The social and spatial impacts of binge-watching
You can view my prezi with all the findings and observations here.
The reason for selecting my topic (the impacts of binge-watching on social and physical space) came to me based on my experiences with binge-watching and the content we looked at in class about how viewers consume content. This made me want to look at something that I thought I could see in a different and academic light. I think it was a good choice to make in hindsight as during the research process, it was easy to relate understanding to academic research and the perspectives of my peers. It was a personal look into a behaviour that my project partner and I never really considered previously. We wanted to get a better understanding of how excessive binge-watching can change our relationships with the spaces we occupy and the relationships we have with others. In the end, we found that binge-watching changed the conventional ways in which families consume media. It has become an isolated experience that, in most cases, has shifted from gathering around the television in the living room, to choosing to be isolated in the bedroom or living room and consuming content with devices and streaming services. Consuming content became an escape into fictional words as the interaction with the real physical world declined.
To conduct this research, two data collection methods were utilised: online survey and focus group. The survey comprised of ten questions that including multiple choice, short answer and yes/no questions. The aim of the survey was to build quantitative data that could be later compared with data from the focus group. The aim of the focus group of four participants was to collect qualitative data about binge-watching habits of university students. It allowed for participants to bounce ideas off each other in an informal setting. It was effective as it provided a range of perspectives and experiences. A con would be the lack of time we had to collect data. If we had more time we might have been able to get a deeper insight than a more general look at how binge-watching has impacted a group of people.
I don’t think my gender/social class/ethnicity/culture influenced my positioning in relation to the topic and my informants. My informants were all on the same level with me in regards to stage of life, etc.
This project was presented on a Prezi presentation with videos, recordings and an infographic. This platform was chosen at it allowed for the convergence of many different mediums to add to the ‘discussion’ of one topic. It was a good choice as it created a ‘mind map’ view of our findings which allowed for it to be clear and concise. The only downside was that the Prezi creator would often freeze or not save my work so some important content was lost. If we had more time we would have liked to create multiple vox pops about different aspects of binge-watching. Due to time constraints and other assignments, there was no time to ensure they would be at an acceptable quality.
To ensure our findings and observations were valid, we used academic journal articles to back up our claims.
LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
What I can take away from this research experience is that there are many different ways to present things in order to expand on an ethnographic and digital narrative. According to Couldry et al (2014), the use of different digital tools can enhance the themes in the narrative. The use of Prezi allowed us to make links and include other forms of media.
We learnt that timing is very important in research as it can determine the quality of the findings and the work itself. As we worked as a pair, we learnt that communication is important to ensure we are on the same wavelength and know the specific role we had in the project.
We believe our research is useful at looking at how binge-watching can have a social and spatial impact on university students, primarily.
To ensure future research endeavours are successful, we would ensure to provide more time for planning and conducting research. This would allow for a deeper look into the topic itself and what we wanted to focus on. I believe this topic does warrant deeper study as looking into the change of attitudinal and behavioural changes that media can cause is useful to know for people who consume content this way.
In the end, I think this was a satisfying project. We completed what we set out to do in such a short time frame. I think it is a good project to have on my website portfolio and it stimulates ideas for further future research in the same topic area.