My Cinema Experience (from two weeks ago)

When I was younger, going to the cinema was always pretty exciting. It was one of the first places Mum let me go alone with friends, and as a 12/13-year-old, that was like the best thing ever.
I found that once I actually had to start paying for my own cinema experiences, I realised how expensive it was and I tried to stop going as much – but as I’m from a country town, it was one of the only things to actually do.

My boyfriend T and I go the cinemas rarely – only if there is something we really want to see and a good version isn’t on any (questionably legal) streaming sites. Start of this month we went to see War of the Planet of the Apes.

According to Hagerstrand’s three constraints, capability, coupling and availability, this is my cinema experience.

CAPABILITY (CAN I GET THERE?): As my boyfriend and I are fully licensed drivers with our own cars, it is relatively easy to from Point A to B, regardless of where it is. We usually go to Hoyts Warrawong – it is about 10-15 minutes away BUT it is generally cheaper and has seriously the comfiest chairs in the world. You can literally lay down while watching the movie, and you can’t put a price on that kind of luxury.

COUPLING (CAN I GET THERE AT THE RIGHT TIME?): Whenever we go together or go with others, we carpool. Not only does it make it easier but you get to hang with friends for a while before the movie, and have a quick catch-up. The only problem is that sometimes we have run a bit late because we have underestimated the time it takes to get to Warrawong, or we are hanging around for a while because we have over-estimated. But the tickets are cheaper and better seats, so it kind of makes up for it.

AUTHORITY (AM I ALLOWED TO BE THERE?): T and I are both UOW students, so we use our concession cards wherever we can to get some cheeky discounts. I ordered the tickets online the morning before because it had come out that day and we knew it would be popular – so I grabbed student tickets. When we got there, we were never asked to prove that we were students, so I guess we cheated the system and you could call us rebels.

Cinemas are always a pretty cool experience unless you have to pee halfway through (and of course you miss the most important bit) or you have those annoying 12-year-olds hanging out up the back talking. Cinema companies are now trying to make their cinemas better and more comfortable, or have something entirely new to bring more people in.
Unfortunately, it really is the expense of going that puts people off, myself included. It is definitely not a cheap experience, especially if you decide you want some candy bar food (I mean seriously, I am not paying $8.50 for a packet of M&Ms). And with the rise of actually ok quality streaming sites, a lot of the time you don’t see the practicality in going when you could save the money and the energy.

What do you guys think? Do you go to the cinema much anymore?

 


 

Image credit: Vehemence for Cinema

Advertisements

Don’t worry about my blog, it’s a bit of a pitch

With all my BCMS subjects, it is usually required to come up with your own artefact, or research project, and every time I’m totally stumped.

And I still kinda am.

I feel like that is one of the quietly beautiful things about research, as that most people do have a bit of an idea or direction until they stumble onto something extraordinary.


 

I love listening to music – it is one of my favourite things to do. It makes time go faster, you get to have a little jig in your kitchen while you cook, it allows people to make absolute drunken fools of themselves in clubs and it makes some of the most intimate moments in our lives become infinitely more intimate.

When I got my first iPod Nano around 2009/10, I was obsessed. I had that thing in my ears (not the iPod itself, obviously) everywhere – the bus to and from school, in class, when I was talking to friends at recess and lunch, family dinners, doing work, going to sleep. One of the main criticisms I got, especially from Mum, that it was just plain rude.

 

ipod
My first love

 

And, looking back, it kind of was. I took listening to the music to the extreme and I guess I blame it on my ‘rebellious’ stage of Year 8 and 9. I didn’t want to engage in conversations, and wearing headphones was my way of getting out of it. At the same time, I enjoyed listening to it – they wouldn’t be in my ears if I didn’t – and it was a way of filling up awkward silences or background noises.

Even at uni, I feel lost without having my headphones in my ear walking to and from class. Although the level of my using them has significantly reduced, and I don’t listen in class or when I’m having conversations, it is almost a comfort thing for me. Not having to talk, make conversation with people I don’t want to, having the capacity to ignore others with somewhat of an excuse, and of course pretending I don’t hear people trying to sell me things or give me pamphlets at uni. 

And lets not forget, when you are walking to class and and ABSOLUTE JAM comes on and you feel like you could conquer anything in the world, and you imagine that if that moment was being filmed for a movie, it really would be the most epic of scenes.

For my project and ultimately my digital storytelling assessment, I want to explore people’s use of headphones today compared to a decade ago, and the reasons why they use them. I want to explore the concept of silent discos – literally going to a club and having headphones in your ear while with friends – and see what people think of them.

I also want to follow the pattern of the other concepts this session and ask older generations these same questions – what Mum thought of me at the time, what she thinks of them now, if she has ever used them; ask my Grandmother if she has ever been exposed to them. I want to know what people think when they see headphones in other people compared to when they use them, and whether it differs between generations.

I also want to see if the research into damaged eardrums due to headphone usage has either been under-estimated or has no real basis in an argument about ceasing or reducing usage. A 2002 study by Mazlan et al. suggested that there was no association between headphone use and duration of listening; yet in 2015, the World Health Organisation stated that 1.1 billion people were at risk for early-onset hearing problems because of unsafe headphone use.


At the moment, I’m pretty interested to see where I will end up with this idea (if I decide to stick with it) and if I will gain any information that is different, or that changes my own way of looking at headphones or the way I use them.

As always, I’d love to know your opinion so leave a comment below!

 

References:

Mazlan, R, Saim, L, Thomas, A, Said, R, Liyab, B 2002, ‘Ear infection and hearing loss amongst headphone users’, Malaysia Journal of Medical Science, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 17-22.

WHO 2015, ‘1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss’, World Health Organisation, viewed 19 August 2017,
<http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/ear-care/en/?con&dom=pscau&src=syndication&gt;

Images:

Photobucket (I did the tacky heart) (And in paint so take that Adobe Photoshop!)

All right, Stop! Collaborate and listen!

Disclaimer: The blog name idea was mine and I apologise for its horribly awfulness. If it is now in your head, I have the link to the song here for your convenience. 


In preparation for our own little ethnographic project, it is kind of important that we actually know what it means, and the potential for such a project (and the problems that could arise from it too). Luke Eric Lassiter (NOT the Lassiter that like all the good Pixar films which devastated me more than it should have), writer of The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography, states that:

“In the communities in which we work, study, or practice, we cannot possibly carry out our unique craft without engaging others in the context of their real, everyday lives.” (Lassiter, 2005)

It basically means that you can’t have truly ethnographic research without engaging with people about their lives, and it can’t be collaborative without you working with them to produce research that they are happy with and, in the end, approve of.

Even last week when I was talking with my mother about her television use when she was a child compared to now, I could tell that she liked being able to talk about it. It brings up good and beloved memories for her… maybe not so much about television, but the memories she had with her mother and father growing up. Since her father has passed away, it is always a little bit beautiful to hear her speak about him in ways I’ve rarely heard – in a context other than his sickness.

You can fairly easily get the ethnographic part, just watching people do their thing – but the collaborative part is about working and talking with the person and, ultimately, being able to extract the things you wouldn’t usually get.

Of course, like any research practice, it has its pros and cons. As I stated earlier, getting participants to work towards research they approve of and are happy with is always ideal, they get to be their own researchers, and they feel good because someone is taking interest in their lives and what they do – even things that may seem a bit mundane. It is always nice when people take interest in what you do and what you have been up to.

However, it can create an ethical dilemma of sorts – those participants may not like how they are portrayed in the research, and may attempt to change certain aspects to fit in with them. And like any group project, opinions can differ and problems can arise with the direction of the research being conducted. Lassiter touches on this at the end of the excerpt:

“A coauthored effort, theirs was undoubtedly a “team ethnography,” but [the participants’] role was considerably blurred: she was both an informant and, having interviewed her coworkers, a participant observer.”

I’ve realised that it is important to keep an eye out for problems in my own research, especially once I develop my pitch and start conducting some hard-hitting research (like how seriously delicious chicken schnitzel is). Being collaborative is important and good – to a degree. It is all about maintaining a good relationship but also having that line firmly in place. If not, ethical boundaries can be crossed, and the researcher’s happiness with your work can be compromised.

 

 

Reference:

Lassiter, L.E 2005, ‘The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography‘, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1, pp. 15-24.

Me Vs McDonalds/KFC/happiness

As part of my social marketing subject this session, one of our assignments is based on changing a behaviour to reach a positive outcome (like to stop smoking or to start recycling) and documenting how it is over 11-12 weeks.

Initially, I thought that ‘social marketing ‘was about social media and using it to market to different audiences. In the first lecture, between discussions of how damn late it is to have a lecture and I need KFC right now, I realised that it is about challenging consumers existing perceptions they have towards particular behaviours and, ultimately, encouraging positive change for a better outcome for all (I’m sorry if you are the lecturer and you are reading this and you are thinking HAS SHE LEARNED NOTHING?!?! I’m working on it!)

I’ve decided to try and swap out my McDonalds/KFC runs for exercise. I’ve already tweeted some posts but my aim is:

  • to begin swimming in Week 4
  • document every time I think about having McDonalds or KFC for dinner
  • the amount of times I think about it, is the minimum amount of exercise sessions for the following week (eg. If I think about having McDonalds 4 times in Week 5, I will do at least 4 exercise sessions in Week 6).

I’m required to document my progress on Twitter, but I decided that a few occasional blogs wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

 

(A last meal before a big task like this was very important.)

 

In all seriousness, I think this task will become quite difficult. I am not very good at sustaining behaviours (well healthy ones anyway) and I suffer from a severe lack of motivation. Here, it is all about making realistic goals and making exercise and (relatively) healthy eating a routine.

So goodbye for now, Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders, for I am trying to forget you – but hopefully, one day, I can have you in my loving arms again (but not as frequently because you are only a sometimes food).

 

Television: Getting rid of awkward silences since 1927

For me, trying to imagine life without a television in it is mostly impossible. Especially since some of the biggest Aussie events revolve around access to one – and by ‘biggest Aussie events’ I mean the AFL grand final every year. In my house, that thing is bigger than Christmas.

When I was younger, it was just my Mum and I for a while before she met my step-dad. My Mum is a school teacher so she would get up pretty early and put the news on before she went to have a shower, and as soon as she walked out of the room, I had ABC Kids on. Mum was so busy trying to get ready after that that she never went to change the channel back.

It was truly beautiful.

I came home and watched ABC Kids some more, or some classic Go Go Stop because seriously that was one of the best shows ever, and keep watching it until I had to go to bed at like 7.30 (seriously, not cool Mum).

I asked my Mum what she did when she was a kid, and her experiences were… same same but different.

“I wasn’t allowed to watch TV in the mornings, but my mother let me watch Skippy in the afternoons.. We mostly just watched the news, or ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’ on Sundays as a family… The TV was never just on, we were either watching it or it was off.”

My Mum also said that her mum always encouraged her to read books instead, and if she was going to watch TV, the programs she was allowed to watch were pretty restricted.

She says now that she likes having it on for background noise, but she thinks my younger sisters watch too much of it – she said that “a lot of the time they will sit in front of the television but be on their iPads, listening to music or watching YouTube instead.”

‘If I wanted to change anything about the patterns of us watching tv, I would cut down on the amount we watch, especially on weekends and not have it on all day. But I’m like my own mother in a way… I feel like I need to watch TV and the news, I hate not knowing what’s going on in the world.”

Television has inevitably become part of everyday life. Although now, the role of television has changed – for myself and friends my age, it is more used as just a screen so you can watch Netflix via Apple TV or plug in your laptop using a HDMI cable. I rarely tune in to watch the 6pm News or even other programs like Survivor or MasterChef (although I did for my Kitchen Rules because seriously what was up with Josh).

Week 2’s topic really got me thinking (like for real thinking)… in 30 years, when my children have similar tasks, will they be asking me about television because it has gone extinct? Or will they ask me about how weird it was using an iPhone because something bigger and better has come along to replace it?

Media and (Planes) and Space

It is kind of insane how physical spaces and media spaces have become so intertwined that they can almost feel like the same thing. FaceTime, Skype, Snapchat – they are all just a few ways to be physically in the moment without actually being physically there.

The amount of media spaces that I could say I am apart is pretty excessive. Unlike my bank account, it often seems these spaces triple in number and size without really doing that much.
And there is one media space that I absolutely love being a part of.

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with commercial airlines and planes.  It was only until recently that I fully realised that you can literally follow flights real time on so many different apps like Plane Finder. A few of my friends went overseas during the break so I was (creepily) asking for their flight numbers so I could watch them fly over the Pacific Ocean. It was kinda awesome that I could literally be God (MWAHAHAHHA) watching over them on my phone but it was also kind of weird too.

 

These apps facilitate a massive aviation following on Instagram and Snapchat especially, allowing keen plane lovers to monitor their favourite flights (or their own) and watch out for ones that they want to see in real life – with pilots all over the world joining in, discussing the planes they fly and sharing their future flight numbers that followers can watch out for.
These media spaces then combine into real ones – meet ups with other avid plane-ers and driving to specified plane watching spots at airports globally, like the ones at Sydney Airport.

I love to experience a hobby of mine with other people and watch what they do, the pictures they take and where they go to get the best views; I love expanding my knowledge of aviation jargon and just interacting with other like-minded people. Media spaces can have a lot of criticisms, like the dangers of interacting with people you don’t know or losing yourself so much in the digital world that you forget you are actually standing in a physical one.
But I believe they are. so. important. Being able to interact with so many people at one time about something you are passionate about or bond over doing the same thing or being at the same place is truly unique to us. And for some, who feel like the physical space they are in just isn’t enough, their very own media space may just be where they need to be.

Task 3: Project Complete

It feels awesome to finally submit this piece of work that I have grown particularly fond of over the last couple of weeks. This topic – Australian politics and young people – is something that I am both passionate about and interested to know the thoughts of my fellow peers. In addition, this is probably the first project I’ve done at university where ethics have been a huge influence on the outcome of the report – especially critical judgement, flexibility and curiosity.

In the beginning, my research started with finding sources and journal articles that related to my topic – what people have been saying, what researchers have found… but up until week 4, the notion of cross-checking major findings didn’t really cross my mind. As most consumers of any media, you generally assume that is factually accurate. Unless it is the Daily Mail. NEVER ever read an article from them and believe that it has any truth to it. Resnik (2015) discusses how important it is for researchers to learn how to interpret and assess another person’s work and make decisions based of those – often that is making the decision to further research the original findings to determine how credible they really are.

Being flexible in any research that you undertake can be a massive determinant in whether it ends up being successful. There will always be boundaries, or little hiccups in the road that seem to make the project that much harder. It is all about accepting that this will happen and adapting – being able to adapt to different situations is what makes a good researcher. According to Wet (2010), possible harm that could come to the project includes unfulfilled expectations, deception, unexpected representations and different interpretations of the same message.

Curiosity – that is where this whole project begins. Being curious enough to research the topic in the first place and endeavour to find out what everyone else thinks. At the end of the day, we all know that not everyone has similar values and beliefs. It is curiosity that makes us want to find out more and motivates human behaviour in general (Loewenstein 1994). As I’ve discussed in past blog posts about BCM212, curiosity is exactly what made me want to use Australian politics as a topic point, and whether my peers felt the same as me.

Throughout this project, it is evident that respecting your participants, as well as the time and effort they have put into your work, is vital in not only them respecting you as a person but leaves them more willing to help in the future. For both my surveys and interview questions, I made sure that I informed them of their rights when it comes to consenting to their information being put into my work; and also made sure they knew that they were appreciated and that I valued the time they gave me.

Therefore, I learned that maintaining ethical standards is vital for both the integrity of your work and often for your own piece of mind – as well as the importance of supporting your fellow researchers. Having faith in their work and giving assistance to others so they can complete it is an important part of researching. Being competitive or even going as far as to sabotage someone else’s work for your benefit will not make anyone feel better – not only does it undermine you but it undermines your own project.

Overall, I’m glad that I have finally completed the project – but I am also so proud of what I have done. I found it extremely difficult to self-direct initially, but once the idea was developed in my mind I was dedicated wholeheartedly. I discussed in my report (which I hope to share the findings of on my blog soon) that I truly wish I put my effort in the report early on and gave myself more time to provide the best report possible. However, I am truly proud of my work and how I have used the lectures and research to produce what I have.

_______________________________________________________________________________

References:
Resnik, D 2015, ‘What is ethics and why is it important?’, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, viewed 2 June 2017,
<https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/&gt;

De Wet, K 2010, ‘The importance of ethical appraisal in social science research: reviewing a faculty of humanities’ research ethics committee’, Journal of Academic Ethics, vol. 8, pp. 301-314

Loewenstein, G 1994, ‘The psychology of curiosity: a review and reinterpretation’, Psychological Bullentin, vol. 116, no. 1, pp. 75-98

Task 3: better known as HOLY MOLY THAT THING IS DUE SOON?!?!

I wish I could say that an assignment’s due date just popped out of nowhere. 

I can’t lie to you, dear readers. I’ve known about this one for many, many weeks and knowing that fact is really not making it much easier.

If you’ve checked out my BCM212 tab, you’ll know that I am currently undertaking a project about Australian politics and young people. It has been a bit of an interesting topic to research – finding out the varying opinions across Australian media and of course, my peers in BCM212 and my friends. A lot of the time when we are passionate about a subject or at least vaguely interested, quality research is rarely undertaken. A lot of time we get opinions from others or we find information that we deem is true – and sometimes it really isn’t.

It has been difficult over the last couple of weeks to allocate time to really smash this one out with other assignments due and just my Netflix obligations (I know Mum; I KNOW you’re proud). A task this ‘big’ (even though it is indeed quite small) is often daunting as it is completely self-directed – I can barely remember to put peanut butter on my toast before I eat it let alone start a brand spankin’ new project by myself and get it going.

I assure you, treasured scholar, that I will give a final reflection in the next coming weeks* and will also give a general overview of my findings just to put that educational icing on top of the intelligence cake. You’re welcome.

 

*It’s literally part of the assessment. I have to do it.
BUT I am doing it for you, my reader. Just remember that.

 

P.S You’ll be surprised to learn that the woman in my feature image is actually not me. Just as surprisingly, I can’t actually read. The more things you know.

image credit:
<https://www.brainscape.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/stressed-student_1.jpg&gt;

I’m scared of commitment (to 24 month phone plans)

I’ve always been a bit worried when it comes to commitment. I don’t mean like committing to a partner or anything – (oh hey T, you’re reading this? Love you xoxo) – I mean like entering into a 24 month phone plan because you accidentally dropped (smashed) your precious (shit) phone (brick) and you needed a new one.

I feel like I’ve never had enough money to really commit to massive 24 month things that solely rely on my ability not to lose or break something. It’s kinda scary when the salesperson gives you a pen (I mean it’s electronic but it still counts) and makes you sign your life away to something that you probably don’t even understand, let alone want.

And lets be honest, I’m always afraid that once I sign up, something 100% better will come along like 2 and a half months later (seriously T I promise we all good xo)

It’s weird how I am not worried about commiting to relationships but I am about jumping into realitively lower risk things. I’ve come to realize that for me,  it is having to sign – if I had to sign something when I started a relationship with T and it had all these terms and conditions I would be pretty hesitant (and probably thinking I was walking into 50 Shades of Grey thing and no one needs that)… unless it had something about daily, 20 minute foot massages. You ain’t never seen me pick up a pen so fast (Hi T, it’s crazy you’re still here and you are reading all this information about me that’s so interest… wait, you want to give me a foot massage later? Oh babe, you just know me.)

More dribble on a Wednesday

Over the years, I’ve come to really understand why having family is so important. Having people that are forced to love you has been quite a handy thing for me but also is pretty comforting. Being able to be 100% you and doing dumb things that come up at Christmas lunch, going to Grandmas house and raiding her pantry while she makes you a cuppa, and just being able to walk up and hug someone just ’cause are honestly some of the most quietly beautiful things we have in this world.

Not many of my readers (and by readers I mean spam robots) (but if you are a real, genuine human being than OH HI BABE HOW ARE YOU!? how has life been omg I know everything is happening! Crazyyyy) will know that I have had a pretty turbulent time when it comes to some aspects of my family.

It has always been a difficult concept for me to understand that odd situations in my life can’t just fit into a neat little box. This, of course, makes me want to fit it in more. And like when you’ve ordered too much McDonald’s, trying to fit it in your stomach even though it just ain’t sitting right usually just makes you miserable and kinda shitty.

I’ve realised over the past 12 months that I’ve put so much time and effort into trying to fit all my problems into a semi-controlled pile of stuff that I’m not really noticing what I’m trying to put in there. Trust me a lot of it is unhealthy and unnecessary, and like my ratty old shirt from 5 years ago – it should have been thrown all out.

But like with the last 2 chicken nuggets from a 12 pack – you keep on keepin’ on. Right?!*

*Except don’t smother your problems in sweet and sour sauce. Or do, I’m not one to judge. Let me know if it works.