Let me start by asking you one simple question…..Where is your mobile phone right now? I think its pretty fair to assume that the majority of you don’t even have to look away form you screens as your phone is probably so close you can see it through your peripheral vision! The mobile phone is not simply a technological device that we have integrated into our everyday lives but for a lot of us it IS our life or at least the digital version of it.
My mobile is oh so much more than just a phone! It is:
My music player
A game console
My social life-Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsap, Viber, Snapchat
My alarm clock
and even my guitar tuner
Simply put I would be lost without it and I don’t think I’m the only one! So how are audiences using their phones in public spaces? The worlds connectivity has been dramatically enhanced by these devices and as a result society in general has adopted a much more shared and open dynamic.
Citizen journalism is one action brought on by mobile devices that interests me for several reasons. It shows a shift in power, as audiences become active and crucial participants in events and disasters. The London Bombings of 2005 were seen to highlight this change as James Owen commented at the time that the ‘media commentators say the London bombings mark a “tipping point” in the news-gathering process’. All photos that day came from everyday commuters not the professionals. Citizen journalism also broke the news of Chinese earthquake Sichuan in 2008 when it was first reported on micro blogging site Twitter. Technology blogger Robert Scoble commented ‘I reported the quake about an hour before CNN or the major press started talking about it’. A mobile phone allows events to be recorded, documented and shared within seconds of them occurring and police now rely on the publics personal pictures and videos to solve or find answers to events such as the recent Boston Bombings.
But there is always a downside and on debate.org several people commented agreeing that we are too reliant on our mobile phones. CamelCavalry says ‘we’re losing skills’, dinglepuss2 comments ‘nobody (including myself) knows how to do anything on their own anymore’ and Anonymous ‘thinks we are losing contact with other humans’.
So what do you guys think? Do the benefits such as citizen journalism weigh out the negatives? Or are we simply too reliant on our beloved mobile phones?
Hodge, K, 2010, ‘10 news stories that broke on Twitter first’, Techradar, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://www.techradar.com/au/news/world-of-tech/internet/10-news-stories-that-broke-on-twitter-first-719532
Moore, M, 2008, ‘China earthquake brings out citizen journalists’, The Telegraph, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/1950212/China-earthquake-brings-out-citizen-journalists.html
Owen, J, 2005, ‘London Bombing Pictures mark New Role for Camera Phones’, National Geographic, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2005/07/0711_050711_londoncell.html
Debate.org, 2013, ‘Are we too reliant on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets?’, Debate.org, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://www.debate.org/opinions/are-we-too-reliant-on-mobile-devices-such-as-smartphones-and-tablets