Media, It is everywhere these days and is something we use every day. How often do we not pay attention to how much media we really use it and what can it tell us about our everyday lives? From February 26, 2017 to March 12, 2017 I recorded my own media use to observe patterns in my media usage and what it says about me, my family, my peers, my occupation and my hobbies.
From reviewing my media log, I learned a little bit about myself. The first thing I noticed almost immediately was that I listen to a lot of music. Especially while studying and traveling between places. The second thing I noticed is that I spend a good portion of my media use doing things that are school related. The final thing I noticed is I spend much of my free time researching and playing videogames. I also learned that I burn a lot of data on my phone listening to YouTube videos.
During this experiment, I learned very little about my family. Other than usually our communication is in person with very little use of phones unless it came to texting each other about everyday goings. Things like money, responsibilities, and our current location are usually the content. I also learned that it is uncommon for us to have casual conversation over the phone. I also learned the family member I speak to the most is my brother, whom I consider both a peer and family. I also learned that he watches a lot of YouTube videos and Top Gear. Which makes sense because he is a real car guru and plays a lot of Xbox.
When looking over my media log I learned more about my peers than I did my family. My peers like to send me news articles a lot and that most of our communication is through Facebook and texting and very little talking is done over the phone. I also learned that my peers play a lot of videogames and watch Netflix frequently. My peers tend to play two major games. In one household, they play Battlefield 4 on PS4 and the other household tends to play Battlefield 1 on Xbox One. I also learned that those two households are not very good places to do homework.
I learned a lot about my occupation as a student as well from my media log. As a student in 2017, I am required to use massive amounts of media and that literally everything in classes and homework use media. Examples of media use for school include Webassign for Quantitative Reasoning, blogs for Mass Communication, and lots of reading for classes and PowerPoints. I never realized coming back to school this semester that I would be using online things as much as I do. Something that just a few years ago, when I was in college last, had very limited use and most of our media usage then was just PowerPoints, our textbooks, and e-mails and even blackboard was not heavily used except in one class. I also learned that Mass Communications and Quantitative Reasoning use online media the most, and that Anthropology and Model United Nations use very little media other than PowerPoints, some online research pages, and textbooks.
This experiment revealed some things about my hobbies that I never really noticed before. Prior to this project, I never really thought about my hobbies. Being a single dad and a full-time student makes my hobbies very limited, however. I learned that I most definitely enjoy playing videogames, as well watching Netflix as hobbies. I noticed that my biggest hobby seems to be listening to music and driving around town. I found that some nights if the weather was nice and I was really feeling the music that I took my time getting to places, sometimes spending 30-45 minutes longer getting there. I feel like this makes me a cruiser, which means I find peace and happiness when it’s just me, the music, and the open road.
I found this project to be very tedious and oftentimes frustrating. While I did my best to record all media usage I found that it was easy to accidentally forget to record everything. The biggest issue I had was always recording when I received a text or Facebook message. However, to be as accurate as I could I did cut back on how much I text and use Facebook after the first few days to lower my frustrations. This project was very eye opening and proves that going 24 hours without media use will be very difficult to accomplish, however I think I might find it refreshing to attempt that experiment.