Three weeks ago I subscribed to an online channel where I can finally watch a wide range of media content from my home country, the Philippines. I was just so excited the moment I played a content - an online news. I then started seeing familiar faces and hearing familiar voices. These people started to occupy the screen of my television. I just thought that the voice of the broadcaster reverberated in the living room of my apartment, or even in a quietness of my neighbourhood. Personally, the sound provided a sense of comfort. I just thought that such familiar voice of a Filipino broadcaster would just suddenly transport me back - imaginatively - to my homeland. It also brought back so many memories of growing up in the Philippines. Nevertheless, the moment of consuming a media content back home essentially provided a unique affective state which I would probably not experience if I am living with my family and friends in the Philippines. Being physically away but at the same time feeling a sense of connectedness was too strong. But more than this, the conflation of the physical and offline world generated disruptive feelings. It even made me think of how my sense of time has become mediated and messy through objects, practices and flows.
Four weeks ago I found myself in Tullamarine airport. It was 6 in the morning. It was a cold day, the usual winter 'feels' in Melbourne. I came back from a vacation in the Philippines. I was there for three weeks. Prior to that I stayed a couple of days in Brunei, a country where I spent more than four years of working in an advertising agency.
Hola. Hello. Uy. Kamusta?
I've been very busy, as usual, and I haven't had the time to blog. But at least I'm breathing. It's just that juggling research and teaching can be very demanding. This is on top of the gazillion of personal things that I have to do and accomplish as a son, sibling, friend, writer, academic, lover (haha!) and as a superstar (kidding!). Nonetheless, here I am and trying to blog and tell the online world, "I'm alive!"
It's already past 11 in the evening here in Melbourne. I was working on a proposal for a new research project. As I was browsing some scholarly work, I saw the book by Tim Creswell. As I flipped through the pages, I saw one quote that struck me.
Have a read:
"In this world it is important to understand that mobility is more than just about getting from A to B. It is about the contested world of meaning and power. It is about mobilities rubbing up against each other and causing friction. It is about a new hierarchy based on the ways we move and the meanings these movements have been given (p. 265)."
The aim for this year is to start writing my critical auto-ethnography on this page. At the core of my narratives is a deep and critical reflection on my personal mobilities, unraveling the paradoxes of mobilities - corporeal and imagined. As a mobilities scholar who locates the mobilities lens (Urry, 2007) in the context of mobile media studies, I aim to identify and examine the politics of mobilities (Cresswell, 2010) as performed, embodied, negotiated, and experienced through my personalised use of mobile devices and networked communications platforms in everyday life. I will use my experiences as an academic and migrant in Melbourne, Australia. Reflexive approaches are to deployed as a critical lens in revisiting, rethinking and re-imagining the entanglement of personal background/position, social spaces and networked platforms in organizing, performing, negotiating, and experiencing a mobile life.
Let me start with this quote from Doreen Massey's (2011) discussion on the power-geometry in space-time compression:
"Different social groups have distinct relationships to this anyway-differentiated mobility: some are in charge of it than others; some initiate flows and movement, others don't; some are more on the receiving end of it than others; some are effectively imprisoned by it (p. 62)."
Let's get the conversation going.
I recently created a Facebook page where you can now access some useful information related to digital media research. I will try my very best to share essential information to help us rethink how we can use a 'mobilities lens' by John Urry in re-examining the digitalisation of our everyday lives.
Welcome to my academic blog.
This site will serve as a platform where I can share my views about how mobile devices and communications platforms are impacting our lives. The discussions will be initiated by engaging with two main strands: mobile media representations and mobile media practices. To give a little bit of context, mobile media refers to smartphones, tablet computers, and an array of broadband-based mobile communications platforms such as mobile apps, mobile Facebook, and so forth.
'Mobile media representations' include 'media texts' - a television show, a film, an advertisement, a YouTube clip, a meme, a selfie, and so forth - that portray the integral role of mobile devices in mobilising digital lives. I will focus on media texts from the Philippines, my home country, as a focal point of my analysis. This approach will enable me to contribute to our understanding and 'critique' of the consequences of mobile communication in local, transnational and global contexts.
'Mobile media practices' encompass my personal experiences and observations in using mobile devices and communications platforms on a daily basis. I will use a 'transnational lens' to locate and examine such mobile practices. Identity formation, sustaining long-distance relationships, connecting to the homeland, or adjustments or struggles in a foreign territory are several contexts that will be taken into account.
Through this blog site, I endeavor to illuminate a critical viewpoint on our perceptions and experiences of mobile media use. To 'unblackbox' is to articulate how the use of a mundane, invisible and taken-for-granted mobile technology can be 'deconstructed' and critically analysed, thereby opening conversations on how power asymmetries and social inequalities are often perpetuated in the age of smartphones and social media. Factors such as age, gender, social class, race, ethnicity, as well as cultural values, will be considered in the process of 'unblackboxing'. More importantly, based on the work of British Sociologist John Urry, I will primarily employ a critical mobilities lens across forthcoming entries.
Apart from sharing my insights on the 'politics' of a mobile world, I will also use this site to post academic and student resources, tips on surviving a PhD, and managing a post-PhD pathway. This online space will also update you about my ongoing research projects, conference paper presentations, and academic-related activities.
Thank you for visiting my site.
Feel free to comment on my upcoming blog posts.