April 2015, Melbourne, by Josh Nettheim
Mel and Nigel
Mel has recently moved back in with her father Nigel who has himself just about finished converting his old office into his current apartment. Mel works as a babysitter to subsidise her various performance classes and rehearsals, and like most aspiring actors, Mel keeps her phone close by in case of auditions or call-backs. Nigel is a producer who, like Mel, is required to be on call much of the time. Where Mel is happy as long as her phone works, Nigel likes to be certain that he always has the best quality gear—which in Nigel’s case extends to people in the form of a flesh-and-blood social media expert.
Mel is an active twenty-something pursuing the goal of becoming an actor. Like many in her position, Mel frequently holds down side-jobs between (and during) acting gigs, and balancing all of these tasks makes Mel quite reliant on her phone—although she wishes that were not always the case as using technology often causes Mel stress. However, the phone isn’t all business and when Mel has a few spare minutes—or feels like easing her way into her working day—she often checks Facebook and Instagram, albeit more for funny animal videos than anything else.
Mel also has a laptop that she used to use for University, but these days it is mostly an archive for play-scripts, which she prefers to print out and write on rather than read from the screen.
Nigel is a theatre producer who feels that social media can be used in his industry to create intimacy between clients—on and off stage. Nigel has a home office but often spends his days moving between appointments and uses his phone primarily to maintain contact with his various business partners, preferring to engage with family and friends face-to-face.
While Nigel uses the locative features of his devices and social media applications to promote his business, he is mindful of their capacity to when considering his personal privacy. As such, Nigel actively maintains a separation between work and personal usage, often leaving his phone at home when engaging in “me-time” activities like running or dinners with friends.