After tracking my media use over the last seven days, I have learned a few things about myself and about media in general.
The first thing I learned about myself is that Facebook is my nemesis. It is a major time suck, even though I don’t intend for it to be. The thing is, the five to 10 minutes here and there I spend scrolling adds up over the course of a day, which definitely kills my productivity.
With all the negativity on that particular social media platform, I am not a fan. I’ve often said that if I didn’t need the platform for work, I wouldn’t have it. So, the random, mindless, scrolling when I have other things to be doing came as a surprise, and is something to definitely work on.
My tracking diary doesn’t reflect my social media use because the stipulation was to track media use over 15-minutes; yet, I definitely see it as a problem to solve. I’m humming and hawing about pulling the app off my phone, and only accessing it via my computer or iPad, however, with the fact that I do get a bunch of work information of the platform I’m hesitant to do so. Still, averaging two hours a day with app open tells me something needs to change.
The second thing I learned through this exercise is I appreciate music. It doesn’t matter whether I am listening at my desk, in the gym, or behind the wheel, I seem to always have music going.
A third thing I realized doing this exercise is I don’t watch a lot of television, which is funny because it used to be one of my biggest vices. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy kicking back on the couch watching a show with Lynn, but instead of watching television for three or four hours every night I’m maybe watching six hours a week. Between work, school, and my workout regime, I have too many other things going on to watch a lot of television, and I’m finding that I don’t really miss it.
Something I’ve learned about media in general is that it is everywhere, and we can’t help but interact with it every single day. Thanks to social media, we all contribute to the various types types of media, either by creating content, or consuming it. My blog is but one example of creating the content for others to consume. My work with the newspaper is another.
Yet, I’m a consumer as well. Through my television viewing. Through my music listening.
A final thing I’ve realized about all types of media is that in the end, it is about selling something. Music artists sell their musics with the ambition of using that income to create more. Writers create content to sell to newspapers and magazines. Sales people create advertisements, a special form of media whose sole purpose is to get people to buy whatever item is being sold.
I’ve enjoyed the experience going through this tracking exercise. It’s given me some avenues to work on, and it has helped open my eyes wide to the connected world we live in.