Digital Story Project Reflection

My Digital Story: Day in the life of a Mobile Phone Addict

For my digital story I decided to narrate a day in the life of a mobile phone addict named Mia. I was attempting to show an average day in her life and her dependence and use of her mobile phone in conjunction with interviews from her close family and friends who answered questions relating to mobile phone usage and Mia’s usage. It also includes academic sources within the narration, providing an analysis of research undertaken by these academics which relate to the characteristics that Mia was displaying.

This project has taught me many things throughout this process. Firstly I have learnt many academic research conclusions regarding mobile phone addiction. This is what I found most engaging in the process of making my project, trying to incorporate these sources so the narrative still flowed. I also enjoyed learning about the different theories such as the optimal flow theory (Salehan & Negahban 2013). Theories such as this were interesting to research and engaged me to try and give more attention to detail in my film. Secondly, I perhaps have become more aware of how I use my mobile in front of people and consequently pay more attention to their body language when I do check my mobile phone in front of them. I  now better understanding the negative social effects of mobile phone usage and I am more cautious of how I use my mobile in a public space.

I found that conducting my interviews were a very affirming and engaging part of my project. These interviews helped me to set a direction for my story and added emotional weight. I found this an interesting task to undertake as I had to ensure that everyone was in agreement to being filmed and being identified by their real name or a pseudonym due to ethical issues. To conquer these ethical issues I also employed a survey through survey monkey. This allowed individuals to still answer questions relating to mobile phone usage but they were able to do this anonymously. Another ethical issue I encountered was the use of the Facebook advertisement, however, due to it being an advertisement this usually means the item is in the public domain and the copyright act (Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)) states I can legally use this clip due to it being used for educational purposes.

I uploaded my project on YouTube and then shared my link on Twitter and Facebook. This was in an attempt to receive feedback and views on my content. My story received positive responses as well as some laughs from minor humour elements, e.g the toileting scene. Though I also found that many of my audiences members, whether it be comments on my Facebook link or my family and friend’s comments, found my video educational and also tended to see parts of themselves within Mia which allowed the audience to be further engaged, as individuals tend to better connect with a story if they find common elements of themselves in the main character. This was a significant achievement for me as I often felt my story did not have enough emotive language in its narrative.

When I analyse my project there are a few things I would perhaps change if I was to undertake a project such as this again. As noted by Kajder, Bull & Albaugh 2005 a basic script is the starting point to a good digital story thus, I would go further than a story board and I would create a proper narrative. My narrative started weak and was formed around scenes I wanted to convey and quotes from academic sources. Next time I feel I would benefit from constructing my narrative around the story I hope to convey and then incorporate my academic sources into my project. However, I did learn the benefit of having a recorded narrative before conducting filming, unlike Kajder, Bull, & Albaugh 2005 who suggested to do the latter first. I found producing the narrative first beneficial as this allowed me to visually see the length of parts I needed to film this also allowed me to better deconstruct my narrative.

I did find the narrative a significant challenge and found this project quite puzzling in the way I needed to incorporate an emotive narrative in conjunction with journal articles as mentioned above. I found it difficult to grasp the concept of a narrative that flowed efficiently as a story and not as a report when it had to incorporate academic sources. I often struggled with ensuring that my project remained a story rather than a verbal essay. However, I learnt this issue through my many play backs of my project which allowed me to return and record further narrative to try and bring my project back to the basis of a wholesome story. Though I believe that in future presentations I have learnt a better way to attempt my task and this feature will be improved.

Thus I believe my project was effective in telling the story of a mobile phone addict through an academic and emotive manner. I did struggle finding a balance between the amount of narrative and academic sources, however, I have learnt many things from undertaking this project that I would employ next time.

Reference:

Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) part 4, Copy Right in subject matter other than works, Division 6

Kajder, S. Bull, G & Albaugh, S 2005, ‘Constructing digital stories’, Learning and Leading with Technology, vol. 32, no. 5, p. 40.

Salehan, M & Negahban, A 2013, ‘Social networking on smartphones: when mobile phones  become addictive’, Computer in Human Behaviour, vol. 26, no.6, pp. 2632-2639

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