. 14-24 year olds were recorded with the highest number of visits but that percentage is down 7.5% from 1974 when the studies were first conducted. It did show though that the 50+ age group were the only group to have an increase in cinema attendance, from 42.1% in 1974 to 57.9% in 2014. Possibly because when these people were in their 30’s their attendance was high and as they’ve aged, they still go to the cinemas unlike those 50+ ages that were studied from the beginning in 1974 may not have grown up going to the movies.
After looking at these figures, I’m really interested in assessing the ages around me next time I’m at the movies. I guess though there can be some factors that will affect which ages I would see for instance most 14 year old aren’t going to watch a replay of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the cinemas just like I’m sure 70 year old grandparents are going to watch Bring It On All or Nothing.
On August 6 1991, the World Wide Web became available to the public (Bryant, 2011). Talking with my dad, Chris, I found that my household didn’t get the Internet until 1999. Even though dad admitted we had a computer in 1995, he said there was no need for it back then. I put this down to the fact that it was expensive and that their friends didn’t have to Internet so why did they need it. After searching for the price to run the Internet in 1995, it honestly seemed to be relatively cheap. Charged by the hour, some companies charged as little as $9.95 a month, which gave enough data to last 5 hours and every hour after that cost $2.95 (Forever Geek, 2007). Maybe in today’s society, that could become expensive, BUT back then I’m sure people weren’t spending every moment on their prehistoric computers. It wasn’t until 1999, when my brother started kindergarten, that we got a new computer and Internet connection. Mum recalls that our Internet provider was Iprimus and to this day I still remember that connection sound.
In my house now we have two laptops, three phones and a tablet connecting to our wireless Internet. The three phones also have their own 3G data. None of these belong to Chris, as he is absolutely clueless about technology and the Internet. Chris does use our family desktop computer, which has really become his computer. According to a study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2014), between 2012-13, 83% of people in Australia were Internet users and almost every user (97%) accessed the Internet from their homes (ABS, 2014). Personally, I believe this is due to the introduction of wireless Internet, where people are more likely to use their laptops or phones for Internet when at home to save money on other data plans.
For my week 2 blog, I interviewed my mum, Lisa, on her television memories as a child. This week I wanted to interview Lisa again and discuss her Internet habits as an adult. Lisa admits that she has always tried to “keep up with the Jones’ “ when it comes to new products. She always says to Chris (who still has a flip phone) “you need to keep up with technology otherwise you’ll fall too far behind”. Chris only just recently discovered “the hole in the wall” known as the ATM and online banking. Before that, he would go into a bank or transfer money between accounts by calling and entering numbers on the keypad.
This became a topic of interest with Lisa and we started to discuss the ways in which the Internet changed banking habits and paying the bills. Lisa said that before the Internet, her and Chris would share who paid the bills. As Chris worked at the council, it was easy for him to pay the council rates and it was easy for Lisa to call up and pay bills via a credit card. When online banking became available, Lisa was happy to learn how to use it. The responsibility moved to her, as she was able to set up specific accounts for certain bills. In doing this, it was easier for her just to pay the bills over the phone, as she knew how the accounts were set up. When paying bills online was introduced Lisa did this as well because Chris had no idea how.
In my tutorial, we shared our funny stories of where our modem was kept or memories of our own Internet use. Some of these stories re-jogged my memory of my Internet usage. Having dial-up Internet at the time, it is crazy to think back at how you could not use the landline phone whilst surfing the web. Something that also popped up for discussion was the human-like quality that we give our Internet. We personify our Internet by saying “where’s the Internet gone” if it suddenly cuts out, or by giving the modem its own table in the house. In my household, I think that the most arguing that goes on about the Internet is between Lisa, my brother Sam and I. For a moment last year, well lets says 6 months, our Internet would just ‘drop-out’. This caused endless arguments in our house, particularly when it came to selecting University tutorials. If too many people were using the Wi-fi, our connection would drop out so generally the conversation (more like yelling) would go like this, “No one use the Internet until 7:13, I have to pick a Uni tutorial”. Only recently, we finally got it fixed and our Wi-fi troubles have disappeared and the Internet is faster than ever. We are still waiting to be connected to the NBN but in all honesty, I’m glad we’re not as I have heard many issues from friends about how slow the Internet is. The Internet really has changed the ways in which we use media and the space in which we use our technologies, and for the better at that.
To get our heads around collaborative ethnography, I think it’s best that we first define ethnography. Brian Hoey (2014), anthropologist, ethnographer and author says that “the term ethnography has come to be equated with virtually any qualitative research project where the intent is to provide a detailed, in-depth description of everyday life and practice”. Hoey then goes on to explain that ethnography provides a detailed cultural representation from an emic perspective. Emic basically means research taken from an insiders view. This is the basic understanding of ethnography, but what we want to look at is collaborative ethnography. “What’s the difference?” you say.
Luke Lassiter, professor of humanities at Marshal University, introduced the idea of collaborative ethnography in 2005. By this, he aimed to state that although ethnography itself is collaborative in nature he wants collaboration to be at the forefront when undertaking ethnographic studies and for collaboration to really be the main idea during studies or “center stage” as he puts it (2005). Lassiter points out that collaboration should be more than just between the ethnographer and their subject, it should be between other researchers also. It should include multiple authors, consultants and their communities as active collaborators.
So, why use collaborative ethnography to analyse television audiences? Don’t graphs and statistical data do that for us already? While standard research methods of statistics and data can be useful in gauging quantitative information around television and its audience it lacks, lets not say truth, but personality. You could measure how many times people watch a certain show or how many hours a day/week/month they watch TV but what those results really lack is emotion. Obviously it is quite difficult to measure emotion but as least that’s what ethnographers are for. To gain emotional insight into personal feelings about not only television shows and how they make them feel, but the feeling that television in general gives them or how they felt when they used to watch a certain program. Having completed an interview with my mum for last week’s blog post, you can see how much emotion one person can have tied to one show. To them, television doesn’t just represent a funny show that was once on but it represents a time and place, maybe of better memories or maybe of worse.
One thing I have always thought about television audiences and ratings was how do they really know how many people watched that one particular show. How do they know that over 2.2 million people in Australia watched the Masterchef finale? How do they know that The Bachelor had 898,000 viewers on its first night? Do they phone people mid show to take a tally? These numbers, which are calculated by Oztam, are all quantitative. They don’t recgonise the viewing habits of the audience. What if you’re flicking between channels does that count as watching the show? What if you’ve recorded the show and planned on watching it later. Are those habitual ways anaylsed by numbers? This is where ethnographic studies can lend a helping hand media and communication students and experts. What we want to know is HOW you watch your TV. Although these questions really have to be summed up by numbers, the numbers represent a much larger area emotion, in comparison to just “how many people watched this show”. In a study by Yahoo7 they have found that the way we watch our programs has changed with 52% of millennial’s watching TV shows on mobile devices, which is up from 17% in 2013. 53% of respondents said that they regularly use their smartphones or tablets to watch TV shows. And, that the majority of viewers (75%) use their mobile phones to check facts, storylines, trivia and statistics on the programs they’re watching. Isn’t that an interesting little statistic you never would have thought of considering.
It can be hard at times when wanting to analyse ethnographic results, for them to not end up in a graph or table. This can be some of the limits with ethnography on such a wide scale. It can be hard to represent culture and individual feelings so I guess humans put it down to what is more humanly understandable… statistics. It has proven hard to me to clearly find room for ethnographic results in large quantities, which are useable for academic support in a journal or similar. By this I mean that it is hard to prove yourself without a lot of back up and the easiest way to do that is with data and graphs.
Television in Australia had experimentally been around since 1929 but it wasn’t until the 1940s when talk of putting the television into mainstream media happened. The first broadcast was on the 16th of September 1956 when Bruce Gyngell welcomed Australian homes to TCN-9 with “Good evening, and welcome to television”. This introduction of television came just in time for the 1956 Olympics and since then has broadcasted many famous and significant moments. Not to mention some Aussie classic soapies.
I interviewed my mum, Lisa (48), about her childhood experiences of television and it really made me realise how far television has come in a realistically short time. We sat down and relived Lisa’s television memories. She has fond memories of the television. Not just the shows but also the feelings that are connected to the time in the 1970’s. She reminisces about the days when her family unit was whole and one big happy family. At the time, she was living in Mortdale Heights with her mum, dad and older sister. She vividly remembers always having a TV in her life. Even from a young age she had a black and white TV. In 1973, the black and white TV moved into her room when the family made way for the new colour TV. She was very lucky because either her parents or sister had TV’s in their rooms. It’s funny to think that TV has been in my life since I was born and sometimes, I take it for granted. Never would I have thought about who got the TV in their room. Lisa remembers that their new television was huge. It had touch sensitive buttons and rolled around on a chrome stand. She said it was the very best Norde Mende German TV. The high tech TV was in the center of the lounge room and sometimes had a vase of flowers on top or next to it.
When interviewing Lisa, you could feel the excitement in her voice when she talked about her favourite shows. Great memories come flooding back for her. This emotion is quite similar to some of the conversations her and I have about our current television addictions. I asked her where she would be seated when watching the TV. “On the floor”, she said. This gave me a mental image of the photos you see when you Google “old school television”. It really was what it’s like in those photos. She recalls catching the train home from school, stopping by the chicken shop to get hot chips and then setting herself self in for the night in front of the TV. Some favourites of hers included Young Talent Time, The Don Lane Show and Hey Hey It’s Saturday. These were shows that her family would watch all together. She laughs at how she used to watch Number 96 in her bedroom when she was 10 years old so her parents wouldn’t find out (apparently a show too rude for 10 year olds).
I wanted to hear from Lisa about any great new stories in her young television watching life. She admits she was far too young to remember the moon landing (dad does though), or anything of great significance. But, she does vividly remember Diana and Charles’ wedding on the 29th of July 1981. She says she was making her friend a birthday cake at the time and in between cooking she would watch the wedding, but admits that the ceremony went forever. She was exactly 15 at the time, and like me, loved the royals. I asked if the kitchen and lounge room were joined by she said that they were very separate so that was why she had to run between rooms. How the times have changed with open house living, such as in my house where you can cook and watch TV at once.
What I gathered from interviewing Lisa was how excited and nostalgic TV made her feel. I think television programs reflect a time in people’s lives and don’t necessarily act as just a form of entertainment. They shape the way we reflect on our friends, families and our homes, which all make up a large part of us. It was interesting to notice continuity in programs the family would all watch together and then the shows that you didn’t want to watch with your parents at all. I hope when I’m older and my children ask to interview me about this exact topic, memories come flooding back, and only appreciate those memories more. I hope that reminiscing on my youth brings back as much joy as when I see my mum talk about hers.
I don’t think there would be a time where you would catch me without a phone in my hand or clicking away at keyboard. The reason why? Instagram. I guess you could call me an Instaholic.Remember that time Instagram shut down for the day? Worst day of my life.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m so addicted. Scrolling through the people I follow, it all makes sense. All these people I follow are either models, farshuuun folk or dogs. Like my Instagram bio says “music, models and dogs”, those are the things I regularly post about. The thing about fashion is once something is created it’s already old. Maybe that’s my obsession with The Gram.
I use Instagram and Twitter to keep up with the new. You see everything first, from campaigns to fashion week. A week late on seeing the latest Alexander Wang campaign? Already old. My job required me to be in on the know at all times, and I enjoyed it plus considering I am an Instagram super stalker, I was good at it. This only made me more addicted.
It’s not only social media I am obsessed with but TV also. Completely hooked. Most people are shocked when I tell them I have Foxtel in my room. Seriously why wouldn’t you. Not only Foxtel but Foxtel GO is a must so I can watch The Real Housewives whenever I like on my laptop and also Netflix. Whilst I am extremely invested in the argument between Betheny and Heather on NYC Housewives, I have my Facebook tab open so I can share to my friends all the burns from the argument (I don’t really post because I would be a pest, but you know I need to make this blog sound good).
From laptop to mobile, from outer space to my bedroom, hopefully my blog reaches every corner of the BCM240 media space (highly unlikely).
For assessment 2, my group and I are looking to see if there has been a change in the representation of families in comedic television. We are looking at The Simpsons (pre 2000) and Modern Family. We figured that comparing similar comedic family based televisions shows from different decades would allow us to find out whether our hypothesis is true. Initially, we struggled to really define what our research topic was. We found just investigating family roles and their representations was too broad of a question to look into. Still in the process of constructing our survey, I interviewed my brother as a trial run to test out our questions.
The majority of our questions are close-ended questions as we feel as though open-ended questions are best suited for our focus group.
Are you familiar with The Simpsons (pre 2000) and Modern Family?
Yes to both.
In a few words describe the role each of the family members play in each show.
Maggie: Fill in
Phil: Supporting role, father figure (anchor role)
Claire: Ties all of the family in
Alex: Nerd/goody two shoes
Do you see any similarities between any of the characters in The Simpsons and Modern Family?
There are similarities but not the same extent. Homer and Phil are both the funny/dumb dads who provide you with laughs but because The Simpsons is a cartoon it’s easier for Homer to do more dangerous and dumb things. The children play the same roles though. Bart and Hayley are similar as they are both rebellious and don’t care too much for school, Lisa and Hayley and both good kids who are very focused on grades and Maggie and Luke both provide and extra little part to the story but play no big roles.
Do you think Modern Family portrays social norms in today’s society?
I think it does. It shows a wider variety of family scenarios that I believe are more accepted today that they were pre 2000 in The Simpsons. For example, Modern Family has a gay couple that has an adopted Asian baby. This is definitely more accepted in this day and age. Also there are no large stereotypes such as gays being immaculately groomed and extremely fit or that gays are overly flamboyant which is something The Simpsons does show. Also, the family structure of Jay, Gloria and Manny is something quite new and acceptable nowadays. Jay is much older than Gloria and Gloria is a beautiful Latino who is divorced with one child. Mixed-race families are something that I never saw in The Simpsons.
These questions are really just a basis of our survey. We do have other questions as well but are too long to fit into this short post. This purpose of this test was to figure out whether any of my questions should be worded differently as other people may interpret them other ways or find it difficult to answer question 2 for example in just one word.