‘The Stranded’

As I sit down writing this post at 9am in the morning, thinking about media use in my home I can hear the faint sound of the radio muffled by my parents’ discussion. My sister and I are sitting on the lounge, with her scrolling through her phone and myself on my laptop with my phone beside me, often picking it up to check my notifications.

Every night I set my alarm on my phone for the next morning (often 2 or 3 just in case) and turn my phone on airplane mode so I’m not distracted by notifications that come through during the night. I then wake to the irritating sound of my alarm.

On my parents’ bedside table sits a 35-year-old radio that my Mum has owned since she lived at home. Every night Mum sets the alarm on their radio and in the morning wakes to the sound of the news. Every morning Mum then heads upstairs and turns on the second 30-year-old radio we have sitting in the kitchen that her and my dad got when they first started dating.

As of 2018, it is said “the average Australian home now has 6.6 screens in which to consume content”. In my household we have 10 working screens that are in regular use not including the radios.

With the number of screens rising in households there has been an increase in “cross-screen ‘spreading’ and is changing viewing patterns. The ‘spreading’ that arises form cross-platform and multi-screen activity has impacted the amount of time people spend watching ‘traditional TV’”.

In Sensis’ article, social media use in the home is being discussed – stating 84% of social media use occurs in the living area”. Today, if you walked into my household when my family is in front of the TV, you are guaranteed to see at least one of us on a phone/laptop. OzTam found that “76% of online Australians multi-screen, with 33% now accessing content on two or more devices while watching TV (i.e. triple screening)”. This can often be the case for myself as I find I am doing my work in front of the TV whilst doing Uni work on my laptop and occasionally checking my phone.

My triple-screening set up on a normal night – television, laptop and phone

Turkle looks at the idea of all these screens and technology making us “alone together” and feeling almost stranded, as “we may be free to work from anywhere, but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere”. My sister and I can be walking through the shops, having a conversation and then all of a sudden, I notice she’s 20m behind as she cannot text, talk and walk at the same time.

My parents being the old school kind when it comes to technology are always saying they don’t understand phones and they don’t like texting, often making my sister or I type out their messages for them – recently discovering the ability to use speech to text to eliminate the whole typing process for themselves.

Looking into my networked home I realised technology does have great efficiency benefits and positive impacts, however it can also be disconnecting families, therefore we need to make the conscious effort to be aware of our screen time and monitor our relationships with our screens.



Culturalacupuncture.com, n.d.,  Being “Alone Together” And The Importance Of True Connection, Cultural Acupuncture, http://culturalacupuncture.com/burring-digital-and-reality-being-alone-together-and-the-importance-of-true-connection/, date accessed 6/9/19

Media, 2018, Screen Time Still an Australian Pastime, Nielsen.com, https://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/report/2018/screen-time-still-an-australian-pastime/, date accessed 6/9/19.

OzTam.com.au, 2016, Australian Multi-screen Report, https://oztam.com.au/documents/Other/Australian%20Multi%20Screen%20Report%20Q1%202016%20FINAL.pdf, date accessed 6/9/19.

Sensis.com.au, 2018, The must-know stats from the 2018 Yellow Social Media Report, Sensis, https://www.sensis.com.au/about/our-reports/sensis-social-media-report, date accessed 6/9/19.





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