I have rarely set aside time to take into consideration the amount of content and information I am exposed to in a single day. So often we take technology for granted, living our lives on our devices rather than engaged with that which surrounds us. On Sunday, September 4, I tracked my media consumption throughout the day. Overall, I learned that my media consumption can be organized into three main categories: social, productive, or entertaining.
Sunday morning I woke up around 10 a.m. and immediately checked my smartphone, which charges right next to my head on my bedside table. On weekdays, I often set multiple alarms to wake up earlier than I naturally would. In regards to technology’s great influence on my life, it’s safe to say it is my phone of all things that makes sure I get to class on time. In checking my smartphone first thing Sunday morning, I first went through any texts or Snapchats I received while sleeping. I typically only open received messages in the morning and save the responding for a time of the day when I am more put together. In the hour it takes me to get ready, my phone acts as my radio and clock, playing songs from one of my many Spotify playlists and notifying me how much time I have spent changing clothes, applying makeup, and taming my hair before I can officially say I am ready for the day.
I used my time in the morning to clean my apartment, so my phone was only handy in filling the background with music. As afternoon approached, I used my iPhone to order Shake Shack off of Postmates, a food delivery app I happen to use way too often. As expensive as it can be, Postmates has definitely been a lifesaver when it comes to getting food in a timely manner. Who knew that we would one day be able to enjoy our favorite meals from local restaurants right at home with just the click of a button? I did not, but I am certainly glad that we can do that! Once I received my food, I opened up my laptop for the first time in the day to go through any unread emails, check the LA Times, and watch YouTube videos. In regards to the LA Times, I found that I don’t even read through that many articles, I only stick to headlines and skimming through main points. On YouTube, I typically watch vloggers (such as David Dobrik), Architectural Digest celebrity house tours, Oprah videos, and music videos (my favorites come from the Gorillaz and Lil Dicky).
After lunch, I spent time with my roommates watching our favorite show Portlandia on Netflix. We have Apple TV, which I find incredibly convenient in providing any type of entertainment that fits the mood (whether it be a Netflix movie, a show on Hulu, or a football game on ESPN). Once we got a few episodes in, I spent the next few hours mostly technology free, only checking for the occasional text or Snapchat. Instead, I hung out with people in my apartment, tanned by the pool, and got ready to go out for the night.
At night, I only went on my phone to take pictures and record anything I knew had to be documented. Besides that, I was busy socializing with friends face-to-face – in my opinion, the best form of communication. However, I am still grateful technology exists in these moments so that I can look back on the good times just by scrolling through Snapchat memories.
I consider myself a pretty social person. I love being around people and making friends. So while I do enjoy using technology for productive or entertainment purposes, I definitely find myself using media mostly for social reasons.
Do I feel any need to change these habits after taking time to reflect on them? Not necessarily. I think I do a pretty great job of prioritizing face-to-face contact with others over isolating myself on my phone. However, I do think I need to be more mindful of the content I am consuming and perhaps spend more time meditating on the news and information that is more educational than non-influential posts from people I maybe met one time and for some reason follow on Instagram. After charting my media consumption for an entire day, I am actually even more eager to put down all the technology and spend time with my friends in real life.
“Phone eats first”: Here is a Snapchat of La Taquiza’s beautiful chips and guacamole bowl. When food is this stunning it must be documented. People often joke around with the caption “phone eats first” in posting food pictures, since nowadays sharing what you are eating is sometimes prioritized over actually eating.
Here is a picture of me and one of my sorority sisters during our night out. Fight on!
Here is a picture of one of the most adorable little creatures I have ever seen. Something this cute must be documented to look at forever!
Here is one of the articles that especially stuck out to me when checking the LA Times. I watched Adventure Time when I was younger, so I was sad to see that it was coming to an end. I found this article quite fascinating in how it tracked the influence of such a show.