Although the internet is a fairly new mass medium my generation are what they like to call “digital natives”. Being a digital native, we walk around with a computer in our hand on daily basis. With the age of apps and smartphones most people’s lives are online, with the use of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, it is now easy to share our lives with many people around the world. I use many social media apps myself like those listed above. I am a pretty private person, so I try to keep my social media posts lighthearted. A lot of times, people share too much information on their social media and need to refrain from posting intimate details about their lives. We all have that one freind who uses their facebook like a diary and you don’t want to be mean and delete them, but if you see one more post about who cheated on who, you might go crazy. The rule I like to go by when posting to social media is if you wouldn’t get on a stage and share your bussiness to hundreds of people then don’t share it on social media. Think before you post.
For our Mass Com class, we had to track our media use for 21 days. Yes, it is as bad as it sounds. Although the work was tedious it helped open my eyes to how much media I am exposed to in just one day. After starting the tracking, I would find myself not wanting to get on any kind of social media because I had to track it. By the next day I was back to using my media like normal because I was used to my daily routine; wake up to my phone alarm get on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and then while getting ready, watch YouTube videos. In just a couple of hours, I have already been exposed to a day’s worth of media.
Some of the patterns I saw when I looked back through my media tracking were, every morning when I wake up I get on Facebook or some form of social media. I also noticed that most of my media consumption was at night and that I would actually fall asleep to YouTube videos still playing. The days I feel like I used the most media were Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays. I can understand Fridays and Saturdays when the media use goes up because it’s the weekend and most of the things I do involve media. I was surprised that Monday was one of the days I used more media because Mondays are usually the busiest; so I didn’t think I had a lot of time for social media and other media outlets.
My family was not majorly affected by me tracking media. Media does bring us together in some sense, such as every Tuesday my mom and I will watch Dancing with the Stars together. My brother and I will usually send funny YouTube videos back and forth to one another. I send memes to my fiancé on a regular basis as jokes and we text each other the majority of the day. When my fiancé and I go out to eat, in most restaurants, music would be playing so I would have to track that on my phone before we had our meal. One of the things I did experience was putting my phone down when I was with others. It made me realize that a real conversation with my family or fiancé is better than anything on Facebook.
The main source of media in my town is the newspaper and the gossipers. I live in a small town where the most exciting thing to happen would be if we had a stop light installed. Not much goes on here in Lake City, but when something happens everyone knows about it. If you want to be in the know about the town gossip go to the library and the librarian will fill you in on everything. Even though we don’t have a lot going on here in our small town the news from Jonesboro does sometimes affected us since Jonesboro is only 20 minutes away.
I like to take pictures, watch and create YouTube videos and on occasion play the piano. Media tracking didn’t have much effect on my hobbies, but I now realize that most of my hobbies include something to do with media. If I lost electricity for a day I wouldn’t be able to do any of my hobbies other than playing the piano.
It was honestly surprising to see how much my life is revolved around media. Media can bring us together or tear us apart; it all depends on how you use it. I thought I had a pretty good grip on how I use my media and how often I use it. But without media, I would be lost because nowadays we rely on it for everything. If we need to know how to get to one place from another, to find out information about a certain subject, for entertainment, everything involves media. I am grateful that we have media, but now after tracking it for 21 days. I am going to start using it to my advantage rather than letting it use me.