Let’s talk about space. No not that kind of space, media space!

There are many times in the 21st Century where the internet has helped provide us with different social outlets that connect us to other people around the world. Throughout the day, whether we notice it or not, we are consuming media in it’s various forms and we are connecting to others with the swipe of a finger or the click of a button. In 2015 it was reported that 34 hours and 55 minutes a month were spent engaging with digital content by over 15 million Australians who own a smartphone. Averaging on an hour a day, internet usage on smartphones are typically short, frequent visits throughout the course of a day (Smith 2015).

The general concept of ‘media space’ is the use of media such as Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter that aid in connecting with others without having to be in the same physical space as them. For example, when playing online games (PS4, PC, Xbox) where you can converse with others playing the same game, apps that can connect others through social interaction (Twitter, Tinder, Snapchat etc) or trending apps that connect others for sense of community and/or through pop culture (Pokemon Go, Color Switch, Flappy Bird). These apps and more help people from all over the world connect to one another at any given time.

In my own personal experience, I was able to demonstrate my media space when studying abroad at Columbia University, New York. Although the time zones were different, I was able to communicate with my parents through Apple’s FaceTime at night, which would be morning in Sydney, Australia. My parents aren’t very confident with technology but this was the best way I was able to talk to them while I was away. For my friends I was able to connect with them through Facebook by posting updates or sending direct messages. I also used Snapchat on occasion to show them what I was experiencing as it happened.

Geographer Doreen Massey passionately researched this concept of space and challenged many people to rethink assumptions about space as well as reflect on how we experience space daily. For more information check out this interview with Doreen Massey by Social Science Bites.

Resources:

Smith, A 2015. Mobile Mania! Australians spend on average more than an hour a day on their smartphones, Nielson, Australia, viewed 28 July 2016 from http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/news/2015/mobile-mania-australians-spend-on-average-more-than-an-hour-a-day-on-their-smartphones.html

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