My Digital Storytelling Project Reflection

The locative nature of checking in on social media platforms and what this signals about someone is what is at stake in my digital storytelling project. I decided to discuss Location Based Media (LBM), which are “digital media applied to real places and thus triggering real social interactions.” Place and locative media demonstrates an “intense focus on mobility as a crucial element of intense investment being given to spatial positioning, and location technologies” (Crawford and Goggin, 2009). I have attempted to present this concept in my YouTube video story that features my family friend Nicole Lennon, who has over 700 check ins at places and spaces on Facebook.

“Location became a feature [on Facebook], not a focus.” (Tech Crunch, 2013) For many of us, check ins are just another feature such as tagging a friend in a photo or status, but for more and more social media platform users it is a way to connect with others and show where you are and start a conversation about that space. “the use of technology in everyday navigation of the world can both deepen understanding of place and reduce place to commodity. The direction of this is a function of the mood of the user, rather than the technology itself.” (Evans, 2015)

Nicole discusses in the video how location services can be used to keep in contact with people on Facebook in a fun way while still staying professional online. I tried to explore this concept in my project and found a myriad of supporting evidence, “the most interesting kind of proximity is the digital proximity that allows people to keep in touch virtually without having to be co-located most of the time. Location is a feature of friendship, communication is the focus.” (Tech Crunch, 2013). The article I have quoted discusses proximity in a virtual world and supports the idea that “place has become less about our origins and more about forming connections with the many sites in our lives” (McCullough, 2006)

I chose to create a video with audio and images that Nicole has shared with a location tag, as her images support what she thinks these updates signal about her, and how media practices are spatial in nature. “in late modernity, we are oriented to understand the world (and those things in that “world,” which would of course include places) as a realm of resources to be used in the achieving of human aims.” (Crawford and Goggin, 2009). These resources are becoming increasingly more convenient for all age groups, and can serve a multitude of purposes. What do you think sharing your location online signals about you? The physical implementation of location media is not tied down to the same place that the content refers to. (Pie, 2010)

Does sharing your location often mean that you are always out and on the go? Does sharing less make you less connected to people you communicate with already? Or does it mean you only share the positive and social moments? Nicole explores these questions in the video, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what is conveyed through location based media.

Working in tandem with another person on this level for the project was a fairly new experience, but using collaborative ethnography proved to be a smooth process. I played with the idea of “the death of the author” and decided not to include myself asking questions in the interview, as I am not the only voice and my intention for the video does not matter. The aim of this piece is to have the audience question themselves and what location based media creates in relation to physical and virtual space.

References:
Crawford, A. & Goggin, G. 2009, “Geomobile web: Locative technologies and mobile media”, Australian Journal of Communication,vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 97-109.

Evans, L., 2015. Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age, Palgrave Macmillan.

Lomas, N. (2013). Stop Trying To Make Proximity-Based Social Networking Happen. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/23/location-vs-communication/

McCullough, M. (2006). On the Urbanism of Locative Media [Media and the City]. Places, [online] 18(2). Available at: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/84x6m3nf

Pie, (2010). Location based Media. [online] Available at: https://pieonedotzero.wordpress.com/location-based-media

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