Surfing the web in public is the new talking

This is what society has come to!

I feel bad writing this post, I’m using friends for this and they don’t even know it. What do I mean? Currently I am sitting in the uni centre writing this post and I have made a few observations about the group I am in, there are 6 of us here and all of us are guilty of looking at media in public. All six of us have our laptops out and are silent looking at what appears to be Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. No communication at all between us, we are just sitting here looking at our laptops.  Is this really acceptable in a social group that we can sit at a table and instead of talking we stare at our screens and consume media?

Apparently this has become the social norm in today’s society. The youths are the biggest consumers of media and therefore are the biggest offenders. Joan Abbott-Chapman and Margaret Robertson wrote a paper called ‘Adolescents’ Favourite Places: Redefining the Boundaries between Private and Public Space’ which looked at a group of teens in Tasmania and their favourite places to look at media.  It’s wasn’t surprising that the most common responses were places that were of a public nature.  It was surprising that most teens in the study responded that they felt more comfortable in public than in the privacy of their own rooms.

How does this all relate to each other? Well when you think about I am just out of my teen years and so are most of my friends. We have been using technology in public for years, and it has now just become socially acceptable amongst the younger generations. Sometimes I would say looking at your phone would be acceptable in public, but when you are around people you are friends with and are meant to be socially interacting with, I would say that isn’t an acceptable time.

Reference list:

Abbot-Chapman, J & Roberston, M 2009, ‘Adolescents’ Favourite Places: Redefining the Boundaries between Private and Public Space’ Space and Culture, vol. 12, issue 419

Image sourced from http://babyrabz.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/people-using-their-smartphones.jpg

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4 Responses to Surfing the web in public is the new talking

  1. Kate says:

    I’m curious to know two things: for your age group, do you sense things have changed, and do you remember when? Also, if you have younger siblings or know of people younger than you (say by about 5 years), do you notice whether they seem to have different social standards?

    • Cardak says:

      I don’t really remember when things changed but yes it definitely has changed. I guess while growing up we all adjusted to the new trends and fads of technology so quickly that it was common practice before I even realized it had happened. Secondly I have noticed that with my youngest sister that she seems to have a different social standards. She is 5 now and she enjoys spending time with her friends from play group. What is more interesting is to see the parents at said play group not interact with each other at all and sit on their phones the whole time while their children play with each other.

  2. Kate says:

    I’ve spent a lot of time in these situations, and I would say this (parents on phones while kids are playing) became really intense about 4 years ago. Smart phones have a lot to do with it, as it’s relatively easy to mess about with apps and texting now while keeping half an eye on the kids, whereas the previous generation of phones required a bit of concentrating to send a text, and had no apps. My youngest daughter Harper is 7 and is really adept at iPad use, so that’s a generational shift from her two older sisters (12 and 14), who didn’t grow up with smart devices, and have really different skills as a result. Travelling recently I noticed how many small children are entertaining themselves with iPads.

    The present/not present issue is really acute in my family at the moment because of Minecraft. Harper is a really social player, so she likes to take her sisters (and me) into Minecraft with her, and chatters endlessly to us as we potter about in there; but if you looked at us we would look like four people on phones ignoring each other. I’m still really trying to figure this out.

  3. chichi222 says:

    I am sorry to comment on your post this late but I completely have the same idea as you. These days, I had a farewell drinking party for my friends and of course I was so exited to drink with them. However, they suddenly started facebooking or playing games (Candy Crush). I just couldn’t believe why it happened in the public place where we should interact each other. I also think it cannot be acceptable even though the cyberculture has been promoted in the current world….

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