Digital Project: Home is never too far away when you have a laptop


During the beginning of last year, in the month of February, my Mother (Leonor) was told that she had lung cancer. Within this time I was attending my first year at the University of Wollongong with also two jobs on the side, plus my brothers both moved to Sydney and my father had his full time job at Blue Scope steel.  This relates to the story because my family was having trouble with free time to help my mother when she had to participate in continuous appointments, tests procedures and then when it came to the surgery that took about a week.

“In the situation I was in, I could actually communicate with people and express how I felt. Like my father could not make it to the hospital in Sydney.” – Leonor Neto

I was finding it hard to contact my mother and was unable to travel to see her. Before further procedures and the surgery my father and I went out to the store to find her a laptop because I noticed she enjoyed the computer at home. I looked up that at some private hospitals they can supply WiFi so I thought it would be a good idea to get the laptop. We bought her a small laptop that she took to the hospital and as we found out it was much easier for her and us to contact each other.

“I had the availability of communication. In an environment I could not escape from. It was a form of connecting to everybody and I was escaping the confines of a room… Even when I play Scrabble, it was a game I was conversing with people. It felt like a way they could contact me. I did not get a lot of people visiting me, plus I was mostly connected to tubes and uncomfortable a lot of the time and there for I was fine without seeing people. I had that (Laptop) which was fine. I did not feel lonely or isolated even though I was in a room by myself.” – Leonor Neto

I taught my mother how to use Facebook, how to access her email and even Skype when she felt very lonely some nights and wanted to talk to either of us or friends when she was away. My mother felt more comfortable and less isolated within the room she was confined in. I found that this project was interesting to see the deep connection between communication and the idea of home not always being far away when it comes to technology.

“Basically I wanted to see what everyone else was doing to take my mind off whatever pain I had. It was a means of relaxation and communication because I was chatting with people around the world. Sometimes when I could not sleep I would just access the laptop and talk to my Facebook friends.”- Leonor Neto

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When I began my research back in 2014 at the beginning of the year it was targeted at a way for me to easily find something that my mother would be interested in and would use regularly for entertainment and communication. This is one of the major problems I faced with both this assignment and with retracing my steps from last year. When I studied the way in which my mother communicated it seemed that the computer was more favourable compared to other devices in which I gave her involving a mobile and tablet.

What I have learnt from simply studying my home surroundings and the way in which my mother interacted with objects was quite interesting because I was not prepared to evaluate what she would do regularly to find something she liked. An example being that a tablet she found was much harder to use because she could not write, could not change or download apps as effectively or even the fact that the font might be too small most of the time for her to read/write.

Even though I took on more of a story approach for this assignment I did however have to research various things involving contacting the hospitals in order to find out which had wifi. Whether it would be favoured in more private hospitals than local. Plus when looking for the specific laptop that matched all of my mother’s needs was very hard as well.

I thought this was an interesting part upon the project because not a lot of hospitals actually supply wifi in which my mother demanded it. Than when it came to finding the specific laptop my mother wanted I had to ask her various questions like, do you want it to write more or to use it for online purposes? I found that my mother wanted to use it for both these reasons because she is very creative in the way in which she writes and how she really likes to go on Facebook and play such games as Scrabble in her free time. She also loves to research in which she did in her time to find out more things about Cancer and the effects of it so she had a bit of knowledge within that area.

The most common challenges I found was mainly from having the actual interview with my mother and bringing up the past. Due to the event having a major impact upon all of our lives it was very hard to bring it up again however my mum wanted to give me all the facts freely. I also knew that I had to ask her if she wanted me to use her name, any photos or even her quotes. My mother was fine with me using her name and the quotes however the photos in which she had were too graphic to be placed in my blog so I did not worry about it.

I believe that when presenting a story to a media industry or stakeholder group you must know all the facts and information first before presenting it because that is the key to showing a true story. For example my story in which I am presenting for this subject is clear that it is a very personal one so I must watch what I say or do however I know that some people’s stories are more in-depth research. This meaning that it depends upon the story and how you present it because if it is personal than you just need to explain the story and how effective it was to the individual so that the readers or the audience feels a deep connection towards it.

So if someone was to present this story for me I would say be more formal and show that there is emotion within the story because without emotion or clear empathy than I believe a story has not impacted someone. Especially when you need to relate a story like this to a ‘place, technology and person’ you need to enthuse all these key areas to get a reaction from an individual.  This is entirely my opinion when demonstrating a story to someone higher up and everyone’s would be very different.

  • The photos in which are presented in this blog are in fact my mothers laptop and not a promotion in anyway. Plus the hyper links of the relevant sources are various readings within the subject and other key areas that connect to the story or are interesting contradictions I found. I used these key sources in just guiding me. 

Reflection for BCM240

I will admit at first that my blogs this semester was not as good as my last one because I took up a new job that consists of me being there around 4 – 5 days a week plus a lot of health issue arose. Not only had this happened but a lot of family things had come up that pushed me over the edge to stand back from the university. My problem became that balancing life was hard, the blogs on top I would forget and have to come back to from time to time doing two or three at the same time to keep up.

However after thinking intensely about my life I really stuck my head down and thought, that we all need to get away and find that motivation to push forward. That is what I was missing. Having two subjects to blog every week brought me more confusion and falling into a never ending hole that I did not know how to get out of. Even though I am making this sound more about my life, no its more about the problems I had to overcome to start getting back on track to blogging and why I love it plus this subject which I really enjoyed.

People forget that you need some sort of motivation to keep you going, without motivation leads to distractions and never getting your work done. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend that started getting me out of the house day by day before work or after I would not have gotten my motivation back. The key is relaxation, balance and a chance to get away from it all.

I found that motivation was what I was missing all along, working too many hours, focusing on other things really threw my head in a different direction. I saw this change with my last blogs, I started putting in extra clips, links and tags for the fun of it that I began to enjoy it as much as I used to.

I know that my engagement with other students could have been better which I hope to improve on in other subjects. I enjoyed reading various blogs and commenting. I am hoping to expand on following more people so that I can begin to read more blogs and start getting chatter going. Though I would admit that the more clips and relevance to say television series brings people in which makes a connection that I found interesting. Another tip with blogs I would say is always the heading, it is my weakness most times to get a good sentence or phrase even questions but you just have to test them out and read them out loud. Lastly, always place in some humour or even a bit of laughter because that’s what people enjoy most is to be happy even if it is a few seconds long.

I believe the way in which the blogs was conducted each week was good because it not only just placed us behind a screen to write what ever came to our head, no. I loved more of the interaction weeks where I would get to interview people, look at my surrounds, go out to view different public spaces and even to value things around my work. People don’t think that research and work can be easy or even simple which is wrong because we gather information everyday however we choose to neglect it or forget it because we do not think it is useful.

Technology is a way in which we gather most of our information. I found this topic to be my light switching on because it is what I am interested in and what I would love to talk about. My life as a Gamer is always to tell people the amazing side towards technology however this subject has pushed me to value my judgements on my own devices. I was so baffled by the research and resources over various weeks of technology and the pains that come with it. Currently for my other subject DIGC202 Global Networks it became very useful for my final report on about, ‘The Empire Microsoft Bringing People Together,’ to make me think twice about what I am going to follow.

To be honest I have found very life changing situations throughout this subject as it has made me think twice about a lot of things. To value, to cherish, to connect and even branch out. I do not know if I can say this for everyone but it really made me think how I take on my life. An example being the family blog about private/public spaces with devices, I thought to myself it could not be that bad but when I found the resources for my blog it was so interesting to see this impact in action.

So I will tell you a story to end this reflection but believe me I’ll get to my point quickly. Today it was like 30 degrees, my boyfriend told me that we should go to the beach. For a little bit of relaxation time I agreed before completing my reflection. We spent 3 hours out in the sun and water and it was really amazing but what hit me was what my boyfriend said at the end of it all.

“It is so good to see all these people out at the beach instead of in front of a screen.”

I literally stopped, stared out at the packed out beach and thought that it was really so fascinating to see people out there. It even brought to my attention various other topics in which we talked about across the semester. A man had a GoPro and was taking pictures while trying to not get people in it even though people actually were avoiding him. A moment where I forgot my phone at home (5 minutes from the beach) that I could not take my mind off. I really enjoyed this subject because now I can think more about this in my life.

I don’t remember what I was doing?

‘Being online is like being a part of the greatest cocktail party ever and it is going on all the time. If you email, text, tweet, Facebook, Instagram or just follow internet links you have access to an ever-changing universe of social touch-points. It’s like you’re circulating within an infinite throng, with instant access to people you’d almost never meet in real life.’ – David Brooks

In a recent study this year Microsoft conducted several experiments that focused on individuals attention spans compared to today’s technology. The study found that back in 2000 the attention span was 12 seconds and that in 2015 had dropped to below 8 seconds, leading the human race to have an attention span lower than that of a goldfish at 9 seconds.


The online world is a fascinating place in which we all get consumed in whether that be social media or just simple searching the web. We are so accustomed to that behaviour that we cannot take our mind off our devices or the screen for a single second because we are afraid to miss something. Yet this activity may be the cause of why our attention spans are decreasing. In the report they judged an office worker on how many times an hour he would go to search their email the result was 30 times.

Authors Martin Thirkettle and Graham Pike recognised this behaviour and explained that, ‘our minds are adaptive systems, constantly reorganising and refocusing our mental faculties to suit the environment.’ This is targeting the online world rather than the real world because we are so distracted by more and more information flowing into the internet every second that we begin to jump from one article to another without remembering the last. In the report they judged the amount between flickering back and forth through pages that being on a page for 10 minutes was at 4% while people favoured viewing a page for 4 seconds at 17%.


However David Brooks believes that this targets the amount of freedom that we have over the internet to become an advantage. He stated, ‘Since they feel more in control of the communication, they are more communicative, vulnerable and carefree. This mode of interaction nurtures mental agility.’

‘But contrary to popular opinion, it shows attention spans have actually improved. For example, habitual video gamers have demonstrated better attentional abilities than non-players – and non-players who started playing video-games began to show the same improvements. Our cognitive abilities are constantly changing and even naturally vary across the day.’ – Authors Martin Thirkettle and Graham Pike

Martin and Graham conducted an experiment to prove their theory. A project in which they conducted at the Open University was by collecting data on a daily cycle. They did this by developing an app when used across the day the individual would participate in research and chart these natural changes in your own performance. Resulting in proving to better plan your day and finally understand if you actually are a morning or evening person.


David Brooks added another improvement to people’s attention spans through Susan Greenfield (Neuroscientist) that stated in her book about ‘Mind Change’ stated that experts in online gaming have a greater capacity for short-term memory. Due to the ability to process multiple objects simultaneously, to switch flexibly between tasks and quickly process a large amount of information.

‘By observing what happens, by following the linear path of a story, we can convert information into knowledge in a way that emphasising fast response and constant stimulation cannot. As I see it, the key issue is narrative.’ – Susan Greenfield (About Playing Games/Attention Span)

However as Martin and Graham pointed it out, everyone has forgotten the main reason of the Microsoft Study. The Study was targeted on advertisers and not the general public as it calls upon the companies to use, “more creative, and increasingly immersive ways to market themselves”.

‘Similarly, public spaces are increasingly full of adverts that can play sound and video to further capture our attention.’ – Martin and Graham

I tried to implement all these key focuses on the individual I choose which is my Boyfriend Cory Lagan. The experiment I choose to place him in front of the television screen for 5 minutes. Due to my boyfriend being also a gamer himself I wanted to put his abilities to the test by playing on his phone at the same time.

The result was that we dropped the gaming idea because as my boyfriend said, ‘It would be best to play a game and multitask with devices rather than use it with the television because they outdo one another so I can only focus on one.’ Once the show finished I counted the ads while texting him to make a distraction, he remembered 8 ads out of 10 but when I asked him what some of them were about he could not remember many but two.


What happened to the family?

Technology has expanded the divide between the family relationships, many conclude that this divide is growing and that relationships with people’s families will diminish slowly. However I valued the opinion from three different articles that all explained that these causes are from maybe the parents, the children or even the era.


Jim Taylor explains what people are lacking in this area by targeting the children as the victims. He believes by children being more focused on their devices whether it is games or the television has found that it limits the children capacity to talk with the parents. A further study improving that working parents arrived home after work but their children were so immersed in the technology that the parent was greeted only 30 percent of the time while 50 percent ignored.

‘Parents are the ones who ultimately make the decisions concerning the use of technology at home, and these crucial rules have important implications for the family dynamic.’ – Joanne Orlando

Joanne Orlando from the Sydney Morning Herald targeted parents for this reason even though she admitted that once the television did bring everyone together but now due to so many devices every one spreads out. It is the parents final say on things and how to discipline their children and if that meant how much devices that bought around the house that all connect to the internet creating this isolation.

‘The increasing ways we are using technology in isolation from one another is reflected by the latest figures from Britain’s communications regulator, Ofcom. A recent study found that for the first time children aged between 12 and 15 are spending as much time online as they are watching television, about 17 hours a week for each.’ – Joanne Orlando

A further story to back this up is an article by Kate Goodin on the parenting website that talked about a family that was so addicted to the devices that it took so long for the parents to realize what had happened. It was the parents fault for being so consumed in the devices that they even forgot to make food for their children and this article that focused on the family by Matt Richtel article which Kate Goodin took from back in 2010. The time of 2010 did not have as many devices as now but showed the future to come.

‘The crux of the article is about how the use of technology actually makes us worse at multitasking, not better. If you’ve got your Facebook, email, Twitter, web surfing and Skype windows open all at once, well, only one of those things can actually hold your full attention. While the human brain is wired to adapt to the new way we receive information — in short bursts — only about 3 percent of the population — called “supertaskers” — can handle multiple streams of information.’ – Kate Goodin

It seems that technology in a way has become the major baby sitter for children to be so occupied with. ‘We must understand that the child will interpret this as meaning they should use technology to be quiet and disconnected from family activities happening around them.’ (Joanne Orlando)

However this seems to be a case of ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’ as at times the parents are the ones who show the behaviour which the children pick up on and follow. This can also back lash at parents as children’s sense of superiority and no respect for their own parent’s authority can lead them to not understand the reality behind the internet.

Source (Good little change up to show a family that drives off the internet/Vine)

Jim Taylor goes on to make a point about parents being at risk of anxiety or apprehension towards the technology because, ‘they may be unwilling to assert themselves in their children’s technological lives.’ Technology seems to place the parents and children at more of a risk mentally rather than physically.

There are always rules and regulations within these areas however if the parents are the ones that give the children those devices that must educate them on what is and what to do. Even though parents might be as consumed as the children something must break in order to fix the family bonds. Though children themselves can be liable due to respect and authority to listen to their parents rather than isolate themselves towards everything. In the end it is the family that must all choose for themselves how to work around the internet and their relationships because other things can also tie in to this behaviour.

‘Because everyone is so busy with work, school, and extracurricular activities, there’s less time for families to spend together. At technology to the mix and it only gets worse. It’s gotten to the point where it seems like parents and children are emailing and texting each other more than they’re talking—even when they’re at home together!’ – Jim Taylor

You Know That We are Still Here right? *Pays Attention to Phone

My Father, Fred Neto aged 53 remembers coming to Australia at the age of 15-years-old with his mother, father, two brothers and 3 sisters. They did not have much money and had to work hard to afford a living in Australia with all the siblings taking up jobs along with their father. My Father lived in a nice little 3 bedroom family home in Port Kembla right near the ocean, with a backyard used to be shrouded with grape vines tangling from the roof tops with a herbed garden that continued to grow without end. It was beautiful and we still have the house currently but future plans will be set in motion to let the house go.

When I asked my father about what he remembered of the first television he had remarkably stopped in his tracks, raised his hand to his chin, stared up at the ceiling and thought for a minute. The living room was held together with nice creamy textured walls, with a carpet that they held onto since they had arrived with a fine rough material with all different colours. The couches kept that creamy flow going as the leather glowed more of that cream and gave a squeak as you sat down. On the back wall was a massive glass cabinet with a variety of memorabilia plus a coffee table alone on the side of the room. The television itself sat on top of another cabinet right in the corner of the room.

“Everybody wanted to watch a bit of TV. We were so fascinated by the new technology of it and it was exciting because it was always changing every day. Everyday! Than they eventually got better and better and was a major part I think in our lives.”- Fred Neto.

He expanded his view of the television by comparing how televisions look today from how they used to. “It was a massive box that was the size of a Computer Screen but a bigger back.” He explained to me that the television before never had colour like now but for plain black and white. My father said that it was always hard to watch television especially in such a big family because everyone would always fight for it but that they were more of a fit family that always went out to surf, play soccer and football. So I gathered that they were interested in the television however it did not stop them from their everyday duties but brings more of relaxation.

“We all used to have to watch Mat Lock or a cowboy movies. Cowboy movies were very exciting, we used to love watching them because it was just so different. Mat Lock was a police detective show, we used to love watch the chasers and the crimes. I don’t remember much sport on the tv.” – Fred Neto

I was very surprised with my father when he began to smile over the fact of these shows which must have had a deep connection to him with his family. He expressed that it was what brought the family together every night to talk to one another and watch something before bed, it was a routine.

The next question I asked my father did the impact of domestic broadband change the way we understand the experience and meaning of home, or is this a continuation of earlier technological impacts on place?

My father explained that the internet was an interesting and even more fascinating device than the television. He currently owns a LG television that still looks like a massive big brick in the middle of the room, a Samsung 50inch in the bedroom, a smartphone, a laptop, computer desktop and even his own tablet.  Even though he has a lot of devices he normally sticks to his smartphone and computer because he likes to go on the simple social networking websites such as Facebook, Gumtree and ebay.

When he elaborated on the question he choose that technology has become a continuation within the place called home. My reason why I believe my father felt this way more was because I have two older brother and we all grew up within the era of the internet and computers. So my father became a technician helping us one by one understand the internet and how to connect. He made us all understand about the computers and how the internet worked in his way of thinking that now my brothers and I feel as if we are experts in our own way. It is an adaption that has changed us from the television to now on our computers to be all together and chatting over this technology.

“It is a change, but also a continuation because it is not the room that has changed but the device in its own way. I still watch the television and I guess stick to my own ways but my kids on the other hand have their heads down on the computer screens rather than away from them.” – Fred Neto

My father made a great point in this quote which can also go back to his point on interaction with the television when he was younger. The interaction in which we all do now a days all comes down to how I believe you were raised. My father tries to bring all the devices with the people together like the television did back in his day in which I see how I’ve grown up to understand not to lose that key motive to always connect away from the device as well. I believe this is what is missing with our society because more people are growing up in the age of technology that they seem to forget the other side to communication.

“You must always remember it is just a screen, we still need to chat and talk at the dinner table without something on.” – Fred Neto

Can you not take my picture?

The public space in which we contain ourselves in can be either classified as private or public but that depends upon the individual’s perspectives of that along with the environment they are in. Photography itself can be viewed as one’s own way to show art while on the other side a way to show personal and personalised value of oneself. For this blog we were asked to go out and take in the meaning of photography and ethnography. This was also by going out and taking pictures of strangers, sounds and further observations of an individual’s ethical comfortability. However do we have the key ethics points in having permission, discretion, and value to care for others feelings over the matter?

Colberg (2013) says that while photographers may legally take photos of people in public spaces without permission or consent, they need to become aware of the ethics involved in this practice.

This is the street photography ethic that should contribute to both photographers and individual on their own as people can be reordered without being acknowledged that they were in the first place. Individuals need to acknowledge the value of the way they act in the public and abide by the rules given to them or even go beyond that aspect to learn what they are. This is what Colberg believes should be done.


Along the lines of the homework we were given I judged the way people acted within a formal environment such as my work at a Club. Individuals that participate in any regular club activities must abide various rules when they come in and exit. Yes this is a very much different way to approach the activity as individuals wanted to seek out strangers while I wanted to study their actions to how people would react and be valued in regards to either an alcoholic or a Gambler. These are two main killer habits that are seen throughout the club as individuals are drawn to flashing lights, sounds and the large supply of liquor.

An individual that involves in these habits cannot be pushed or talked out of their habits unless it’s of their own will. Now I contributed it towards that of people taking photos of them around their behaviours. It turned out when a phone or a camera out all would be brought out within this environment the individual would immediately walk away or move from the area so they were not within the picture. This was very interesting to see because these actions can be either that they did not wanted to be in a photo or they did not want others to see or be influenced from their habits. I valued this behaviour both within groups and on their own.

Drunk people

However I began to question, is this against the law that individuals who want to establish their own personal photo to be done and has others in the background, could that be them undermining them?

Colberg stated, “It might be perfectly legal to photograph someone in a public space, but something being legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical as well” (2013). This is a clear fact that individuals do not understand what they are doing within the public area when it comes to their own activities. But is this defamation, amusement or exploitation or a simple mistake?

Back to Street photography meaning, it is raw pieces capturing either an art form, human spirit or urban landscape that can further be published or designed upon in discussion or other art styles. Street Photographers have now changed from real qualified people to individuals with their mobile phones taking selfies in any area possible. This has created discomfort and paranoia through individuals who do not get permission or further value in the photos taken.

It concludes to my research and value that individuals need to understand the meaning of their spaces that they come into between others around them along with how they act upon them. Everyone may not like pictures that others post up but if you are an individual who without being acknowledged or asked to have their photo taken in the background to find that they have been published online can be a bit dramatic. We all must follow Colbergs statement as we need to acknowledge our actions within the area.

Let us go to the Movies!

Homework for this week’s blog in BCM240 was to plan and undertake a trip down to our local cinema. This had to focus on the key areas that are the three constraints that Torsten Hagerstrand identified as capability, coupling and authority.

Capability: Refers to the limiting of human movement due to physical or biological factors (Corbett 2011)

During my planning I found that I had to be cautious on what day and time a movie would be on due to my work and University Schedule. I would also classify that I had to be picky with what cinema I went to due to transport and parking.

Coupling: refers to the requirement of being in a certain place for a set amount of time, often in the company of others (Corbett 2011).

This restraint did not affect me because I went to the cinema with my friends and my boyfriend because I do not like to go alone to such social events. I was also very lucky to have found a gap of free time within my normal schedule that I did not have to worry or pick up my pace to finish the movie on time.

Authority:  refers to spaces that are controlled by people or institutions who can place limits on access to these spaces by individuals or groups (Corbett 2011).

This was the last restraint before we were given permission to access the movie. The first problem is that the movie was MA 15+, we are all above the ages of 18+ plus money wise we all new how much was needed. The last thing was for us to show our tickets in order to provide proof of our purchase before being fully aloud in. This was the boundaries that always must be followed in cinemas.

Now to the examination and observation of the movie theatre regarding about movie attendance in 5 to 10 years’ time.

The Movie I decided to view was ‘American Ultra’ which recently came out the day before because I wanted to judge how popular this movie would be the second day. The movie featured the two main actors Jesse EisenBerg as Mike Howell and Kristen Stewart as Phoebe. The time of the movie was at 9:30pm due to late thinking plus Shellharbour Cinema was only showing the movie compared to my closer cinemas to home.

I found one problem with my plan as I took off with my boyfriend and I, we needed to pick up people. This made us late and hard to plan all ourselves to be in one place as it seemed half were at the cinema and half were somewhere else entirely. We arrived and reunited with 10 minutes to spare this was our time to collect our food and tickets before the cinema opened.

Once arriving we saw a lot of people exciting the venue however the line seemed quite continuous with the amount of people coming in. We were only in line for 4 minutes and it took another few to order food. We sat in row E directly in the middle, comfy red seats and an average amount of people to attend a move however all scattered. The trailers began and discussion all ended.

From time to time people would bring out their phones or a flash of light would flicker, it seemed all too natural to bother people unless it made a sound. As a comedy and action movie it created a lot of audience noise that stirred everyone to make the same reaction. I believed it was a very silly yet hilarious action packed movie to bring your friends to.

My evaluation would conclude that by my experience people need to be committed and interested in the movie to want to go. More people are consumed in their media devices and online content that they have either forgotten the cinema experience completely or do not care to do the social activity. It creates way to social and connect but it always depends on the persons interests and hobbies. My view for the next 5 to 10 years is that the Cinema experience will most likely continue to live on even though the world is becoming more technology wise we would still like the experience. It all depends upon the movie connecting to peoples interests to gather people to come down which does happen from such movies as ‘Jurassic World’ or ‘Avengers.’