This Blog Restricts Cell Phone Usage

In the technological driven world that we live in today, telecommunication use has become an indispensable tool for most individuals. Through constant innovation, telecommunications have evolved drastically, allowing for society to use an array of devices virtually everywhere on the go. With this increase in accessibility and cell phone use, comes the issue and need for regulation in certain public areas.

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Still to this day I can hear my mothers deafening voice from childhood ringing in my ears, shouting “No phones at the table!” “No watching television whilst at the dinner table!” “No television during weeknights!” These are just a few examples of media use regulation that was enforced in my home as I grew up. Now that I have grown up and moved out from my parent’s house, I find myself still enforcing some of these rules for my own benefit.

As we move away from the household, we can find certain regulations of mobile phone use in public places that are enforced for the safety of the user and others, these include:

Airplanes – The use of telecommunications during take off and landing of flights are strictly prohibited due to authorities claim that ‘cellular signals may interfere with guidance and communication systems’ (Law, J 2013).

Hospitals – Mobile phone uses within hospitals are generally banned on grounds that they could ‘interfere with the operation and functioning of critical medical equipment’ (Law, J 2013).

Gas Stations – The use of cell phones at gas pumps are prohibited due to the unlikely case that the mobile phone ignites the gasoline vapors in the air.

All these three areas are regulated highly with signage informing individuals of the rules towards phone usage.

Besides safety, phone usage can be regulated to ensure that peace and quietness is achieved which allows for a good environment for concentration and work completion. Some public areas where this regulation is ideal include classrooms, libraries, various job descriptions, church etc. All these areas might not enforce this regulation, however it is common knowledge that usage of phones within these areas is disapproved.


Law, J 2013, ‘4 Places You Can’t Use Your Cell Phone… and Why’, Rogers, November 5, Article, >

Societies Diminishing Attention Span

The Internet along with new media technologies has undoubtedly changed our lives in more ways than one. When we think about this change, things pop to mind such as being able to be connected online 24/7 with devices, new job prospects and more entertainment options. All these changes are seemingly positive, giving us the idea that the Internet and these new technologies have changed our lives for the best. But what happens when we explore into some negatives changes. One adjustment that would most likely not spring to mind is our ‘diminished attention spans’.

Recent studies conducted by Microsoft has highlighted the deteriorating attention span of humans, claiming that it has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, to 8 seconds in 2015 (Watson, L 2015). This study has informed us that humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, which being inferior to humans in many ways, can now hold thought longer than us. The reason for this deteriorating attention span has all fingers pointed at the increase in use of devices such as Smartphone’s and iPads.

Microsoft Canada’s research report on attention spans highlights the ‘Brain Plasticity’, claiming that the “brain has the miraculous capability to change itself over time. It is able to rewire and form new capabilities throughout the course of one’s life. This ability allows humans to adapt both to new, or changing situations in their environment” (Microsoft, 2015). This theory on the brains plasticity explains humans diminishing attention span as they adapt to new media technologies.

I decided to put my own attention span to the test during the writing of this blog. I logged every time my attention swayed from writing due to any technological disturbances for an hour. The log is as followed:

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 4.59.47 PMFrom the testing of my own attention span, I can identify the severe disturbance from technology, with five occurrences of my mind wondering from the task. With new media technologies constantly penetrating its way into society, my mind wonders, what will humans attention span be in 20years?


Watson, L 2015, ‘Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones’, The Telegraph, May 15, Article,

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Microsoft 2015, ‘Attention Span Research Report’, Microsoft Canada, Spring, >

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Dono, A.M 2014, ‘7 Tactics to Boost Your Digital Marketing Conversion Rates’, SlideShare, 

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Cinemas Providing a Shared Experience

Google Definitions (2015) define ‘Cinemas’ as “a theatre where films are shown for public entertainment”. In exploring this definition we can gain the understanding that these cinemas provide an opportunity for those willing to engage in a shared experience with their friend’s, family and community around them.

For this week’s blog, we were given the task of embarking on an expedition to the cinemas to engage in this shared experience of viewing a movie with those around you. My friends and I were up for this endeavour, booking tickets to the recent release in cinemas across Australia, ‘Straight Outta Compton’.

In social planning, Torsten Hägerstrand identifies that there are three human constraints that could hinder various aspects of an individuals plan. Hägerstrand’s three constraints are as followed:

  1. Capability Constraints – “those which limit the activities of the individual because of his biological construction and/or the tools he can command” (Shaw, S.L 2010).
  2. Coupling Constraints – “where, when, and for how long, the individual has to join other individuals, tools, and materials in order to produce, consume, and transact” (Shaw, S.L 2010).
  3. Authority Constraints – refer to “control areas” or “domains”. A domain is a time-space entity within which things and events are under the control of a given individual or a given group (Shaw, S.L 2010).

On our expedition to the cinemas, we were asked to explore these three constraints involvement in our own social planning.

We firstly analysed our capability constraints, exploring the two questions ‘can we get there, and how would we manage this’? In deciding if we could get there, we chose Hoyts Warrawong cinema only 15minutes driving distance from where we lived. We then planned as a group to convoy to the destination with two cars. This was not a constraint with all members of the group holding full licenses and owning a car.

Secondly we analysed our coupling constraints, asking ourselves ‘when we would attend the movie, and if we could get there for the session time’? As a group we had to identify a day and time that would best suit every member in being able to view the movie. We had to take into consideration University class times, job rosters, homework and movie time slots. With all of us living off a Uni budget, we opted to go for ‘Cheap Tuesdays’ at Hoyts in order to take advantage of the cheaper tickets. This day was perfect for our group as all of us were free from work and Uni commitments from the afternoon onwards. We then had to choose a time slot to view the movie, opting for a later slot so we could get a feed and snacks before hand. In this case, coupling did not prove to be a constraint.

Lastly we analysed our authority constraints, questioning ‘are we able to view the movie’? For this last constraint we explored wether we were able to view the film based on it’s age rating. All of us being above the age of 20, had no problems with this authority constraint.

Cinemas attendance has been notably declining over recent years, being severely impacted by technological innovation. “The incursions of home cinema, piracy and the availability of a multitude of other entertainment options have wreaked havoc on the cinema business” (Quinn, K 2014). We can see this decline in attendance increasing over the next 5 – 10 year, being severely impacted by the ’emergence of competition for product substitutes’ (Silver, J & McDonnell, J 2006such as piracy and Netflix. The only thing cinemas are able to do is raise prices of tickets to substitute for a lack of attendance.This decline in traditional theatre experiences was made evident to myself upon entering the cinema. We had pre booked tickets to Straight Outta Compton expecting it to be sold out due to it’s recent release. When we got to the cinemas, we were shocked to see that the theatre was barely full.


Shaw, S.L 2010, ‘Time Geography: Its Past, Present, and Future’, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, April 15, >

Quinn, K 2014, ‘A cinema ticket in Australia can cost up to $40. Here’s why’, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 10, Article, >

Silver, J & McDonnell, J 2006, ‘ARE MOVIE THEATERS DOOMED? DO EXHIBITORS SEE THE BIG PICTURE AS THEATERS LOSE THEIR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?’, School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology, >

The Walled Garden

In today’s day and age, data storage is virtually all digital, with ‘less than two percent of all stored information being non-digital’ (Cukier & Mayer-Schoenberger 2013). This exponential growth and availability of data floating around the endless digital space is better known as ‘Big Data’. This term big data is surrounded by the idea that all things offline will gradually, and eventually, be fully connected to the Internet, such that there would ‘no longer be any human or social activity that is beyond digital capture’ (Sampath, G 2015). With all this data circulating around the digital space, also comes those who are controlling this content and in turn creating ‘Walled Gardens‘ for their users.

Sourced: Hughes, T 2014 –

Within these walled gardens we can see the garden owners creating ‘Stacks’, which are vertically integrated garden walls that allow for control of information, surveillance over information flows and censorship of undesirable information. Bruce Sterling (2013) refers to this idea as “the Internet had users, stacks have livestock”. This concept of the walled garden is closely linked to traditional ‘Feudalism‘, being referred to as ‘Digital Feudalism’ in this modern age.Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.48.24 PM


Cukier, K.N & Mayer-Schoenberger, V 2013, ‘The Rise of Big Data: How It’s Changing the Way We Think About the World’, Foreign Affairs,

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Sampath, G 2015, ‘Does the Internet of Things herald an era of digital feudalism?’, livemint, 

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Sterling, B 2013, ‘Webstock’, Vimeo,

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Niche Markets are moving on up

The increase in societies online presence has resulted in a dramatic shift in the consumption of media globally. Physical media such as books, print and DVD’s have been replaced by online media sources allowing for easy access to aggregations of data. This accessibility online has given people unlimited and unfiltered access to culture and content, and audiences have begun to buy content that isn’t necessarily best selling, commonly described as the ‘Niche Market’ (Concept Drop Team 2003). This development of niche markets is explained by Chris Anderson (2004), highlighting how physical shop fronts are limited by opening hours, accessibility and the buying of only ‘mainstream hits’ due to shop space, resulting in online aggregators controlling the market with their unlimited accessibility, time, space and ability to offer mainstream and niche data.

This shift from ‘Mass Markets’, to a ‘Mass of Niches’ is described as ‘The Long Tail Effect‘ (Anderson, C 2004). This effect is derived from the power law distribution curves, highlighting how the sum of niche market sales are always greater in comparison to the smaller collection, but more popular mainstream market.


Anderson, C 2004, ‘The Long Tail’, Wired, Issue 12.10,

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Concept Drop Team 2003, ‘Niche Markets and the Digital Age’, Conceptdrop

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