It’s a sweltering July day in Sydney. Apparently the hottest on record. My mother is in the back of the car trying to coax the intermittent sat nav, that has erroneously led us across the Parramatta River twice, into cooperation. Dad is in the front talking over the weirdly accented Google Map directions from my dying phone stressing that we should forget this fiasco and just go home. I don’t know which voice to listen to.
Me, the person who loves maps, is driving blind, sweating blood, hands gripped white knuckled on the steering wheel of a too big car that is not mine. Arrgh people are probably right when they say I am a ‘coastie’. I am lost. I don’t feel like I belong here. This is not the city, the coast or the country. The only place names that sound familiar are because of crime stories and that does not help with mood or direction in these moments. Where am I?
My favorite childhood book was the atlas (a bit of a nerd or an incubating wanderer I guess). It was full of planets and places to go. One of the few constants in my life is enjoying knowing where I am in the world and being able to choose a direction and move forward.
Not knowing where one is can be incredibly unsettling. While I was being reminded of this in every sense, several of you keyboard warriors were tapping out where you think you are in media space. I have now read several of your posts with great interest. Some of you are uncertain about where you are but what is clear is that media space varies across time and place.
Nhi Nguyen explained that although she lives on a different continent to family she is regularly in the same media space. Media collapses distance.
Ainsley Riordan reminisced about MSN Messenger and its awkwardness as an early media space in formative years. Media facilitates socialization.
Lachy Smith also remembered using MSN Messenger as a dialled-in pre-teen ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but what really stood out to me is the idea of social media spaces such as Instagram and Youtube being places to channel creativity. Media space houses cyber galleries.
Steph Petrolo considers media space to be a place that we can commune and fan together and that this is something to value. Social media such as Twitter provides a place to come together as rugby fans or other even when geographically scattered. Media space unites.
Nicola Flynn probed the issue of geotagging and location sharing on media space. Media space can tether us to physical space.
While the idea of media space, where and what it is was so varied, a common thread in each post is that media offers places where you each feel you belong. We may not always be sure where we are but we make the places we are in.