Call me…Maybe?

Since the age of 14 I have been obsessed with my mobile phone, I take it with me everywhere. If I can not see my phone or feel it on me whether it be in my pocket or hand I begin to panic. Last week I travelled to Hawaii and felt so lost on the plane because I could not use my phone. Although some would say that’s weird I know I’m not the only one and these days most people are glued to their mobile phones.

So, when should we ban the use of mobile phones?

If I were to invite you into my home at night you would find four individuals using their mobile phones whilst eating, sitting, talking and everything else. My house does not really have any rules about mobile phones however next door at my Nana’s is a completely different story.

Family looking at their smartphones at the dinner table

Family looking at their smartphones at the dinner table

My Nan has enforced a very strict NO MOBILE PHONES rules and it absolutely kills me. Upon entering my Nan’s house my mobile phone is to be turned off or not seen. At first I used to test my Nan’s patience and tend to just pick up my phone and use it anyway , until one day I had it on the dinner table and forgot to put it on silent and received 5 messages at once. The whole table began to vibrate and I have never seen my grandparents so infuriated. In my mind there is nothing worse than seeing your phone light up and not be able to access it so my initial reaction was to just pick up my phone but I quickly learnt that that was a huge mistake.

When I began to write this post it only occurred to me how sad it really is that we are so consumed and obsessed with our mobile phones. Although my Nan views the use of phones at home and in particular a dinner table extremely rude as it is a private space but what about public?

An ABC news article I found “Silencing Cell Phones In Public Places” discusses that governments across the world are now imposing etiquette on mobile phone users in public places in terms of removing cellular signal. Some restaurants have now placed signs around that say please switch your phone off. Whilst investigating this further I found a restaurant called Eva in Los Angeles that offers customers a 5% discount for leaving their mobile phones at home.

In my opinion banning cellular signals seems a little dramatic and enforcing such a thing could have a negative impact. Mobile phones are truly powerful, if an emergency was to occur who would ring triple 000 if you had no cellular signal? This is just one example of how mobile phones in public places are a significant device.

I can understand where my Nan’s coming from as she feels that using the mobile phone in a private place takes away from family time however, in a public place I see no issue with individuals using there phones because really we have mobile phones because we aren’t at home to use a home phone. The answer is etiquette, and ensuring that people use their cell phones in ways that don’t invade another’s personal space.

What do you think?

To Multitask, or not to Multitask…

Multitasking – art of listening to music and staring at your smart phone, whilst walking down the street… with your dog… eating lunch.

For academic purposes, multitasking is referred to the ability to execute more that one task simultaneously. Whilst the human brain is capable of pursuing multiple goals at once, the advancement of technology is allowing individuals to do more tasks simultaneously. But is this a good thing?

Studies show that individuals of all ages perform worse on cognitive tests when juggling tasks. Along with slowing you down and increasing the number of mistakes you make, multitasking also temporarily changes the way your brain works. Apparently, dividing attention across multiple activities is strenuous on the brain, thus limiting the amount of real productivity. According to Live Science, the brain is designed to handle balancing tasks that use unrelated mental and physical resources, thus allowing us to repeat them without question. But when things become more complicated, such as acquiring a new skill, we are unable to perform to the best of our ability when multitasking.

According to Faculty Focus, students are way too convinced that multitasking is a great way to work, particularly due to the easy access to all sorts of technology. Students strongly believe that they can execute multiple tasks at the same time without compromising the quality of their work. Whenever I’m on my laptop attempting to do Uni work, I always find myself procrastinating and distracting myself from the task at hand. In this sense, I view “multitasking” as a form of procrastination as I become less productive. Rather than focusing on one particular task, I always find myself doing an assignment or homework whilst either listening to music, watching a TV or movie, or checking my phone and social media.

Another highly researched example of multitasking involves texting or talking on the phone whilst driving. The popularity of mobile devices has been linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury or loss of life. A study conducted by the University of Utah showed that motorists who talk on mobile phones are as impaired as drunk drivers, and are also five times more likely to be involved in accidents than undistracted drivers. This particular study places much focus on talking and driving, as they are mutually exclusive as the same part of the brain is used to focus on a phone conversation and the road. This is further reinforced by a study conducted by NRMA, which set out to provide evidence that sending text messages has a detrimental effect on a number of safety-critical driving measures. During their research, the NRMA concluded that text messaging negatively affected driver’s ability to maintain lateral position and to detect, and respond appropriately to traffic signs.

The 3 Constraints

Torsten Hagerstrand used the space-time path to demonstrate how human spatial activity is often governed by limitations, and not by the decisions made by temporarily autonomous individuals. Hagerstrand identified three human constraints that changed the way social planning works, which include:

  • capability: can I get there?
  • coupling: can I get there at the right time?
  • authority: am I allowed to be there?

Based on Hagerstand’s model, capability constraints limit an individual from participating in an activity by demanding that a significant amount of time should be allocated to physiological necessities, thus limiting the distance an individual can cover within a given time-span. Therefore, making it is impossible for an individual to be in two places at once. Those who have access to vehicular transportation have what a spatial-temporal advantage over those who are limited to walking. Coupling constraints pinpoint where, when and for how long an individual must participate in an activity in order to form some level of production or consumption. It therefore is the requirement of an agreement in space and time – can I actually get there at the right time. Finally, authority constraints include those general rules, laws, economic barriers, and power relationships which dictate whether an individual has access to specific domains at specific times to do a particular activity (Ma 2011).

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the cinema this week and see Straight Outta Compton. Being a student that is in debt and overloaded with assingments who finds it hard to find time to do anything that is remotely fun I was unable to attend the movie my whole facebook feed had been raving about. With reference to the three human constraints, the capability constraints were a major limitation to attending the cinemas. Along with the ridiculous amount of homework and assignments I had to complete over the weekend, I had also had to work 10-9 on both Saturday and Sunday. Thus, making it near impossible for me to be at the cinema and at work at the same time.

111312-Two-Places-At-Once

Whilst researching the current statistics on cinema attendance in Australia, I came across a question that the Australian Bureau of Statistics had proposed, which was “With the advent of DVDs, Blu-Ray technology, home projector theatre systems and the ability to download movies from the internet, does anyone go the cinema anymore?”. Although mobile devices and the Internet have provided individuals with easy access to movies online, the cinema industry has been growing steadily over the last 10 years. During 2009-10, Australian cinemas had the highest attendance rate, with an estimates 11.7 million people attending the cinema in the 12 months before being interviewed by the ABS. The main factors that influence an individual’s decision to attend the cinema include; ticket prices, location and access of the cinema, the genre of movies and the times they’re being shown. Also, the main motivations for cinema attendance revolve around the cinema experience and the demand for viewing a particular movie.

movie-theater

The Next Web posted an article The Future Of Cinemas discussing the fluctuations in cinema attendance and the key factors that they believe impact this.There is now an assumption that technology is turning us all into antisocial hermits. Being someone who is attached to their phone I am still a very social person and enjoy attending the movies with my family and friends. However, I find that sometimes the movies being released do not interest me so instead I find a series to indulge in on Netflix. With the introduction of Cinemas people believed that it was the end of going to “The Theatre”. I believe that this is not the case and many people still love going to the theatre and seeing something live, I know I do.

There is a lot of chatter about Netflix and new technologies taking over the cinematic experience as it is becoming easier to have the same experience in the comfort of your own home. Whilst ticket sales are still steady and at times peaking the future of the cinema is still unknown.

What do you think will happen to Cinemas in the future?