Media has wormed its way into our everyday lives, becoming an integral part of our routines and even a necessity to many. Media is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “The main means of mass communication regarded collectively.” Further the Collins Dictionary claims that media is “The means of communication that reach large numbers of people, such as television, newspapers and radio.” Both these definitions have in common that media means communicating a message. Consequently, when recording my media log, I will primarily focus on interaction when it comes to defining media. This could be from messaging friends to talking on the phone, however the interpretation of media I have chosen to follow based on communication also includes any form of media that evokes an emotion or response from me. To me this falls under the definition of media as it is the institutions producing this media successfully communicating with me as an audience or consumer. When discussing the definition of media in seminars we concluded an important part of media was also the multi-format/platform element and how this is what causes difficulty when trying to realistically implement not only a definition but also completing a media log.
I expect my log to be mainly containing Facebook and other social media sites. This is primarily due to my friends all being at different universities and all over the country consequently meaning that the only method of contact we have is through media. I also expect there to be little in terms of adverts, this is due to mainly consuming content such as TV shows through Netflix which does not have adverts. This means that most of the adverts I consume will be through sponsoring on social media sites. This is interesting also because it will make me realise that I am actually consuming more than one type of media at a time.
The Ofcom Adult Media Lives Study concluded that we now avoid advertising on TV as much as possible further stating that online advertising is “more discreet and therefore easier to ignore” (Ofcom: 2016, page 43). I feel that my media usage will reflect this study accurately as where possible I too choose not to consume adverts however it will be interesting to see which ones do make it past my efforts.
A definite challenge in conducting this assignment will be logging all of my media usage. In today’s society media usage is crucial to everyday life. Checking live bus times or even needing an app to do your washing it is impossible to complete even the most basic of everyday tasks without using some form of media. I feel like this is an important part of the project to realise the quantity of media we consume and just how rapidly it has changed society and the way we live our lives. When I am out and use my phone for a simple task that will be a challenge to remember to record but hopefully I will become more aware quickly and it will get easier. At specific times, such as on a night out this will be particularly difficult to remember to record or to be aware of all of the many types of media around me.
Before conducting my log I did a 24 hour practice. This proved much more difficult than I initially expected as my media usage is almost constant and comes as a natural action to me that sometimes I would engage with media without even realising it. Further I was recording my log on a paper spreadsheet although having this with me most of the time I still struggled to keep note of the quick uses of my phone such as replying to one message or sending a Snapchat. Therefore, when conducting my 72 hour log I will use my phone to record my use this will hopefully be more practical as most of my media use is on my phone therefore I can immediately write down my use meaning my recordings will also be more accurate.
I further learnt from this practice that what to include and how to include it was going to be a great challenge. I’d watch a show on Netflix then another, then another and another meaning that for the same activity I was having six entries. Changing the log to be recorded digitally means that I am able to easily edit time and duration of my activity making my entries clearer and more concise. Adverts were another challenge I faced but decided they were only deemed worthy to be in my log if when seeing them I acknowledged them enough to think that’s media I need to write this down. This is because then it has communicated with me enough for me to remember it or for it to have an impact on me.
Even though I know this task will be challenging I feel it is very important to realise how much media we use. Further I hope this will help me manage my media use through seeing how much time I spend scrolling through social media which is arguably wasted time when arguably a better use could be reading the news or using a form of media that could benefit my degree.
Media lives 2015: A qualitative study. (2016, February). . Retrieved from https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/69256/media_lives_2015_summary.pdf
Oxford Living Dictionary. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from Oxford Dictionaries, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/mainstream_media