Generation Y & Z = Goldfish?

A goldfish; a copyright under the public domain.

I found an interesting news article which was about a goldfish. According to Hipsley (2008), it is widely known that “there is a popular belief that goldfish only have a three-second memory span and every lap of their fishbowl is like seeing the world for the first time”. Besides, a report published by Microsoft Canada (2015) indicates that the average human attention span is eight seconds while the average attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds.

The reason why I mentioned goldfish’s memory capacity is that I want to discuss one’s attention capacity. These days many people are using smartphone especially among those who were born between 1980 and later than that, who are so-called Generation Y and Z. Besides, smartphone and other electronic devices notifies endless notifications in real time. This can be one of reasons why we are not able to concentrate on a specific task. Metaphorically, Generation Y and Z are similar to goldfish in terms of attention capacity. According to this situation, getting-things-done (GTD) is becoming popular among those who want to increase their productivity. For instance, they listen to music for getting things done that is also known as concentration/focus music.

In order to do a Week 9’s assignment, I asked my girlfriend whether I could examine her attention capacity. And she agreed with my request, and she agreed with publishing examination results on my WordPress blog as well. Prior to the examination, I had designed a short task that would examine her attention capacity: I asked her to read an online article for ten minutes. And while she was reading the article, I examined her attention capacity. During the examination, I found out an interesting fact that she was not able to fully concentrate on reading the online article because of instant messenger/SNS (Facebook) notifications on her smartphone. After being alerted to the notifications, she opened an instant messenger/Facebook application, and she replied to her messenger/SNS friends. This is in contradiction to my attention capacity, as I can fully concentrate on a specific task.


According to the report published by Microsoft Canada (2015), this report argues that “social media can drain one’s resources, reducing the ability to allocate attention, connect with content on an emotional level, and process information”. It can be defined that this is somewhat similar to the result of the examination. It is known that mankind has higher intelligence than other creatures, however can it be justified that mankind is somewhat similar to a goldfish?


Hipsley, A 2008, ‘Goldfish three-second memory myth busted’, ABC News, 19 February, viewed 28 September, <>.

Microsoft Canada 2015, Attention spans Consumer Insights, Microsoft Canada, viewed 28 September 2016, <>.


Taking Someone’s Photo

In Week 7, we learnt the use of public televisions, digital public signage and personal IT devices that were used to manage the pressures and opportunities of passing time in public areas. Besides, we learnt the types of public media including outdoor TVs, and Google Street View. And in this week, several tasks have been given which are: photographing someone who are using or watching media in a public place, explaining how I managed the ethics of this photography, and listing points that made public space ethnography effective.

Firstly, I asked one of my classmates taking BCM240. I asked her politely whether I was allowed to take a photo of her using/watching a medium. And she agreed with this photography. In order to satisfy the appropriateness of the photography including her privacy, I informed her that her face would not be taken and a photo would be used only for an academic purpose. And as you can see below, this was taken at a class room after finishing a lecture.


On the other hand, if I am asked for taking a photograph in a public area that contains an image of someone else I do not know, I would say no. Although an information sheet published by the Arts Law Centre of Australia (2016) guarantees that it is possible to take a photograph in public without asking his/her permission (there are a number of exceptions/limitations), I would not take it. According to the unspoken rules of our society that also are known as tacit knowledge, taking a photo of someone I do not know is inappropriate with even permission. And the second reason is that I am shy.

In terms of managing public space ethnography, there are some regulations and safeguards that can make public space ethnography effective/safe. According to the information sheet written by ALCA (2016), this shows that there are a number of regulations/safeguards. For instance, one of the regulations is “the use of surveillance devices and listening devices is regulated in most states and territories… the Surveillance Devices Act 1999 (Victoria) and Surveillance Devices Act 1998 (Western Australia) make it an offence to photograph a “private activity” without the consent of the subject” (ALCA 2016).

This week’s topic was quite interesting. Consequentially, I was able to learn the street photographer’s rights published by ALCA (2016). Previously, I did not know that such things were existed.


ALCA 2016, Information Sheet: Street Photographer’s Rights, the Arts Law Centre of Australia, viewed 14 September 2016, <>.