Does digital communication affect relationships?

BCM241, Uncategorized

Can texting habits be seen as a compatibility trait? Especially in newly progressive relationships, can ignoring messages be seen as a ‘red flag’. Or, is it just the “pandemic of over-communication that’s led to an absence of intimacy” (The Politician, 2019).

Check out my video to find out more:


Brian A. Hoey, PHD. 2019. What is Ethnography?. Available at: [Accessed 30 September 2019].

BusinessDictionary. 2019. Demographic Factors. Available at: [Accessed 8 October 2019].

Buzzfeed. 2016. Are Your Texting Habits Actually Weird?. Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2019].

Chapman, G. 2019. The 5 Love Languages; The Five Love Languages Defined. Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2019].

Coyne, 2018. I just text to say I love you: Partner similarity in texting and relationship satisfaction. Computers in Human Behaviour, [Online]. 78, 126-132. Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2019].

HigherEdJobs. 2017. Why More Colleges Are Using Social Media to Recruit Students. Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2019].

J. Pettigrew. 2009. Text messaging and connectedness within close interpersonal relationships. Marriage and Family Review, 45 (6–8), pp. 697-716. [Accessed 10 November 2019].

Medium. 2018. Communication at Pernix. Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2019].

N. Brody, J. Peña. 2015. Equity, relational maintenance, and linguistic features of text messaging. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, pp. 499-506. [Accessed 10 November 2019].

Our World in Data. 2019. The rise of social media. Available at: [Accessed 9 October 2019].

The Politician, 2019. Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, United States

SoundCloud. (2016). Pingu63. Nintendo Wii – Mii Channel Theme. 2016. Available from: [Accessed: 10 November 2019].

SlideShare. 2015. Technologically/Computer Mediated Communication. Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2019].

Vinney, C. 2019. ThoughtCo.: What Is Uses and Gratifications Theory? Definition and Examples. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2019].

The Networked Home

BCM241, Uncategorized

This week I spent my time analysing and understanding the innovative “networked” home that I live in. Like mostly all suburban families, we live under an integrated network full of multiple easily accessible devices that all connect to the internet.


Bradley Mitchell, (2019)

I remember only 12 or so years ago we had one tv, one DVD and VCR player and one old computer that sat in its own room. One thing that has changed dramatically since then is our current state of home entertainment systems and how our need for multiple devices has increased dramatically. Even with newer and multi-functioning models of TVs and DVD/CD players, consumers feel the need to buy more for every room of the house. This includes TV’s for every room, laptop computers for each individual and most recently a “Google Home” or “Alexa” that you can buy to connect to every device.

Media in our family has always been a constant in our home. Something is always on, whether that be the radio, the television or music from our desktop laptop. We are in a constant state of connection, yet, we hardly speak to each other.

A pattern that I have discovered in my networked home is the last of communication in a home full of constant communication. My sister only talks through short Snapchat videos, whereas my dad will text us from downstairs to notify us that dinner is ready. We are all connected online through “the cloud” that we share, and all our devices are connected to the “Google Home” that can be found throughout each room of our house.


Caserta, (2016)

We could describe my household as a representation of the impact of “The Internet of Things,” which is a term to describe the “ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction” (Wikipedia. 2019).

Companies are now single-handedly using the IoT as an advantage to connect households with multiple devices from the same brand.

Chet Pipkin, the CEO and founder of Belkin has a very positive outlook on the future of connecting technologies in the house, stating “The world is made up of trillions of things — cars, planes, jet engines, exercise equipment, the items on my desk. And then there’s the Internet. This category is about all of these things and the Internet, as we know it, coming together. Anything I can do over the Internet blended with my things” (Forbes, 2014).

Belkin was introduced in the 1980s as a consumer electronics brand and has now become a pioneer in the IoT space, something that Chet Pipkin has worked for.

Some of their devices include;

WeMo – an automated and Wifi controlled system that connected your cooling and heating system, your lights and other automated control systems


Echo – created by Belkin to monitor water consumption levels allowing you to monitor, measure and manage basic necessities in life.

As technology becomes more and more integrated into our networked home, we find that everything can be connected, making home-life just a little bit more easy to control. Is that such a bad thing?


Wikipedia. 2019. Internet of Things. Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2019].

Forbes. 2014. Everything Is Connected: What ‘The Internet Of Things’ Means Now. Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2019].


Bradley Mitchell, (2019), Common layout for hybrid home. Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2019].

Caserta, (2016), The Cloud. Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2019].



Media Use: Surveillance on Mobile Devices

BCM241, Uncategorized

Are people dealing with the possibility of surveillance on their mobile devices?

“The looming interconnectivity between objects in our homes, cars and cities, generally referred to as the internet of things, will change digital surveillance substantially […] everything from washing machines to sex toys will soon be able to communicate, creating a vast amount of data about our lives. And this deluge of data won’t only be passed back and forth between objects but will most likely wind its way towards corporate and government reservoirs.” (The Guardian, 2015)

The conversation of mobile connectivity and surveillance is one that has worried generations of people as the internet has become more accessible. Accessibility to network devices has allowed us to connect to absolutely everything no matter where we are. We can contact someone from the other side of the globe. We can also send a signal to our kettles in the other room to start boiling. But are our devices being used by a third party for surveillance, and how is this affecting individuals that use mobile devices every day?

Last week I was talking to my friend about how I really wanted to get SNS on my nails. The very next day, my Facebook advertised for SNS on my feed. I wasn’t sure if I was just feeling paranoid or if my phone was actually listening to my conversations.

Both Google and Facebook have denied the accusations against their platforms listening on us to target appropriate advertising;

“Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed. Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people’s conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true.” (USA Today, 2018).

Facebook, Amazon and Google have admitted to their devices listening in for “wake words”. Some examples include “OK, Google,” “Hey Siri” or “Alexa”, which are transported to the Cloud in order to process your request. They also say that they don’t monitor conversations. Facebook has additionally said that they only access the microphone on your phone if you agree to let them, so you can record videos etc.

So is the fear of surveillance changing the way we feel about carrying mobile devices with us everywhere? I conducted some qualitative research on students at the Wollongong campus to evaluate their experiences and ask if they had taken any precautions since.

One student spoke about an incident that occurred at the races in Sydney.

“When I went to the races I tried a Gordon’s cocktail and spoke about it, then after the races, I kept getting ads for it. I used to have the ‘hey Siri’ feature turned on but I got rid of Siri completely.”

Another person commented;

“I genuinely have not noticed anything specifically to do with my phone “listening” to me through the microphone, however, if I am on my calendar app typing in “gym”, my Facebook advertising begins to show me sponsored posts from echt, gymshark and other activewear brands. Because I study advertising & digital/social media, I understand and don’t actually mind the idea of the phone being able to take everything u type/say and sending the data off to brands, it’s just how target marketing work and data analysts acquire their statistics. I haven’t taken any specific precautions.”

Mostly everyone I interviewed had an example of a time they believed their phone was listening in on them, however, only 1 student took action against it by turning Siri off her phone.

Although networks such as Facebook and Google have denied mobile phone surveillance as a strategy to target advertising, device holders still believe that they are being listened to. Even so, not many are doing anything about it. Do you think we should be doing something?


The Guardian. 2015. What Does the Panopticon Mean in the Age of Digital Surveillance?. Available at: [Accessed 17 September 2019].

USA Today. 2018. No, Facebook doesn’t secretly listen via your microphone to target ads at you. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 September 2019].


Matt Klein, (2017), Siri Image. Available at: [Accessed 17 September 2019].

The Cinema-Going Experience, is it Worth the Hassle?


We have all romanticised our picture-perfect cinema experience. It has been an activity linked to romance ever since motion pictured was available to the public. However, organising a trip to the cinema is never as easy as we think. Torsten Hägerstrand and his theory of time geography explore the time-consuming constraints that may affect our ability to consciously do something. Hägerstrand divides these constraints into three groups:

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


Image result for hagerstrand

“Time geography examines how humans allocate scarce time resources among activities in geographic space, the use of transportation and communication technologies to facilitate this allocation, and the patterns and relationships that emerge from these allocations across the population.” Miller H. (2008) Time Geography

To compare Hägerstrand’s theory with an everyday scenario, I will use my personal movie theatre experience that I had last week, and work out if any constraints impacted my ability to do this activity. About 5 days ago I had a date at my nearest movie theatre to see The Lion King. Usually, I would go through in my head the possible factors that could disrupt the flow of the night. This was just a nervous habit to prepare me for such moments, however, it turned out to be a personal exploration of the constraints that Hägerstrand theorized in his work.

Image result for the lion king

IMP, (2019)

Firstly I thought of the capability constraints. Can I afford a movie ticket? Do I have a way to get to the theatre? Luckily I had just been paid and could afford to buy petrol to get me to my destination. Despite me being pretty blind, this was not a constraint as I had my glasses with me. We also planned to eat before the movie, so it wasn’t as if we were impaired physically or biologically and therefore not able to complete this task. We both lived quite close to the movie theatre that we picked, so we were both quite capable of arriving at the theatre on time.

Next, I would look into possible coupling constraints. This could involve possible restrictions with aligning my schedule to the other person. I planned to go to the cinema with my date, so we organised a time where we both available that would align with the time the movie was showing. We planned to meet at 6pm for dinner and then to see the 7:45pm movie.

Authority constraints were not restrictive in this scenario, as we were both old enough to access this movie rated G. We were also aware of the time constraints with parking, as well as the closing of the cinema. Luckily, parking at this cinema is free and open after 6pm, and we had a movie time early enough before the entire shopping centre closed.

Cinema experiences are usually thought of as romantic date ideas between two people. However, ever since the growth of streaming services across multiple platforms, people have no longer felt the need to make the effort to meet at a cinema. It is so much easier to create a “Netflix and chill” moment in someone’s home, where capability, coupling and authority limitations are looser and easily dealt with. Netflix’s business model of “easy accessibility” eliminates the hassles of planning and scheduling as well as travel and parking hassles.

Personally, I would still prefer a cinema-going experience because I like the idea of a romantic night out. But in the reality of this generation, streaming in the comfort of your own home is so much easier and cuts travel and organising time in half.


Benny Lewis, (2019)


Miller H. (2008) Time Geography. In: Shekhar S., Xiong H. (eds) Encyclopedia of GIS. Springer, Boston, MA


IMP, (2019), The Lion King (2019). Available at: [Accessed 26 August 2019].

Jake Berninger, (2019), Streaming services’ success spreading. Available at: [Accessed 26 August 2019].

Benny Lewis, (2019), Is Watching Foreign Language Movies a Waste of Time?. Available at: [Accessed 28 August 2019].