Mobility, Social Interaction, and Privacy

Chef it Up is an idea for an app that has the potential to end food deserts across the United States. When users download this free app, they eliminate the need to travel and the distraction of unhealthy options. Chef it Up delivers top quality ingredients to make healthy meals straight to the door of consumers. The app would also help promote food education by creating how to videos showing users how to make all of their favorite meals the easiest and healthiest way possible. Chef it Up would be available to anyone, but it would be especially geared towards those in food deserts as a means to alleviate the hassle of traveling inconvenient distances and keep from paying more for nutritious food.

One of the main factors of a food desert is that it is filled with quick and easy convenience stores where people can go and buy cheap snack food or overpriced somewhat-healthy options. People continue to go to these places however because it is fast. To go to these stores takes the least amount of time out of a person’s day to get their food. Chef it Up solves this issue by delivering food to the users home. Having a steady supply of food in the house keeps people from going out to buy snacks and promotes cooking at home. In the article Expanding the ‘Mobility’ Concept, authors Masao Kakihara and Carsten Sorensen explain the concept of temporal mobility. They go on to explain that it is not only about changing technologies to accomplish a task faster, but it is also based on the idea of how you schedule your day. The authors categorized people into two groups, monochronicity and polychronicity.

“The former (monochronicity) refers to situations where people seek to structure their activities and plan for events by allocating specific slots of time to each event’s occurrence. The latter (polychronicity) signifies situations where people place less value on and accept divergence of structural and interpretive attributes of the temporal order,” (Kakihara and Carsten, 2001).

Chef it up promotes the monochronicity lifestyle because users have to schedule when their food will be delivered. Deliveries would not be an around the clock business, so users would need to pick a specific time to receive their order. Chef it Up promotes mobility by eliminating the need to travel to get food.

Chef it Up does features social interaction in the form of videos. The videos are a way for the app to communicate directly to its users and teach them how to cook. Lee Humphreys, a professor of communication at Cornell University, explains how mobile interactions are not typically interpersonal exchanges. “… the presumed sociality can be seen in the publicness of actors, audience, and the communicative exchanges themselves,” (Humphreys, 2012). Here, Humphreys explains how mobile interactions are meant to be geared to many people, but feel like they are made directly for the consumer. It can be looked at as a one-way conversation.

Surveillance can be used in a positive and negative way with Chef it Up. The app can be used to find what areas are the worst food deserts. Doing this is known as social surveillance. Social surveillance is a way of tracking what people like and using that information to feel a sense of power over another (Marwick, 2012). By finding this information, programs can be started to help educate the community on eating better and shopping more efficiently. Also, food market chains can see this information and open more stores in these areas. They can also use the information of what people buy the most so they can find what to advertise to people. The information can be used negatively because most food deserts are in low-income, high crime rate areas. The police can see where the highest concentration of food deserts are and could use this information to track people just because they are in these areas. Police use technologies like stingrays, a fake cell phone tower, to track who is using a phone in a given area (Fung, 2014). Privacy can be looked at as an issue with Chef it Up. Users would place their entire order on the app, so the information of what they order can be seen on a record. Users would also have to pay for their food, so steps would have to be taken to assure that users information would be safe.

Chef it Up is an app that has the potential to rid the nation of food deserts. Information gathered from the apps users can lead to companies opening more grocery stores in these areas, making nutritious food an option at any time. Chef it Up can also lead to a healthier population because of its videos. Users can get an instant lesson from a world-class chef in making delicious and healthy meals. Chef it Up is a convenient app that brings food straight to the door of people who aren’t able to go to the grocery store easily.

Works Cited

Fung, B. (2014, June 3). How hard should it be for cops to track your location? A new lawsuit revives the debate. Retrieved March 29, 2015.

Humphreys, Lee. (2012). “Connecting, Coordinating, Cataloguing: Communicative Practices on Mobile Social Networks,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56:4, 494-510

Kakihara, Masao & Sorensen, Carsten. (2001). Expanding the ‘Mobility’ Concept. SIGGROUP Bulletin, 22(3), 33-37.

Marwick, Alice. (2012). “Public Domain: Surveillance in everyday life.” Surveillance & Society. 9(4): 378-393

Housing the Homeless

Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic religious sister and humanitarian said, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.” Here, Mother Teresa is referring to the importance of caring about others. Often times, people look down at others who are homeless believing “they put themselves in this position, they can get themselves out of it.” It is our civic duty as a citizen of the world to lend a helping hand where you can, even the minutest action could help tremendously. New York City Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization that helps provide food, clothing, and shelter to the less fortunate of New York City, has created an app that can now help people help the homeless with the touch of a button.

Help the Homeless is a mobile app that enables users to become directly involved in helping provide necessities for the homeless. Many people find themselves discouraged from giving money to the homeless because of the stereotype that they aren’t going to use it for its original purpose, but instead for drugs or alcohol. The Help the Homeless app provides users with information on the nearest shelter, people they can speak with to help get them off the street, and a list of events for anyone to volunteer at. Help the Homeless is a technology-enhanced learning device, meaning that it enables more people to better communicate and learn together in society (Light and Luckin, 2008). Amartya Sen, an economist and a philosopher, believed that to have real justice we must provide people with the activities that lead to overcoming the injustice (Light and Luckin, 2008). The Help the Homeless app provides people with tools needed to truly help the homeless by providing a path to overcome homelessness.

Since the application provides shelter surrounding the area you are around, the application uses location services. This can be seen as both a positive and negative aspect. It can be seen as positive because those in charge of the app can find the areas with the highest populations of homeless and cater more specifically to those areas. This enables companies like New York City Rescue Mission to host events or build a shelter where is it needed. Location services can be seen as a negative aspect for the app because police could obtain this information with the use of spying tactics like stingrays. Stingrays are fake cellular device towers that collect messages and data of cell phones in range (Fung, 2014). Police could begin to arrest the homeless, which would lead to a lack of desire for help.

Gerard Goggin, a media and communications researcher, believes that cell phones lack in assisting those with disabilities (Goggin, 2006). Cell phones overall make the average person’s life easier, but multiple aspects of these devices disregard people with disabilities. For the homeless, price is a large issue. Most homeless people can’t afford their next meal, so a smartphone with access to apps like this is impossible. While the app Help the Homeless helps people help the homeless, it faults in directly helping due to its lack of accessibility.

Help the Homeless is a great way to get others involved in the fight against homelessness. It provides valuable information that can save the lives and futures of many less fortunate men and women. Even though the app is still in its early stages, it has incredible potential to bring together a large New York City population and really make a difference in informing and helping the homeless community.

Works Cited

Fung, B. (2014, June 3). How hard should it be for cops to track your location? A new lawsuit revives the debate. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 3, 2015.

Goggin, G. (2006). Cellular Disability: Consumption, Design, and Access. In Cell phone culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge.

Help the Homeless App. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2015.

Light, A., & Luckin, R. (2008). Designing for Social Justice: People, Technology, Learning. Futurelab.

Chef it Up

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio said, “This is what people don’t understand: obesity is a symptom of poverty. It’s not a lifestyle choice where people are just eating and not exercising. It’s because kids – and this is the problem with school lunch right now – are getting sugar, fat, empty calories – lots of calories – but no nutrition.” Like Chef Colicchio, celebrity chefs around the world are trying to raise awareness for poor diets. Many of these celebrity chefs are working closely with schools and food retailers to promote healthy eating and educate people what a proper diet consists of. There are multiple factors to why obesity occurs, but a major factor is food deserts. Food deserts are areas that lack affordable and nutritious food, but are typically full of fast food restaurants and convenience stores. These restaurants and stores offer food that lacks almost any nutrition (Britanica). I believe one way to help solve the issue of food deserts is with my app idea, “Chef it Up”.

One of the biggest issues with food deserts is the lack of grocery stores. Many stores will be incorrectly classified as a grocery store. These markets don’t even sell any fresh fruit or vegetables, just quick to make food (Alviola, 2013). The app “Chef it Up” is an interactive meal service and planning guide for families. Users will select the meals they wish to eat for the following week from a list of menu options. “Chef it Up” will then deliver all of the ingredients needed to make the dishes. Users then have a full week of meals that are both healthy and delicious.

Many food deserts are riddled with fast food restaurants due to the inexpensiveness and convenience of how fast it is. Often times, people find themselves not wanting to cook after a long day at work, so they go to whatever is the easiest to eat. “Chef it Up” will also provide the option of premade dinners. These meals would just have to be heated by oven or microwave, and would have significantly more nutrition than fast food. Another reason fast food is a go-to in food deserts is because they are typically in low-income areas (Britanica). Fast food is typically very cheap, so the draw to it increases. “Chef it Up” will offer local produce which is rather inexpensive. “Chef it Up” will also accept food stamps due to the larger number of food stamp recipients in low-income areas.
Food education is another issue in food deserts. Since children grow up eating junk food that just has to be heated, they have smaller desire and need to learn how to cook. “Chef it Up” would team up with celebrity chef’s and create video’s showing how to make every meal offered on the app. This app is made for both adults and children to use on their own or together as a family.

“Chef it Up” is an interactive and educational app that shows anyone can cook a healthy and delicious meal. Convenience is a large issue for food deserts. It’s inconvenient to travel to the grocery store due to transportation restrictions and distance, but its convenient to go down the street to the 7/11 to pick up something with little to no nutritious value. “Chef it Up” combats this convenience by bringing the food directly to your doorstep. “Chef it Up” is a potential first step in riding the world of food deserts.

Works Cited

Alviola,Pedro A., IV, Nayga,Rodolfo M.,,Jr, & Thomsen, M. (2013). Food deserts and childhood obesity. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 35(1), 106-124.

“Food Desert” (2015). In Encyclopedia Britannica

All for Food and Food for None: American Food Injustice’s

The inequality amongst the wealthy and poor of America is still devastating to this day. Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” Here, Dr. King makes a list of basic things every American is entitled to and things they should have. Even in highly developed countries like the United States, people still struggle with putting food on the table every night. The struggle, however, is not always a matter of not having something to put on the table, but is also the struggle to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. Area’s that lack affordable and nutritious foods are known as food deserts.

Access to nutritious food is not something many think about when they are thinking about the struggle for food in America. People go right to the idea that the only problem is people getting food at all, and as long as people have food there is no problem. This flawed mindset keeps many people in the dark about the issue that low-income areas have a difficult time accessing healthy and nutritious foods. The Encyclopedia of Globalization states that the level of food production is high enough to provide every human with an appropriate caloric intake daily, but 13.6% of people on a global scale are undernourished (Clift and Galli 2012). With an increase in genetically modified crops (GMO), fewer farmers are needed, which makes the availability of local farms significantly less frequent.

Laura Hartman, a professor at Augustana College, describes the unequal distribution of food as a travesty in her writing Seeking Food Justice. In the article, she uses the term famine to describe the struggle to attain food, not just a lack of food, but also as a lack of means to procure food. Often times, this is due to the growing price in organic and nutritious food, and the rise in food deserts. “One trip to a Whole Foods or a local farmer’s market (where organic produce can cost two to three times as much as conventionally grown) is enough to convince most families that they cannot afford to eat [in this way] (Hartman 2013).”

One of the biggest problems with food deserts is the lack of markets with nutritious food. Most food deserts are full of convenience stores that sell cheap food that isn’t healthy. These stores “generally offer high-calorie foods that are low in vital nutrients at relatively high prices and do not offer the wide selection of healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, that can be found in supermarkets (Britannica).” This leads to diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.

Food deserts are an underrated issue in America. Every year, thousands are affected and suffer from a lack of nutritious food made available to them. Food deserts make American’s more susceptible to disease and put them in worse health year after year. Nutritious options and food education need to be made available for people in low-income areas, especially when options like food banks and donation drives aren’t helping to rid of the problem.

Works Cited

“Food Desert” (2015). In Encyclopedia Britannica

Galli, A., & Clift, B. (2012). Food Justice. In Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of        Globalization.

Hartman, L. M. (2013). Seeking food justice. Interpretation, 67(4), 396-409,347.

Augmented Realities: A Fearful Future?

Robert Heinlein, an American science fiction writer, said, “Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something,” when asked his thoughts about progression. Here, Heinlein expresses the brutally honest opinion that advancements in technology only come around to make the life of the inventor easier. These progressions are not looked at as laziness when the public finally accepts them and integrates them in everyday life; people then look at them as advancements that make everyday life easier. Augmented Reality is a new technology waiting to make lives easier like every advance in technology before it.

The ability to write stories and information down was groundbreaking for the world. People no longer had to rely solely on word of mouth to receive any information, they could read about it from someone who was there or knew directly about it. The only issue was that stone was not easy to transport and taking it anywhere was a larger effort than it was worth. The ancient Egyptians solved that problem with the invention of papyrus (Farman 2012).

Papyrus is the first writing material similar to the paper we have today. Fast forward to 1440 and Johannes Gutenberg invents the printing press in Germany (Farman 2012). With the printing press, it is finally possible to mass-produce writings on a large scale in a short amount of time.

People were finally able to communicate and be in different area’s, but it would take an extended period of time due to how long it would take to get the letter to its destination. A way to communicate without having to deliver a message in person was greatly needed and by 1794, that request was fulfilled when the first telegram was sent (Goggin 2006). This groundbreaking technology redefined the idea of space. Never before this was anyone able to deliver a message to another person across the country instantly. Like most technological advancements, not everyone liked or supported the telegraph. In fact, the telegraph had a few very influential “haters” as it was rising to popularity. One of the most famous, Henry David Thoreau, said the telegraph would “distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate (Farman 2012).” Here, Thoreau expresses that he does not believe mass communication is necessary. He takes the stance that just because you can do something does not mean that you should.

After almost 100 years of using the telegraph, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone in 1877 (Goggin 2006). By 1885, Bell and partners created the first telephone company called the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, better known as AT&T. With advancements like this on a global scale, the telegraph became the first global communications network, enabling people to talk to someone across the globe. Even with all of these exciting advancements in technology, not everyone was on board for this global change. In the beginning of the 1900’s, there was only 1 telephone subscriber per 10,000 people in the USA (Ling and Donner 2009). Quickly after the century began, however, the telephone gained fans and started to gain popularity throughout the United States. As more people bought phones, more people were able to communicate with each other.

The idea of a cellular network was thought of at Bell Laboratories (Farman 2012) with the intention of creating a truly mobile way of communication. In 1973, the first call was made with a mobile handheld device made by Motorola. From then on, devices like car phones began to come out but were not widely available due to high price. In the 1990’s mobile messaging was available but not used as much as the phone due to a lack of popularity.

Today, almost everyone has a cell phone, most people have a smart phone with access to internet, people will text as opposed to call, and we are more linked to each other than ever before. It took trial and error for the cell phone to be accepted and after years, it was finally accepted. I believe the same to be true with augmented realities. Augmented realities are appealing to people because it makes life easier and directly connects us to our environment and the people around those environments. The app Layar has been developed to bring life to areas with augmented realities. People can find specific information about the area they are at or they can create messages for certain people. Professor Tony Liao and Lee Humphrey’s express their opinions on the matter in the article Layar-ed Places: Using Mobile Augmented Reality to Tactically Reengage, Reproduce, and Reappropriate Public Space. Here, they tell about the great possibilities for education and communication in augmented realities. It can be used as a source of information or as a means to communicate with others in a specific place without both people having to be in the same place at the same time.


I believe augmented realities are not as accepted at the moment because it is such a new technology. People do not know what it is, so it’s hard to ask people to pay a lot of money for something that they aren’t completely sure what it is. Another factor in it is the price. When phones first came out, not many people had them because they were very expensive. Now almost anyone can afford a phone because they are dirt-cheap. I believe they will be accepted one day, but not until the technology is better known and made more affordable to the general public.

Works Cited

Farman, Jason. (2012). “Historicizing Mobile Media: Locating Transformations of Embodied Space,” in N. Arceneaux & A. Kavoori (Eds), The Mobile Media Reader. New York: Peter Lang. P. 9-22.

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (2014). Layar-ed places: Using Mobile Augmented Reality to Tactically Reengage, Reproduce, and Reappropriate Public Space. New Media and Society, 1-18.

Ling, Rich and Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile Communication. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Chapter 2, p. 30-48.
Goggin, Gerard. (2006). Cell Phone Culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge. Chapter 2, 19-40.

Matt McNamee- Introductory Blog

Twitter Username: @matty_mac93

Hi class. My name is Matt McNamee, but you can all call me Matty. I am a junior studying Media Studies and Production. I really enjoy television and hope to one-day work in it. Mobile Media interests me because online streaming in media today is emerging as the most used way to consume media. Just recently, I was at the airport and as I was waiting for my plane, I streamed the film Mystic River on my cell phone through the Netflix app. I find mobile streaming very interesting and would like to learn more about it.

From this class, I’d like to learn more about mobile trends and find out why people do not mind a smaller screen. Usually, when a person is looking to buy a TV they are looking for the biggest and best picture. With the rise in mobile viewing, people are substituting this large picture for a much smaller one with a worse quality. I would like to learn more about why people are doing this.

The Matty Mac Hour: I included the link to the podcast for my radio show. I am involved in WHIP: Temple University’s Student Radio Station and host my own show every Thursday at three o’clock; I also co host Monday-Wednesday on The Quinn Show also on at three. I really enjoy radio and hope that I can continue to be involved in it through my professional career.

Last semester, I finished an internship at Nancy Glass Productions, a reality television studio located in Bala Cynwyd, PA. This was where I first realized that I want to work in television. I assisted in working on shows like Tanked, Dangerous Grounds, and The Hunt for Hogzilla. I was given the opportunity to view early cuts of the shows, find stills and stock footage, and go on set and directly help with filming.

DG  

Credit:

Dangerous Grounds (n.d.) Retrieved January 19, 2015, from https://lh5.ggpht.com/q2kcRuTHagU08f5mKxhGAE9OJRfj7bqWBMkSp2QZ-sl6473B1-p5LSY6BvlJVnSxphs=w1264

McNamee, M. (2014) The Matty Mac Hour. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from https://www.mattymachour.bandcamp.com

Zuguidemovietrailers (2010, April 15) Mystic River – Movie Trailer Retrieved January 19, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvQaTV_lBuk