Are you an invisible subconscious media user?

Bindi The Cat

This is my cat Bindi re-enacting my daily use of media devices,
 using three devices simultaneously while also watching television.

 Do you choose when you use your media devices? I believe you subconsciously do just as you are all subconsciously invisible audiences.

Where we are in the world matters, as this will determine how we access and use our technological devices.  Subconsciously we choose when to use different media platforms depending on our location, who is around us and what is available to us. Example; when travelling on a train if I am able to sit in a seat alone I will often check my Facebook on my tablet, however, if I am forced to sit beside an unknown individual I will often refrain from removing my tablet from my bag or I will perhaps only access my Facebook on my mobile phone which is easier to hide what is showing on my screen.

Considering my Facebook is seen by my three hundred Facebook friends and I only share what is deemed by myself ‘acceptable for the public sphere’ I still try to hide my profile when around strangers as though this profile I hold on a public site is private. This is a great personal example of how  where I am and who is around me will effect my media use.

This then leads on to the notion of my media use as an audience member. On the train when I look around me many individuals are reading a newspaper, on their smartphones or using their tablets/Ipod’s. Each of these individuals and myself included are consuming media and are a part of an audience. Even though we may be sharing a similar space within the train carriage we are not sharing our media content therefore part of different audiences.

Though the ideal of different audiences has intrigued me to a altering theory. Current idea is that there is visible and invisible audiences.  Visible are those whom are there and readily observing compared to invisible  whom are consuming through a medium such as a television. Though if an individual such as myself is consuming media from the television, computer, mobile and often sometimes depending on my activities also an Ipod and tablet; am I able to be an invisible user for many media products at once? If my attention is divided can I really be classed as part of the audience?  I believe yes, as due to these devices they have made it possible for an individual to consume multiple media types at a singular time. This is how modern audiences are defined.

-Amy

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4 thoughts on “Are you an invisible subconscious media user?

  1. “If my attention is divided can I really be classed as part of the audience?” This is the question that really matters to advertisers, but I think it’s one we’ve also been slow to take up in audience research. What kind of audiencing is going on if you’re only intermittently attentive to what you’re doing? There’s a third model, I think, but we don’t have a language for it. Great post.

  2. There are often times when looking at your phone or tablet to access social media is inappropriate. Not because of the environment, more so the explicit content that is allowed to be posted on what should be considered a public forum. I have defiantly taken a moment to consider whether or not I should use my phone in public just in case some horrendous video has slipped through the filtering system (or lack of) within social media. Blogs are specifically renowned for this form of self censorship.

  3. You raised an interesting idea about how we alter our behaviour with electronic devices in certain places like on the train. Also if a person is checking Facebook in a public place they tend to hide it from people near them as if they feel uncomfortable. This is an interesting contradiction considering that Facebook itself is built on the idea of completely putting yourself out there. I agree with you on the idea that a person can use multiple devices and still be apart of the ‘audience’. We live in a chaotic world where our attention is divided between multiple things particularly technology. I know people who watch TV, their on the laptop and texting on their iPhone.

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