Mobility: A Movement in Media

NOTE: I just typed an amazing blog and lost the whole thing!!!!!  I am so angry! I thought WordPress saved as you typed! Not a fan of “media” at the moment!

Of all the topics we have covered so far, I have to say that mobility has interested me most. Obviously tying in closely with spatiality and temporality, I think observing media through its mobility reveals many truths about those who engage with it, as well as its molding of traditional or conventional sociocultural activity.

I plan to touch on both Volker and Ito’s articles, although I feel I gained more from the latter. Volker’s article interested me in its elaboration on mobile media’s enabling of ‘coexisting’ in several ‘places’ simultaneously; for example travelling and existing in ‘nonspace’ (e.g. a train) whilst existing within digital networks (e.g. Facebook on mobile), perhaps even while streaming live television or radio through mobile devices, as an example. I feel this relates to what Ito stresses about media; that it does not, to popular perception, “erode the integrity of existing places or social identities”; but rather, as Volker suggests, allowing us to “connect the virtual world with the physical world,”  “extend” the body, and enhance the efficiency of our daily functions.

I was extremely interested in Volker’s description of Semapedia barcoding and Socialight’s ‘Sticky Shadow’ applications; both revealing not only mobile media’s ability to merge space and link distant geographical places, but also its ability to form links or ‘portals’ between geographical real space, and virtual space (i.e. Through the barcode on a physical object linking to a webpage); thus, mobile media allowing for a transience between real and virtual dimensions. I considered other forms of media that make take on such a role of mobility, and thought immediately of the newly released Apple iPad. Debate over whether the iPad will bring traditional forms of media, such as the newspaper, to a new media domain are rife. This being the case, the broadsheet physicality of a newspaper and its transformation into a compact, interactive, single-interface surface supports the spatial implications of mobile media, and perhaps the social implications – will the newspaper remain the same in its traditional and new media formats, or will each be adjusted according to the differing demographics between the iPad reader and the broadsheet reader?

I found Ito’s article thoroughly interesting, as did the other members of our group, apparently. This is probably because of its relevance to us as young adults living in a digital world submerged in media. I, however, differ to my peers in that I do not enjoy nor participate in heavy text messaging or mobile communication (despite owning an iPhone), and tend to enjoy my privacy when away from the physical company of others. It is this aspect of social expectations to be available for constant, “immediate” contact with personal networks that I do not enjoy about mobile media. I find it almost pervasive, and tend to prefer to save my conversational communication for face-to-face contact, and use mobile phones as a tool for organising such contact and other more ‘administrative’ uses Ito covered. I can appreciate this constant availability he discusses as a social expectation however, often annoying my friends with my delayed replies and conclusive messages rather than carrying on text conversations.

I am sorry my original blog was lost – I feel like I had so much to say! I think I’ve covered the main points I wanted to raise though. I really enjoyed this week’s readings, and I would love to discuss them further with anyone as interested as I am.

Lauren

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