Media Tracking

I tracked my media consumption on Wednesday 3/28 and Thursday 3/29.  In an attempt to create a more visual display of my media consumption, I chose to color code my Excel tracking sheet by the media used for the longest period of time during an hour span.  Looking at the visual display, it is clear to see that internet was the media that I consumed the most in a 48-hour span by a large amount.  I was online for at least some part of an hour for a total of 18 hours during the 48 hour span.  However, after discussing the idea of the “internet” as a media I felt it necessary to differentiate between time spent on the internet for fun versus time spent doing homework or work related browsing.  I found that my consumption was split 50-50 at 9 hours for each activity.  The media that I consumed the least was recordings (music), having only consumed music for a total of one hour in the forty-eight hour span.  In terms of duration, my mobile consumption was likely very close to my music consumption, but in terms of frequency my mobile consumption was much higher.

Digging a little deeper into my media consumption, it appears that I used media to communicate with another person for some part of eight hours.  Much of that communication only took place over short times spans (under 10 minutes), but the phone calls and Skype conversations were usually an hour or longer.  I also spent roughly 10 hours engaged in media that was monologic, primarily being television or video games (one hockey game accounting for nearly three hours of that time).

Looking at all my various times of media consumption, I can say that the amount of time spent online was a little surprising to me.  It is odd to see a quantified number, but I realize that a majority of my day is spent in front of a computer, usually multitasking while connected to various other forms of media.  That likely creates distractions, so my actual consumption numbers may be difficult to judge, but I knew that internet consumption would be my highest total.  However, I did not realize that my internet consumption took up some part of 18 hours in a two-day span.  Granted, there are situational factors that I know were affecting this two day span.  I am currently actively seeking a job, and have been spending a lot of free time trying to browse the internet for opportunities or leads.  Also, with the temperature once again dropping I find myself not spending time outside.  Had I tracked my media consumption last week I can guarantee that at least three of my internet or Xbox hours would have been spent outside with no connection to media.  One final issue would be the determining what type of media consumption I was actually experiencing.  There were times where I would be watching television on the internet or reading print articles online, which blurs the lines in the types of media.  If I broke my consumption down into even more specific parts the number of hours for each activity would likely change.

Reflecting on my media consumption for this two day span, I can say that I will not actively seek to do anything differently in terms of media consumption.  A lot of my time spent online has been for either school or job seeking, so I am not really concerned with that consumption since it is mainly productive.  My time spent playing video games was likely inflated by the cold weather, so that will decrease by itself when the weather gets warmer.  The only thing I would potentially change is the amount of times where the television is on in the background during the day.  Technically the TV in my dorm is my roommate’s TV, so I tend to just leave it alone.  If it were my choice I would probably leave it off just to limit distractions, but I hardly notice that it is on the majority of the time.  Overall, I do not think that I will be making many changes to my consumption habits prior to school ending, but I would be curious to see my media consumption on a day where I do not have anything productive to do (i.e. summer).  Regardless, it was still a little eye opening to see a quantitative display of my media consumption simply because the numbers were higher than I would have guessed.

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