(Disclaimer – This post is created solely for my DEVC 80 class and is an Academic requirement.)
An everyday necessity, Media is second nature to Millenials
My day starts at 6 AM. Having my classes starting at 8 AM, had brainwashed me into waking up on or before 6AM. Knowing me and my rituals, I would say, I need more than 1 hour to prepare and make me as “Chardy” as possible for that day. Ofcourse this would mean a 20 minutes bath, lotion sessions, make-up (just right for school) and style what I will wear for the day. Automatically, after concluding my morning rituals, I grab my phone to check on the latest happenings on my social media accounts, my mail for academic and work stuff and my messages for any texts that may be important. I may occasionally post a “Good morning” tweet on my twitter just for fun or check my Instagram to see who’s already posted a selfie or a picture that may describe their recent adventures. At 8 AM, I make sure I have everything I need for class and I leave.
Social media has always been a part of my daily life. Going back 10 years from now, these “Media Rituals” would have been absurd. No normal person would be spending 30 minutes and more looking at a screen. But today, almost everyone is on the loop. All you need is a smart phone, a network connection or WiFi, installed apps and voila, worldwide connection.
Checking my phone for updates on family, friends or news is done (most of the time) involuntarily. It’s second nature for me and I believe I’m talking for most of the members of my generation when I say that having and using media is something I need to survive —- or atleast to survive a boring day or activity.
But do we really need it in order to survive? And if we do, how much “media” do we consume and what for?
For our Communication and Society class for the past months, we had been discussing about the media that surrounds our life. How media is affecting who we are and how we think and what are the theories that are complementing these media. The questions I have mentioned in the previous paragraph was given to us at class and ever since then I have been anxious to reveal how dependent I am of media and its uses.
My Media Diagnosis
Our task was to strictly examine how much media we were consuming for five straight days and were to list down every type of media we were exposed to and make a reflection about how it affected us and why. We were also to list down observations on how each exposure was affecting how we behaved, talked or what we thought about. Interesting right? Take a pen and paper and try to see how I did my diagnosis.
Day 1 and 2 – October 8 and 9, 2016
These days were Saturday and Sunday, which means I had most of the day to myself for fun, recreation and games. I wasn’t worried about academics at these days so my Media usage was immense and different forms of media were used. Saturday, I started the moment I woke up at 10 AM. I browsed my phone and opened the usual apps I used daily, namely Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WordPress and Edmodo. After 2 hours of that, just lying on my bed, I went to the living room to eat and opened the Television to watch something while I was eating. After lunch, I opened my PS3 Gaming console and played video games until 5 PM and then took a break. At 8:30 PM I was already using my phone to open Social Media sites until I fell asleep.
Here’s my consumption table :
Conclusion for Day 1 – 2 = Media Addict + Social Media Lurker. My whole day was spent on using media and the gadgets that catered to them. I failed to do anything that had no relation to the internet and aside from eating and showering, I had my phone on my hand the whole time.(Seeesh, talk about being an addict.)
Day 3 -4, October 10 -11, 2016
My day started immediately after turning off my alarm. At 5:45 AM I started to proceed with my rituals and at 6:25 I was already holding my phone for my updates. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WordPress App and Edmodo automatically opened and for the rest of the day these were the most frequent apps that I have used.
Here’s my Consumption table :
Conclusion for day 3-4 = I was a kick ass social media user. Making sure I open every app that I have followers or friends that I needed to check updates on or just stalk. Some media were opened for a legitimate purpose but some were just for the sake of checking updates. The content that I saw was prevailing on my thoughts for the whole day. For example: The video of “Top horror movies you should watch” that I saw on Facebook had me wary of who might be looking at me.
Day 5, October 12, 2016
The last day of my experiement, I wanted to believe that I had learned something from my little experiment and had tried to avoid the use of any media for that day. At 6AM – 8 AM, I had turned the WiFi option off in my phone and was pleased to discover that I didnt have an addiction with mobile apps. Unfortunately, to my dismay, I recieved calls and text messages that a few of my groupmates sent in order to remind me about deadlines and activties that we needed to do for that day. I opened my Facebook for the updates and headed immediately to edmodo to get a copy of that lecture presentation I needed to study. While downloading I sneaked in on my twitter to tweet about how exhausted I am for that day. And my last consumption was when I opened my Facebook messenger, just before I went to bed, to message my mom about family matters.
Here’s my Consumption table :
Conclusion for day 5
Small steps towards redemption – My willingness to reduce my media exposure was a bit helpful in controlling myself from using my phone. I was able to reduce my normal 8-9 hours of social media sites like facebook to 3.5 hours and twitter to less than 1 hour. Een though I had a mishap with my groupmates contacting me, I felt a bit refreshed from not having my face glued to my phone .
Based on the number of hours I’ve spent using social media and other gadgets, I can say that I’m unfortunately an addict. Regardless of how I controlled myself, I still found myself opening the apps and updating myself with the recent happenings around my country, friends and school. This only implies that every news and information I get are taken entirely from social media and television. My stories, activities and work all revolve around the internet and having a connection. This makes me feel afraid. How addicted am i? What do I do if the internet suddenly disappears? How do I cope with not being on the loop of the recent happenings and lastly, would I be happier? If I no longer depended on the internet and social medias? Or is it really a deciding factor in my life?
1. Making observations about actions and habits that we do, makes one more knowledgable not only about the self but also about other people.
2. Making lists are fun and they incite creativity and productivity.
3. What you frequently do or use can say something about you.
4. Media is a double edged sword that can save the world or destroy it. It changes minds and control them.
5. We have the power to control our consumption and exposure of Media and Social media.
6. Media is not almighty, it’s not entirely good. It depends on how we take advantage of it,
7. Education is key. (Just for the sake of adding this.) Nothing helps more to Self control than being knowledgable and really gathering information.
8. Media is viewed and used differently for every individual. Do it the correct way.
What about you? Have you ever tried knowing your media usage and performing a Media diagnosis? I liked how much it changed me and my perspective. We should all get checked.
Thanks for dropping by! ❤️