Media Log 2- My Findings

After finishing my 72 hour log recording my everyday media use I am now able to reflect upon my own media usage but also the difficulties that arise when researching this topic in general. I thought I had decided an accurate method in which to record my data however even through I used my mobile to record my use it was still challenging to control all of the content I consumed. This was because through this task I realised just how much media is being forced at us to consume without even realising it. Adverts on the side of buses or hearing music in a shop without even consenting we are an audience to these forms of media. This overwhelmed me slightly when recording my data as I was constantly writing down logs and lead to me collecting a lot of data. On the other hand, this was frustrating to an extent as much of the data I collected was very similar. I do not have specific routines as such, such as using the same app for the same amount of time or for the same thing every day, however I have routine within the fact I repeatedly use the same few apps and do not branch out massively with my usage.

When conducting my log I found the headings on the log challenging, this was due to the nature of modern technology; they all serve multiple purposes and do not necessarily always fit into a specific category. For example apps such as Spotify which is a music streaming site but the uniqueness of it is that you are able to share music and playlists with friends therefore does this also fall into the genre of social media?

My primary finding from the log was that I spend a lot of time on social media. I did expect this as I am very close with my friends, boyfriend and sister who live all over the country consequently meaning that social media is very valuable to me in maintaining these relationships. This interested me as previously (before the popularity of social media) keeping contact with these people to the extent I do would be impossible; meaning mine and others experience of university must vary greatly to what it was like to even 10 years ago.

What surprised me was although I regularly check my phone when doing so or using certain apps such as Houseparty or Netflix I would end up using them for extremely long periods of time. I did not think that as a consumer of media I “binged” on it however this has made me realise that media such as my phone or laptop has the effect of removing my perception of time. This does correlate to my lifestyle however as many of the purposes of my use of media is entertainment or to kill time as since starting university I have lots of free time or time alone therefore media has become a more valuable part of my life. Further how addictive social media is, often I would pick up my phone to reply to one message but result in me spending an hour on my phone. I thought that during periods such as on a night out I would use more media however I used less, this could be due to me being occupied but also the accuracy of the recording of my data was very difficult during this time. This log has made me aware of these behaviours that I had not seen before.

I believe that this is a typical representation of my media usage over a three-day period to an extent. I feel it represents my time accurately for half of the week however the three days I am in university my use changes massively. Firstly, we are constantly using projectors and IPads which are devices I would not regularly use outside of university. Secondly I would check sites such as SHU Space extremely frequently as this is where my timetable is, dictating where I need to be at all times. Further I check my regular email during the week but during my days at university the account I use changes, this shows how my media usage is primarily to do with my studies during the days I am at university which contrasts to the very much entertainment based sites and media I use on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Moreover, this is nothing like my media use if I was at home, this is due to having access to a television and my book collection again showing how where, when and availability massively impacts my use. Further there are long breaks in my media use this is when I am asleep, my sleeping is very irregular therefore I believe this changes my use, after university I sleep and after a night out or when I have nothing to do on a day I will wake up later meaning I have half a day less to use the media than on other days. I have also realised the addictive nature of social media and the internet affects my sleep as I will wake up and get distracted by my phone in the middle of the night therefore sleeping less. This negative impact it has on my life I hope to change after this log. This has lead me me to believe it is hard for me to predict my usage or call it a routine.

Activities such as checking my balance or ordering a taxi made me realise how valuable my phone and media is in carrying out my everyday life. These tasks have been made so much easier through media developments and having grown up to be a “digital native” I would find it almost impossible to go a full day without media such as my phone.

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