Public screens, we see them everywhere! Waiting rooms, bus stops, highways. But do we always interact with them? Sure, if you’re sitting at Centrelink and trying to keep distracted from the bogans and the domestics happening around you, you’re going to try as hard as you can to focus on watching Ellen DeGeneres on the TV near you. But what other screens are you absorbing but not even knowing about?
I know from my own personal experience at the University of Wollongong, the UniBar is full of advertisements!! And I’ve even noticed that more recently there are screens there that change and show different information. Where there once was a Coles advertisement showing the price of bananas, there now sits a television screen, showing news headlines, weather, and other interchangeable images – of course, still showing the odd advertisement every now and then. Someone’s gotta pay for it!
Do people even notice these screens though, or do they just go about their everyday business without noticing? I know that I notice this interchangeable screen a lot more than I watched the Coles banana advertisement. On this new screen, there’s something different every day, and some of it is even information that I care about and am actually interested in! The fact is, advertising screens are all around us! Do we notice every single one? Probably not. But many advertisements stick with us because we see them so often.
Also at the University of Wollongong is a ‘beanbag room’ as I like to call it. It consists of a bunch of beanbags on the floor in front of a massive projected screen playing the music channel ‘Channel V’. This room is predominantly a ‘chill out’ room, but a lot of people use it to catch up with friends, and some (myself included) even use it as a place to take a nap!
If you walk into this room, all of the people who are on their own are either using their laptop, tablet, phone, or even a combination of these. Multi-screen consuming has become a massive thing of recent times. I’ve even caught myself before, scrolling Facebook on my laptop, Snapchatting on my iPhone, playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood on my iPad and looking up at the big screen every now and then to watch the music video that’s playing at the time. I’ve noticed whilst in this room, that when a new song comes on people look up at the big screen to see the same of the song, then look down and continue what they were doing.
Do people consume one screen more than the other? Or is it all spread out equally. People seem to be multitasking now more so than ever before. Is it all consciously? Is any of the screen consuming done subconsciously?
I think, as long as people are busy consuming and doing something with their attention span, they don’t really care. They’re entertained, and that’s all that matters!