Watching M-rated TV shows at 12

Growing up with parents who didn’t watch Australian television much, my media exposure wasn’t regulated at all. They basically allowed us to watch any television and movies that we wanted and never really checked what we were watching. The only media regulation that we were faced with was being able to watch TV after 9pm, which was bedtime, thus impacting our ability to watch M and MA15+ television programs. However, during the school holidays, this wasn’t a problem and I was freely allowed to watch Law & Order: SVU and movies after 9pm. Yes, this could be considered an issue because watching a violent, sexual crime based TV show in primary school wasn’t the best thing, considering I had nightmares about it, but my parents just didn’t know. They never watched Australian TV and even if they did, they wouldn’t understand a lot of the language. This just meant that by 12, although I may not have known what it meant, I knew every apparent swear word, violent sex crimes and the American legal system.


I remember I watched my first R rated movie when I was in year 6 at a friends’ house. We watched a graphic fighting movie, which I remember till this day and I was absolutely terrified. I unfortunately found it ‘cool’ that I could go to school and tell my friends that I had watched an R rated movie and my parents didn’t care. But now that I think about it, they never knew about the movie rating system back then due to not being faced with it themselves. Through this I learnt the media regulation system in Australia and began to regulate my own media exposure.


When visiting movie theatres, I knew I couldn’t watch a MA15+ movie with my friends without my parents present, and usually this was the case. The Australian classification system provides movies and video games with advisory classifications that assist with parent’s decision to allow viewership. At cinemas, MA15+ isn’t recommended for those under the age of 15 due to classified content (drug use, sexual and language content) however, it can still be viewed as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. This is an example of current media regulation enforced by governmental authorities. Viewership of M- classified movies at home may be harder for authorities to regulate but that’s where the overall regulation enforced by parents and guardians are practised- which was indefinitely absent for me, as an adolescent.

Australian Classification for movies and games Source:


Media regulation constitutes the idea of media space that demonstrates the ‘existence of media forms within social space and the cultural visions of a physical space transcended by technology and emergent virtual pathways of communication’ (Couldry & McCarthy, 2004). The regulation of movies through classified ratings enforces the media space and place as it impacts what is being demonstrated and shown to society. For children under the age of 15, the movie classification protects them from strong impacting movies that may have coarse language and violent behaviour thus, restricting what is suitable for them to watch. This form of regulation links with media space in demonstrating what children are confined to and limiting their media exposure.

Check out this article by lesson bucket to read more about media regulation in Australia as well as controversies from this. Let me know in the comments below on how your media was regulated as a child and if it was totally opposite to what I was faced with!


Australian government, department of communications and the arts, ‘Information for Parents’ in Classification.

Couldry, N. McCarthy, A. 2004, ‘Media Space: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media age’, Routledge, New York, pp. 8

Lamb, B. 2013, ‘Media Regulation.


Japan through my eyes

Digital Asia

Experiencing the unique Japanese culture, I was able to distinguish differences from my own. Being from a westernised culture, there were many significant confusions and cultural misinterpretations, however past and present research has allowed an understanding of this cultural experience.


A cultural model by Hofstede distinguishes various cultures through five dimensions of power distance, individualism vs collectivism, masculinity vs femininity, uncertainty avoidance and long term vs short term orientation. This allows an understanding of Japanese culture by comparing it to Australian culture through these five dimensions enabling to make sense of my experience. Japan is a hierarchical society with importance to age and power which isn’t significantly different to Australia. Bowing is a form of greeting and respect consistent in Japan especially when entering an establishment. When entering restaurants a formal loud greeting from staff followed by a bow was practised. This is understood as being an…

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Congratulations, you now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish!


With advancements in technology that is forever growing, our economy has shifted to become one fighting for consumer attention. It’s become an attention economy that rather than being supply based, it’s demand based- assisting and meeting the needs and wants of consumers. The importance and use of media technologies and channels have shifted overtime from traditional media content to mobile devices and social media platforms. With our digital based lifestyles, it’s identified that our attention spans have shortened, inhabiting our ability to concentrate for extended periods of time.

‘Where the attention goes, the money will inevitably flow’ (Ingram, 2015). 


Personally, I believe my attention span is quite long depending on my mindset and the content I’m giving my attention to. If I personally want to concentrate on something, I can set my mind to it but other than that, my mind tends to drift. I become bored and slowly reach out towards my phone to check social media or to just play games. With this in mind, I conducted a simple test, observing my best friend during lunch at a restaurant. This was set as an informal ‘catch up’ but due to it being at a nice restaurant, the context of the lunch was much more formal then planned. I believe this impacted my results as due to the formalities and that it was a one on one meeting, it would be considered quite rude to go on your phone while having lunch and interacting. However, I did notice her eyes glance to her phone whenever she received a notification in which she quickly looked to see if it was anyone important or locked the screen. That being said, her phone was always in easy reach on the table. I could tell when she did become distracted from conversation or while eating in which she would check her phone quickly or check the time.


In saying that, I was no different. I also had my phone right beside me and was glancing over to it whenever I received a notification. It’s like a constant urge that we all try to resist. An urge to have to constantly check our media devices and social media platforms that indefinitely impacts our attention spans. A report by Microsoft Canada identifies in the year 2000, the average human attention span was twelve seconds. In 2013, it decreased to eight seconds. It also identified that the younger generations, 18 to 24 year olds found it harder to concentrate and had shorter attention time spans then those older. This could be due to the increasing technology use and available media that blossomed in the 21st century compared to later generations, thus recognising a correlation between age, new media technologies and evident decreasing attention spans. (Microsoft Canada, 2015).

Microsoft Canada has identified that we have a shorter attention span than a goldish Source:


Being a twenty- year old University student and sitting in one or two hour long lectures and tutorials, I can definitely say from my own personal observations as well as experience, that our age groups’ attention span is definitely decreasing. At the back of a lecture hall, you can easily see the multiple screens students flick through while listening and absorbing lecture- a constant transition between the lecture content and Facebook. Being constantly surrounded by our mobile phone devices and laptops we find the need to constantly cure ourselves from boredom and find something more ‘exciting’ that is indefinitely being presented to us on social media. Sites and apps such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are sucking all our attention. This doesn’t only mean that we are struggling to concentrate on one thing over an extended period of time, it also means other media and content companies must find new ways to attract consumers’ attention, otherwise they will fall behind. This is, the attention economy.

Check out this article by the telegraphy UK and do their quiz to see if you are addicted to your phone and let me know in the comments below what you got!



Consumer insights Microsoft Canada, 2015, ‘Attention Spans’ in Microsoft, pp.2- 17

Ingram, M. 2015, ‘The attention economy and the impulsion of traditional media’ in Fortune.




NIHON Encounters

Digital Asia


The individual research project practices autoethnography by allowing us to document personal experiences of a particular culture, different to my own and brings further research to allow social, cultural and political understandings of the experience. You can say that I’ve basically cheated and went ahead before this semester started by already incorporating myself into a cultural experience.

Earlier, during the break between semester one and two, my friends and I went for a month’s holiday in Japan and South Korea. I vlogged, recorded and took pictures of my whole journey. Coming back to Uni and going through the DIGC330 course, I realised that everything I recorded, everything I did and experienced in Japan and Korea could be used as an advantage for this individual research project. So, as Chris said, I’m basically cheating- but in a good way!

For my individual project, I’ve decided to draw upon my experience in…

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If it is legal does that make it ethically OK too?

The Idea of taking a photo of someone secretly in public whom I don’t know is daunting. Not due to the fact that I don’t know this person but the fact that I’m secretly taking a photo of them without them knowing and if I positioned myself in their shoes, I wouldn’t be so pleased with it either. However, it comes down to what they are doing with that image and where it’ll be. Australia has no actual laws surrounding people taking photos in a public place but the question in street photography is ideally the ethics. Is it ethically right to take a photo of someone without them knowing? Should we have to get their permission to take a photo in a public place?

I believe it comes down to what the image is being used for, especially when the image is of a specific person. In this case, I’m taking photos of people on their phones in public to showcase the principle of public and private media practices. It’s a generalised concept I’m aiming to express, whereas others may use photos in degrading formats that makes the ethical ideas and questions be argued. The Arts Law Centre of Australia states that there aren’t publicity and privacy rights that protects a person’s image in public places however, ‘a person’s image can constitute ‘personal information’ under the Privacy Act 1988 with the consequence that there are circumstances in which businesses and agencies subject to that Act may breach the law by publishing a person’s image’ (Arts Law Centre of Australia, 2016). Basically it concerns how the image is being used and in what context it is being taken in the first place.

Colberg addresses the ethics of street photography and the issues towards permission in taking a photo. Although it may be legal to take a photo of someone in a public space, it doesn’t mean it’s ethical as well (Colberg, 2013). He expresses the idea that street photographers need to tell publics what they’re doing in a valuable and artistic sense and its overall purpose. Overall, if people don’t want to be photographed, ethically, this should be respected. With this in mind, I went around the University grounds to take photos of people on their phones. The approach I took when taking images was that if I was purposely taking a specific image of one individual; I approached them after and told them what I was using this image for and if it was alright to be published on my blog. I showed them the photo just to make sure it was appropriate and okay. Whereas if the photo was a particular group shot or had a large number of people in it, I didn’t bother asking as it would be impractical. However if someone had approached me, seeing me take photos and voiced their concern over it, there wishes would be respected and I would have deleted it.

The subject of my photos were mostly on their mobile devices and from what I can see was either texting, on social media or the occasional Pokemon Go. I only know this due to being able to tell by their movement of their finger movements touching the screen such as the swift tapping of the keyboard for texting or the scrolling movement on social media. Otherwise it was from what I saw on their screens as they were in front of me. These common media practices are evident in public and private settings and I guess was nothing out of the ordinary; but things rather expected from University students. There was nothing surprising, thus the concern over what peoples images were being used for was absent. It can be argued if this is OK or not in various public situations, such as walking around- that may cause interference as they aren’t paying actual attention but I believe it depends on the setting (if there are many people around that you may be interfering with). There was an instance where I was walking through a shopping centre and was on my phone quickly to turn it on silent before heading to work. I was walking behind a slower crowd so there wasn’t any danger or idea that I was interfering with anyone’s way but someone walked past and whispered in my ear ‘GET OFF YOUR PHONE’. Times like this, I believe I was in an OK situation but others might not. Pew Research Center conducted a research in which outlined that people aged 18-29 are more likely to approve of cell phone use in many public situations.

Overall, the purpose of the images is the main concern that people may have when allowing pictures of them being taken. Although it isn’t legally an issue for people to take a photo of others in public, it’s rather an ethical problem that needs to be carefully addressed while respecting others concerns and wishes.


Arts Law Centre of Australia, 2016, ‘Information Sheet- STREET PHOTOGRAPHERS RIGHTS 2016’

Colberg, J. 2013, ‘The Ethics of Street Photography’ in Conscientious Extended.

Rainie, L. Zickuhr, K. 2015, ‘Chapter 3- When it is acceptable- or not- to use cellphones in public spaces’ in PewResearchCenter.