Duration: 1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes.

Objective: To explore the modern mass communications phenomenon and technological obsession of the smartphone (and, by extension, also the tablet); how it has essentially become an additional and inseparable limb-interface of the human body and what impact this is having on humanities’ ways of being.

Focus: Mass media and communications centric. In particular, the episode will touch on how the smartphone has fundamentally affected and expansively changed our ways of being, seeing, thinking and interacting in the world. Everyone is now carrying around a mini cinema in their pocket that is hooked up to a larger artificially created network – it is utterly EXTRAORDINARY and I want to discuss it.

“it was clearer now that we citizens are living with screens even if we don’t go to “the movies” or really concentrate on the screens. The screens then and now are alike, but they were big once, as large as buildings, and now they may be thumbnail size – yet they are vast in their ubiquity and their constant use. They make a taunting offer of reality, but I wonder if that isn’t a way of keeping us out of it.”

– David Thomson, The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies and What they Did to Us, 2013

This technological evolution will be explored in relation to the biases around using and/or not using a smartphone; as well as in relation to the smartphone as a new form of cultural artefact, lifestyle connector and status symbol. Ultimately, the episode will explore the insanely rapid change that has occurred over the relatively short period of ten years in which the smartphone has come to dominate every waking hour of the human race’s attention.

Format: Factual documentary analysis utilising a central sit-down discussion with cutaways of vox pop material and other relevant media content. The vox pop will be captured first in order to stimulate points of discussion for the main discussion element of the episode.


Pre-Intro segment – don’t know yet.

Podcast Intro (45 seconds) – Cave of the 8-Bit Binary Organ theme music as combined with excerpts from other media texts to create a summative overview of what is the Breaking Cinema podcast.

Main body – The sit-down discussion will include a range of different contributors with different aptitude focuses (not just film-centrics) and who vary in their usage or not usage of smartphones. The sit-down discussion will form the spine of the main body of the episode. I am keen to capture the sit-down discussion in a public place (for the atmosphere) and because there will likely be people using their smartphones around us; examples of which should stimulate further discussion points. Additional elements will include the vox pop material where I go up to random members of public and capture their views on a range of questions surrounding smartphones and their personal use and/or non-use of them. There will probably be additional media content references included but what these will be I have not yet decided.

As the name of this episode indicates – Pride and Prejudice and Smartphone Zombies – major themes of the discussion will revolve around the pleasure people get from their smartphones, the bias surrounding their use of them and particular makes/models, etc., and the stereotype that widespread smartphone usage is dumbing down humanity i.e. making them more inclined to be more wilfully blind in world.

Aside from the primary themes, as indicated in the episode title, the direction of this episode’s discussion is less certain because I want it to be more influenced and created by the contributors of the discussion. However, a major theme which I will be pushing for throughout the discussion is the idea of the “portable screen as interface” i.e. something that we no longer just look at but rather physically interact with while it produces a range of physical occurrences in ourselves and in our interactions in the world.

Conclusion – Ultimately, the conclusion discussion, whatever ever it specifically ends up being, with its inclusion of the “screen as interface” point will lay the groundwork for Episode 4: In an Auditorium Darkly: The Terror of the Eye-Phone.

Podcast Outro – a: “Thank you for listening to Breaking Cinema, like the Facebook page, leave a review on iTunes, etc.” message will play over the outro music.

Next Time on Breaking Cinema – a short teaser of the next episode.


Additional Notes:

  • Contributors – a varied combination; not just film-centrics and not just smartphone users, big picture thinking requires a variety of point-of-views. I am currently looking into potential contributors who would be good fits for this episode.
  • “film” a.k.a. the two-dimensional images on the screen is a part of the discussion, but it is not the dominating focus of this episode. The point of this episode is to think about the larger media machine and entity which transmits those two-dimensional images, whether on a big screen or in the palm of your hand.


“In the 1920s [Hans Seyle] had been baffled at why physicians always seemed to concentrate on the recognition of individual diseases and specific remedies for such isolated causes, while never paying any attention to the “syndrome of just being sick.” Those who are concerned with the program “content” [i.e. the films a.k.a. the 2D images on the screen] of media and not with the medium proper, appear to be in the position of physicians who ignore the “syndrome of just being sick”… The new media and technologies by which we amplify and extend ourselves constitute huge collective surgery carried out on the social body with complete disregard for antiseptics. If the operations are needed, the inevitability of infecting the whole system during the operation has to be considered. For in operating on society with a new technology, it is not the incised area that is most affected. The area of impact and incision is numb. It is the entire system that is changed. The effect of radio is visual, the effect of the photo is auditory. Each new impact shifts the ratio among all the senses. What we seek today is either a means of controlling these shifts in the sense-ratios of the psychic and social outlook, or a means of avoiding them altogether. To have a disease without its symptoms is to be immune. No society has ever known enough about its actions to have developed immunity to its new extensions or technologies. “

– Marshal McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1966:69-70


  • I can only record the vox pop once I have my ZOOM Portable Recorder H4Nsp.
  • This episode will need some release forms for the vox pop.
  • For copyright queries on media content inclusion, see the Pulling Teeth & Breaking Blindness overview document.


Media content to be referenced and included:

I don’t know yet, if any.