Showing posts with label digital communication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital communication. Show all posts

Saturday, 6 November 2010

iPhones = unreasonable behaviour?

http://tinyurl.com/2v97j6b. Sensibly, tech isn't made deterministically responsible for poor marital relations but it’s acknowledged that mediated communication may also be used to avoid facing relational problems (see Fortunati 1998 - Telecomunicando in Europa – for a discussion).

Absorption in mediated communication, which fosters a state of so-called 'absent presence' (see Gergen 2002 in 'Perpetual contact. Mobile communication, private talk, public performance') could equally refer to burying your head in a newspaper of course….


Monday, 9 November 2009

Shape of news to come

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt recently looked into his crystal ball to anticipate the future shape of news gathering and dissemination. He admitted that predictions are difficult but here’s one version of the future (a project by a UCL coursemate’s former journalism intern) that could become standard. All he has to do is monetise it and bingo!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The democratisation of intimacy

Here's an interesting video that's just been put up of ethnographer Stefana Broadbent talking about the intersection of the personal and work spheres at TED.

We just had a small session with Stefana at UCL, who took us through her ideas in more detail. In a nutshell, she started out by saying that communication by adults with their nearest and dearest fits with the attachment theory of clinical psychology, given the typical content of messages that pass between them. Thanks to new media, the reaffirmation of close personal bonds is now possible at work but that this causes a conflict (especially for categories of worker being paid for their time rather than knowledge). This conflict is not just being addressed at the local level by organisations but states are legislating against the use of such devices and platforms, using safety as  the excuse. This excuse just doesn't hold water (her extensive ethnographies within organisations bear this out) and is the pretext for a large incursion by all sorts of authorities into our personal lives.

It's all a bit controversial (controversy is something anthropologists do best) but observations repeatedly show that once workers finish assignments, they disengage and perform distracting activity whether smoking or stretching. Why not extend this to personal communications, especially bearing in mind that the average phonecall comes in at less than 2 minutes and that an average of three are made per day. Add to that the mental wellbeing benefits of allowing people to cultivate personal emotional links and bans on comms devices/platforms seem less sensible.

As an aside, such bans throw the hypocrisy of offices with beanbags and Friday massages into stark relief. They try to make the office environment more 'personal' but on their own terms...