I am five days into this media tracking assignment, and it has been an eye opening experience.
It has made me re-think what and how much media I consume on a daily basis, as well as my contribution to it.
Even in my job running our used book store in Castor one day a week, I can’t get away from media use. Let me explain.
While my wife and I run our store, we always have the radio on, tuned to the local radio station. Either that, or we listen to music on our computers or phones. Either way, we have that media going non-stop. The only time I turn it off is if I am reviewing audio of interviews I have recorded onto my computer; again, another form of media.
On days I work at the store, if there are no customers I will spend my time either studying, writing articles for the paper, or editing photos for my photography side-business. All of these activities have something in common: they are all comprised of various forms of media, and through the internet, these various media streams converge.
Discussing media use while I am studying is easy to explain. I can’t help but use media when I am studying. The thing is, even my courses are not restricted to one type of media, but are more of a blend. In my prose course, I have the online portal for the course, as well as the various textbooks required for the course. In my communications course, the media lines are even more blurred due to the fact the entire course is online. The textbook is accessible through an app on my iPad, and the online portal is a blend of written word and technology.
The media use with my writing is a little different. While I am writing the stories, other than the music I listen to there is no real media consumption, however those stories I wrote are turned into both traditional media in the print edition of the paper, and new media when they hit the newspapers website and social media channels.
For my photography, again, I am not actively consuming the media when I am taking or editing the photos, unless of course I have my what seems to be ever-present music playing. However, when the photos are processed and uploaded on my or my clients social media or on my website, they become yet another piece of consumable media on the World Wide Web. Or, if the client wishes physical copies of the prints or a photo-book, the images I have created get turned into traditional media.
Before this exercise, along with the textbook studying, I considered myself to be a member of the press and photographer, but I never considered myself to be a media producer. However, with the way information technology is entwining itself in our world through social media I realize I am a producer. In all honesty, anyone who posts on social media is, what changes is the quality of the media produced.
I’ve definitely enjoyed the challenge of this particular assignment. It has been informative and eye-opening, and I honestly don’t think I will look at any form of media the same way again.