Media Diet Reflection

At times I get so wrapped up into my phone and laptop that I lose sight of what is in front of me. I miss out on adventures and beautiful sights to see, because I’m so stuck on media. I’m constantly checking my email, twitter, Instagram, or texting someone. My mom used to tell me all the time that I’m too attached to my phone and that I needed to put it down more often. Of course, I just thought she was over exaggerating and just being a mother. But throughout my Media Diet Project I realized that maybe my mother was correct. Maybe I was spending too much time on my phone and on social media. Media is a big part of my daily life because that’s how I keep up with the world and communicate with others, but I’ve learned that I must lessen my time spent on media.

I truly don’t believe that media is a bad thing. I do believe that we need media, because it is a major way that our society communicates with each other. I also believe that too much media can start to cause problems in my life. I was so focused on what was trending on twitter or how many likes I got on Instagram that I couldn’t even enjoy family time. My family and I would go to dinner and over half the time of us being there, we were all on our phones. Whether we were texting, scrolling through our emails, or trying to make plans for later on that day. This project helped me learn how to measure my time spent on using media. I can honestly say that after my 72 hour testing period I’ve stopped using social media as much.

While taking notes on my media habits I noticed that my biggest problem in my opinion was that I was using twitter way too much! I would tweet any and everything that came to my mind. Whether it was a negative or positive thought, I was going to be tweet it. (Some things the world just doesn’t need to know.) So I came up with a proposal. The proposal stated that I needed to work on my tweeting habits and limit myself to less tweets per day. I began limiting myself to three tweets a day. I could have one tweet in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. None of which could be negative! I struggled when I first started this proposal, but it got easier and easier as each day went on. Then I started my 72 hour period and I couldn’t tweet at all. During my 72 hour testing period I wasn’t able to tweet, so many of my comments I had to keep to myself. I had to find another outlet to express my thoughts. I had to find a healthier outlet. I found that simply just writing my thoughts out in my notebook made me feel better and I wasn’t sharing all of my business with the world.

I was using media at least 6 hours a day. 6 hours was the minimum amount of time that I would spend using media, whether the time was spent emailing, texting, or on social media. I realized that I needed to cut down on my media use as a whole. I wanted to focus on something as simple as cutting back on my texting and calling my family and friends more often. After discussing the Utopia and Dystopia views on texting in our blog, I realized that a simple phone call could improve my relationships with the people in my life as well as cut back on my media use. During my media project I began calling my family more so we weren’t texting as much during the day, because I would usually just have a phone conversation with them at night and cover everything that happened throughout my day. Conversations weren’t too long and I was also improving my relationships, because the communication was clear (as we know communication can be unclear at times while texting). Luckily I was able to “kill two birds with one stone.”

I noticed that throughout my Media Diet Project I began to interact with more of my teammates and I became more active within my team. I was able to finally put my phone down and just have fun at that moment. Don’t get me wrong, I still used Snapchat and Twitter to communicate with my friends and teammates. The thing is, I just cut back from using it as much. Thompson suggested that life outside of media is extremely important to our personal life and finding who we really are. I would agree with this idea! I realized that I had to cut out some of the social media so I could focus on the amazing experiences that were right in front of me! Then I would maybe snap a picture of that amazing moment that I was having and post it to social media later on that day. I think the two go hand in hand. I needed social media to express and show the world those amazing moments and adventures that I was having in my life. But too much social media would stop me from having those amazing moments. So I had to find a balance between the two of them.

Overall the main thing I learned from this Media Diet Project, you can use media because it is a big part of our society but don’t overuse it to were you aren’t enjoying what is going on around you. Try to lessen that media time and focus more on family time, or school, or other hobbies that you might have. Life is going to pass me by if I’m constantly looking down at my phone or laptop. I use media as a way to express what is going on in my life, but now I know to lessen that media time. I’m very pleased with this project because I truly think it has helped me change my media habits in a positive way. I learned a lot of different things about myself and media during this project. I was finally able to admit that I was too attached to my phone and media and that I needed to find a way to change it. I’ve changed some habits and I’m still working on changing those bad habits that I have! I’m definitely a work in progress!

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CAN YOU LAST 72 HOURS?

During my 72 hour testing period I can honestly say that I felt disconnected from the world. I wasn’t able to contact my family or friends. My teammates or coaches would send out practice information and I wouldn’t receive it because I didn’t have my phone. I would have to rely on my teammate/roommate to tell me the information. I felt like I struggled a lot with this testing period and I realized that I’m extremely attached to my phone. I would catch myself looking around trying to find my phone, quickly realizing that it wasn’t in my possession at the moment. I would hear my friends talking about something that was trending on twitter and I would want to look it up but I couldn’t. I truly felt that just within those three days that I’d fell so far behind with what was going on within my circle of friends, family, and society. It’s amazing how much can happen within a matter of 72 hours. One thing that I did like was that when I was having a bad moment or had an attitude I wasn’t able to run straight to twitter and share my mood with the world. During Step 1 of my media diet project I realized that I treated twitter like a diary. At times I would tweet about 20 tweets a day, which can be a lot. Most of tweets were pointless or were me expressing how I felt at the moment. I would get in trouble at times with my coaches because I was constantly tweeting too late at night or tweeting negative thoughts and opinions. Well I think this 72 hour period of testing really helped me with that because I wasn’t able to rely on twitter when I was having problems. I had many problems within that 72 hour period and my only outlet was writing my feelings down in a notebook. I was able to get the negative thoughts out of my head, but I wasn’t sharing them with the entire world. I wasn’t sure at first if I could last 72 hours without any media usage, but I proved myself wrong and it really helped me!

MEDIA DIET PROPOSAL

Throughout my media diet project I realized that I go straight to twitter when I get mad. I immediately start to vent and express my feelings on twitter! Twitter somehow becomes my diary and I start to tell the entire world what is bothering me at the moment. I’ve realized that I really need to stop this action. When I get mad I shouldn’t take my feelings to social media. I should talk about them with close friends or family. Since I don’t think that this is a good action, I’m going to try and test this during my testing in Step 2. I’m going to try and only tweet positive thoughts and ideas. I’m going to limit myself to three tweets a day. Also, I’m going to start writing my feelings down and see if that stops all the negative tweets.

THE EVOLUTION OF COMMUNICATION

Text messaging has become a very popular line of communication over the years. I can’t think of one person that I know who doesn’t have a cellphone that doesn’t send text messages. In the past the more common way to communicate was through phone calls or face to face, but things have definitely changed. The Dystopian viewpoint wouldn’t agree with the idea of text messaging. Communication is important, and the most important part of communication is the relationship that gets gained through the process. Are people really getting that true relationship that they could be gaining if they were to hear someone’s voice, or see someone’s face? Dystopian viewpoint would immediately say, no! Not getting that face to face communication can truly affect a relationship in a negative way. For example, someone could think that you were mad in a text message, when you actually have a huge smile on your face! Small things such as punctuation can change the entire dynamic of the conversation. Someone could take a simple exclamation point in the wrong way. Face to face communication is important and is a must at times. Texting can be seen as a Utopian viewpoint. That is because it seems to be a very proficient and relaxed way to communicate. People are communicating, but they are allowed to communicate at their own pace. In a face to face conversation you can’t sit and think about what you want to say. You are forced to immediately respond, because you are in the presence of the person. If you were texting, the conversation would be more relaxed and you wouldn’t seem pressed for time to respond. If someone wasn’t sure how to respond they could take their time gathering their answer or comment, making a “perfect response” in their eyes. Our technology is changing daily. At times I enjoy this, but I don’t always think it’s a good idea. I can admit that my communication skills have gotten worse, because I’m not having phone call conversations or face to face conversations. I send hundreds of text a day, and may have three conversations a day through a phone call. I definitely have a better relationship with those people (family) that I’m calling daily rather than those I’m only texting. Maybe my friendships would be steadier if I had more face to face conversations or phone call conversations. I think I’m going to give that a try!

Texting

Media Diet Summary

I never noticed how much I used media. It has become so fluent to me. I’d compare my social media habits to my eating habits. They just seem so natural to me and are acts that must occur. I try and stay off of my phone, but I will find myself unconsciously browsing Twitter or looking at my teammates funny Snapchat stories. My media diet project has truly made me realize that sometimes I need to put down my phone and enjoy life more. You miss out on things passing you by while looking down at your phone constantly.

I’m somewhat concerned about how much I use my phone on a daily basis. Throughout this process I noticed that my phone is rarely out of my hand. While in class I’m able to put it down, but sometimes I catch myself in class texting someone. Not only am I always on social media, but I’m also always texting someone. I’ve never left my phone at home, and honestly I wouldn’t know what to do if I did. It may sound sad, but that is how attached I am to my phone and social media.

My social media and texting increase once I’m in bed for the night. Usually I’m just watching television, relaxing, and on my phone. At times I can’t even focus on the television show I’m watching without tweeting what drama just occurred or texting my mother and discussing. I also noticed that when I get bored I begin to tweet things that have no importance at all. At times I will tweet, wake up in the morning and reread what I tweeted that night, ask myself why I tweeted that, and then delete it. I’m just wasting precious time in life to make pointless comments on twitter that I’m going to end up deleting the next morning. These are habits that I MUST break!

Also, I’ve noticed that I’m not the only person who gets on social media at night. A lot of my friends and followers won’t comment on my post until the evening. I can post a picture at 8AM and then post the same picture at 8PM and I would’ve probably gotten many more likes at night rather than the morning time. I think this is because people are bored at night just like I am. People are lying in bed, watching television, and on their phone just letting life pass them by. Maybe we should put our phones down and do something beneficial to our lives.

This media diet project has motivated me to use media less. My main focus will be to cut down on my hours of use on social media. I use social media for about 6 hours a day! I think my life will honestly change if I just put my phone down and focus on what’s going on around me. I believe making memories that’ll last a life time doesn’t include social media. Therefore, I plan to put my phone down more often, and truly focus on the great experiences and the joy of life!

My Walkthrough

I’ve noticed that I can get very annoyed by people on social media, so I’m not sure why I use it so often. During my walk through I unfollowed multiple people on Instagram and Twitter, because I finally took the time to see what they really post on a daily. I realized that some of these people I didn’t even know. I also noticed that these people were people I didn’t want to follow anymore. During my video I saw a lot of my family’s photos on Instagram, which made me happy! Seeing pictures of my nieces always makes me happy, so that was the highlight of my video! Overall I would say my time spent on social media during my walkthrough was a success!

Multi-Tasking: Field Notes Vs. Media Usage

At times I found myself getting so wrapped up in Media that I forgot I was actually supposed to be taking notes on my social media usage. It got so bad that I would set a reminder on my phone to remind myself that I needed to keep track of the information I was collecting. After a while I got much better at multi-tasking these two actions! The most popular social media for me are Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Between these three networks, I spend 6 hours a day posting information and scrolling through information. I noticed that I use my phone for media more often when I’m on the bus or train headed to class, and also when I’m in bed. The most popular time throughout my day for me to use social media is 7pm until I fall asleep. This is a time when I’m just lying in bed watching television. It seemed like I used it most often when I felt I was bored. When I’m around my friends I didn’t use it as much, but as soon as I got by myself I tweeted like crazy and posted multiple pictures on Instagram. Also, I don’t post much during the day, but I do observe and read other people’s information. I noticed that I get more responses on my social media at night. It seems as if there are more conversations and I get more “likes” and “retweets” later and later into the night. I wonder if other people notice this pattern that I’ve noticed with my social media.

Has anyone noticed this nightly pattern within their social media? If not, what patterns have you noticed?