Maslow’s hierarchy of needs dictates as humans what we need to fulfil our lives and orders them starting with our very basic physical needs. This theory originally from 1943 could be seen to be outdated as this does not include modern media technologies and how these have changed society and therefore what we need. Under physical needs for survival; which are our very basic needs according to his theory such as food and water could we now include internet or access to a phone? On the other hand, this theory might not be effected by time because needs such as relationships, self-esteem and creativity can all be fulfilled through media use. This shows how media use intertwines with this theory as for example a whole new world of creativity has been discovered through photography and graphic design. Relationships can be fulfilled through media as well, shown very much through my own data that although when using media I am often alone its main function for me is to keep up relationships that would otherwise suffer due to distance. Media removes this barrier and makes relationships arguably much easier further supported by the popularity of online dating sites such as Tinder had an estimated 50 million users in 2015.
Another theory which is supported by my log is the media creating routines and us basing our actions around the media (Gauntlett and Hill, 1999). I feel this is unavoidable as even though there are not clear patterns as such throughout my log there is still routine. Routines can be seen such as checking my phone immediately after I have had a long period of not using social media such as being in the cinema or asleep I will immediately pick up my phone and check what I have missed on social media before I do anything else. This then coincides with checking my phone every morning when I wake up and just before I go to bed. To this extent I support this theory however there is never a set time for me to do these actions whereas creating routine in terms of sitting down to watch a programme every day at a certain time I feel is becoming less and less relevant. Personally, not owning a TV at university or a TV licence I am therefore unable to watch live TV so I do not have time constraints based on when I need to be consuming a media product. Further with the rise of Netflix and on demand, the popularity of watching scheduled TV has decreased therefore to an extent showing how this theory could be slightly outdated.
Uses and Gratifications Theory outlined by McQuail can be seen in practice throughout my log. The aspect of surveillance can be seen through my reading of the news and further the amount of time I spend on social media observing the life of others. Personal Identity can be seen through the profiles I have created and through what I share for others to see as this is the online identity I am creating and portraying to others. I sustain many relationships through media and also use it as diversion through the amount of fictional TV shows I watch. This I feel is a very successful theory when it comes to media use however I do not know if this is necessarily a universally positive thing; is it right for so many of my needs to be fulfilled by the internet? Should I be reading more books instead of scrolling endlessly through pictures on my phone? Further leaving the question of is media good or bad for relationships, it may benefit my long-distance ones but does this then negatively affect those in my immediate life? As suggested by Jin and Park that poor social skills are related to less face to face and voice communication. This is difficult to prove or dismiss however is something that I plan to have in mind when considering the volume of media I consume in the future.
This assignment has shown me that the media isn’t just an accompaniment to my life, it’s what makes up my life. What would my day to day actions be without the media? Would my relationships be completely different without the media? My social life which especially at my age I view as a very important would be completely different without media. The media further has positive and negative role in my life, it allows me to have freedom over my friendships I am not constrained by locality, further it benefits my professional and educational life through from applying for jobs online to learning a new language. However, I find myself extremely reliant on it, developing into a form of need and addition this has consequently started effecting my quality of sleep.
I thought that I would not interact with advertisements as described by Ofcom in their Media Lives study, however I was proved wrong when I noticed myself becoming distracted by clothing adverts on social media sites. I even engaged with them by clicking on the page and purchasing some of the clothes, this shows how successful their advertising can be. However some of the adverts were of clothes I had previously looked at which although caught my eye to to the page it did deter me to an extent because it made me realise they had been using cookies and tracking my internet use. I have not previously considered my privacy when using media however now it will be another factor I consider when I accept cookies or terms and conditions without thinking about what it actually means.
I feel I was successful enough in creating my log to reach results which allowed me to evaluate the successfulness of theories based on audiences. This is very important as it creates more supporting evidence towards the theories and helps me further to understand them better when putting them into practice. If doing the assignment again I would try to be stricter when it comes to my log being more precise with times and duration. I would like to do another log for a week and compare my usage across the days showing a wider variation rather than just a short glimpse into my life.
Axelsson, A.-S. (2010). Perpetual and personal: Swedish young adults and their use of mobile phones. New Media & Society, 12(1), 35–54. doi:10.1177/1461444809355110
Dirt, N. (2012, June 16). Recent posts. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from Research history, http://www.researchhistory.org/2012/06/16/maslows-hierarchy-of-needs/
Gauntlett, D., & Hill, A. (1999). TV living: Television, culture and everyday life. New York: Routledge in association with the British Film Institute.
Jin, B., & Park, N. (2012). Mobile voice communication and loneliness: Cell phone use and the social skills deficit hypothesis. New Media & Society. doi:10.1177/1461444812466715
McQuail, D., & McQuail, D. (1969). Towards a sociology of mass communications (4th ed.). London: Collier-Macmillan.
Smith, C. (2016, December 22). IPad docks, cases and accessories. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from Digital Company Statistics, http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/tinder-statistics/