These past couple weeks of analyzing my media use, something that happens so frequently and without much thought, was quite eye opening. I never really thought of myself as a person that was very dependant on my iphone or the internet. When I studied in Rome for 4 months I only used my phone for taking pictures and it was actually freeing, I wasn’t constantly looking at my phone, checking social media, texting, and it then forced me to really explore, and learn how to use a real map! This assignment really made me miss that freeing feeling, and made be evaluate what is important to me.
Through this assignment I found out, to my surprise, that I am actually in fact dependent on media. My biggest problem I realized is I need to be engaged with something at all times. I need to be constantly “doing,” I really don’t know how to “just be.” Students are incredibly busy with class, work, studying, extracurriculars, daily chores, and trying to have a social life. It is really important to take time to oneself to just relax and detox. This is one of the important lessons I have already taken from this assignment. I found that I use media most during my boredom, transportation, and in the evening right before going to bed.
My analysis helped me discover that it is really important to me that my friendships and relationships are maintained. I use twitter, instagram, or snapchat to feel up to date with what is happening in my friends and families lives. I have friends from all over and it really hard for us to keep up to date sometimes. I can just log onto one of their social medias and figure out what they have been up to. For example my best friend is studying abroad in France and through her instagram I can see what country she is visiting. And lets be honest sending a quick snap chat of yourself at a Cubs game to a friend from home is much easier than sending a text. Same goes with other social networking, liking someone’s status update about their new job creates acknowledgement for you both, and creates a feeling that you are aware and care about what’s going on in each other lives. Although social networking is a great tool for keeping in contact, this assignment made me want to pick up the phone instead of just a “Liking.”
I use media to pursue my interests in fashion, film, travel, and food. I follow editors, designers, bloggers, models, and photographers on social media, which gives me interesting content I am highly interested in. As I realized during my field notes that I’m kind of a social media snob…. I only really like or favorite posts that I thought were interesting, even my family and best friends. I see instagram as area of artistic expression. We are not all photographers but I appreciate some artistic and unique accents. If it’s boring or doesn’t catch my eye I’m not going to like it. The idea of likes still confuse me, user will use likes to evaluate their popularity. Why does it matter is someone didn’t like your picture our not?
An aspect of media that truly frustrates me is when users over share. When users tweet, facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tweet, Yik Yak, etc. about every little thing they are doing in their lives, it’s too much. The media world does not need to know what you ate for brunch every single weekend. I think our society needs to put down the instagram; stop worry about likes and actually enjoy life. If you’re worried about your instagram likes you are clearly not enjoying yourself. I think the key to this problem and to this assignment is everything in moderation. Media cannot and should not control our lives.