Today in the Media One lectorial, the idea was presented that ‘Media is Everywhere’. Following some discussion about this idea, in small groups of 4-6 people we were allocated a certain part of the city to go and wander. A list was to be made of ALL the things/objects/sounds/visions that are considered to be types of ‘mediated communication’. As well as creating a list of all of these things, we also had to notice these things. It was a social activity so in our groups we pointed things out to each other, discussed different ideas, etc. My group were given the section of Swanson St between La Trobe St and Bourke St. There were many things around the area which quite obviously fall under the concept of media. Some of these more apparent things included:
- advertisements everywhere: on buildings, trams, screens, public boards, etc.
- public transport including announcements, timetables, etc.
- roadwork signs and traffic signs (traffic lights, stop signs, etc.)
- magazines, newspapers and books
- posters for festivals, shows and concerts
- lots of signage in general along the streets for restaurants and shops
- people using technology everywhere as it has become our way of life – heads down at screens, headphones in… smart phones, iPods, laptops, tablets, etc.
- graffiti and art on streets, alley ways, etc.
- city noises/sounds – traffic, trams, conversation, buskers, bike bells, protesters, etc.
- personal use of media: smart phones to check up on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), text messages, camera/video recorder
As I mentioned earlier, the things which have been listed above are quite obviously media concepts or things. These sorts of mediated interactions or communications can be found in most cities or busy places, but nowadays some of the things would be found in most places. Media is now more than ever a part of society’s everyday life; it is everywhere you look. As media is now everywhere you look and there are the obvious surroundings, there is also media in forms which wouldn’t ‘stand out’ to you, but more you have to ‘notice’ them. They may not be hiding but they may be things that you wouldn’t usually associate as being a context of media. Some of these things include:
- branding on clothes making fashion statements
- mannequins in shop windows with new fashion trends
- sale signs in shop windows as well as flashing lights to attract consumers
- different cultures all through the city (China Town, different food types everywhere, etc.)
- branding on plastic bags for different stores rather than plain bags
- Police men/vehicles
- the homeless
As a tram went by while participating in this activity, I noticed the ad it had on it. For months now McDonalds have been doing the $1 frozen drink promotion, however, this particular ad was for Hungry Jacks. It looked almost identical to the McDonalds ad besides the difference in the franchise name. This shows the competition different companies have with each other, always trying to beat each other or have better deals, not only in the fast food industry but every industry.
Another aspect which stood out was the big group of people sitting on the steps at the front of the State Library. They were chanting and holding big signs saying ‘stop persecution in Tibet’, ‘stop cultural genocide’. It was a little hard to understand what was going on as I didn’t even know what the posters were meaning but this was soon relieved when one of the members of this group came to us and offered to explain what they were doing. I still didn’t quite understand but what I got from it was the many years ago (maybe 50 or so) the Dalai Lama fled from Tibet to go to India and many people followed him. He has since stayed in India and is now taking up their beliefs/practices/etc. The people of Tibet are obviously not happy about this as he is their leader but no longer following what they believe in. This was the first time I have heard of this so is obviously not a big part of media at the moment, however, every little thing people do to help their cause gets it out there and there would have been quite a number of people who would have seen this today, helping them to get their leader or guru back to where he belongs.