Media consumption- Private Sphere vs Public Sphere

This week we discussed how experiencing media in different environments can completely change our experience of consuming them. I am comparing watching films in the comfort of our own home vs going to the cinema. Within each of these again I feel that there is great variation in the experiences we may have. 

In the home we are in a familiar environment making us more comfortable and could arguable make us therefore more relaxed and able to become more emmersed in a film. In a cinema there are multiple experiences we may have. In your standard cinema you may be in a structured seat making you sit more upright than you would find natural in your home which may distract from the film. You are sitting next to strangers or may have things in your view. It may be too hot or cold for you liking. I feel having all these things that you are unable to control means that your experience in the cinema and whether you enjoy a film after seeing it in the cinema can be very much based on the environment in which you are watching it. How involved you get into a film may change the extent to which someone enjoys a film which can also be contrived to by things such as lighting. The darkness of a movie theatre creates atmosphere and doesn’t allow you to get distracted by your surroundings or other everyday tasks. Whereas in the home you may not be able to control natural lighting or want the lights on. You may be eating dinner whilst watching or having family around distracting from the film. The home is an environment for multiple people doing multiple tasks whereas the cinema is there for one purpose and is a collection of people all coming together to do one thing. However the nature of cinemas have changed in recent years with the introduction of cinemas such as “The Everyman” which provide slow comfortable sofas and a more homely environment. This could be the perfect crossover between cinema and home to balance the comfort and relaxation with being part of a large audience.

A great difference I personally notice between watching at home and the cinema is mobile phone usage. There are people in cinemas to tell you to put your phone away there are adverts not to use them therefore the culture and values established in this setting is that using a phone is not socially acceptable. This is so diffent to most other social situations where I can not think of another occasion where so many people are not using their phones for an extended period of time. In the home however this is more relaxed environment which may have a negative impact such as allowing other viewers to feel as if they can just check their phone mid film. 

Being in a cinema with way more people than you’d ever watch a film with in your home creates a collective viewing experience that is unique to a cinema. When you laugh together or cry together it is as an audience as a plural sharing the experience. Further being with other people influences your reaction which would not happen in a home environment. Laughing out loud you may be more likely to do with other people around you and may make you enjoy the experience more.
Overall I feel the control over a cinema environment although may not be as comfortable as a home environment watching films here is generally a more preferable experience. This is because it is a joint social experience that everyone is having at the same time in the same way creating a sense of community and togetherness. You are all there to watch and engage in this text all together at the same time which is difficult to achieve in a home environment.


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