‘What can we do with Online Media?’ Essay:

INTRODUCTION:

By documenting my media use for over a period of a week, I have explored the idea of what ‘we do with online media’, and how we use it. This essay will explore the theories and statements that have developed during my research.

LITERATURE REVIEW:

By definition media is defined as “the means of mass communication” and is essentially a concept of communicating. In contrast to Guantlett’s approach, he states that media is not just a channel for communicating, but a “trigger for experiences and making things happen” (Gauntlett, 2015, p.7). Media has changed over the last few years from being significantly about watching and listening to creating and influencing, which is where this idea of new media is formed. “New media concerns the…. relationship with people and society” (Siapera, 2012, p.6), both Gauntlett and Siapera have similar theories regarding the way we look at media. In contrast to traditional media, where the consumer was never the producer.  However now with online media, this notion of communicating through computers and phones, it is now easier for anyone to produce and deliver content to a public audience. Personal expression in Online media is what Gauntlett and Siapera can describe as “making things happen” or creating a relationship with people (consumer) and todays community (society). Which leads into the discussion of social media and the era of the Web 1.0 and 2.0, personal web pages, and the Encyclopedia Britannica online “belong to the era of Web 1.0” (Kaplan, Haenlein 2010, p.61) and now have been replaced by “blogs, wikis, and collaborative projects in Web 2.0” (Kaplan, Haenlein 2010, p.61). The current state of online technology is the concept of Web 2.0, a product of greater user collaboration, and more enhanced communication. Which essentially paved the way for the concept of social media, built upon “the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0…that allow the creation” (Kaplan, Haenlein 2010, p.61).  Theories of creation, experience, and building relationships are all concepts that conclude ‘what can we do with online media’.

EVIDENCE:

These concepts are what emerged from my documentation, and can prominently be seen through the actions I took daily with online media. I had built a social media routine by constantly building relationships and experience with friends and the online community. While also becoming highly dependent on social media to ‘make things happen’.

The process before documenting my online usage was collecting and sifting through my data. This was a process of brainstorming my media usage, and creating a list, looking back on my browser history on my laptop, my saved photos and open applications on my phone. What I experienced was an array of online actions that occurred every minute of every day, I was constantly engaging with the online community. I found it useful to start my blog entries with a list of what interacted with that day, and in turn started to see patterns within my daily usage. My discussions were in depth and an expansion of who and what I interacted with that day. What I found during my experience was how aware I had become about having a reason behind everything I did online, there was always a context behind it.

EVALUATION:

Evaluating my documentation, the statements that have become clear by the end of the process was not surprising. I learnt more about the type of person I am becoming, and how I personally interact with media in my own way. I have a routine where I repeat the same processes, which was really interesting to extract from my weekly blog posts. My blog entries from Friday, Saturday and Sunday, have somewhat the same outline. As mentioned in my evaluation blog entry “Every morning I would wake up and check the same social media apps like they were my morning paper” (Michellenetworkedmedia, 2017, para.1) Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook was constantly being checked, I believe “Social media is a routine activity” (O’Keeffe & Pearson, 2011, p.800) in itself and because it is constantly being updated, I feel the need to constantly check it. I want to be informed when it comes to my friends who aren’t in my immediate circle and “continue to need more usage in order to feel satisfied” (Cabral, 2011, p.11). In theory I’ve made “social media…top priority” (Cabral, 2011, p.11) which I believe isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The limitations that came with this process is that I feel more research into my usage on these specific apps would’ve been beneficial.

Linking to this theory, my documentation also sheds light to how dependent I have become on online media. Gauntlett talks about media having emphasis on thinking of “media in a multi-modal way” (2015, p.10) and that we shouldn’t define it as just looking at screens. Which is how I’ve allowed myself to become widely dependent on using media beyond authoring and publishing. It’s become a tool to help me get through the day, in my blog entries I was using applications to ‘make things happen’. Such as using the Commonwealth Bank application to transfer money, or The My Journey Planner application to organise my time which I mentioned in my Friday blog entry. These applications have caused us to see media differently as they have been a change mechanism for our life, as technology is evolving, it would be thoughtless to not adapt. Rokeach and De Fleur discuss this notion that “dependency is heightened, when a relatively high degree of change is present in society” (1976, p.7) my dependency on social media can come from the ability to adapt to the changes in technology.

 

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion I’ve learnt through my documentation that media is beyond authoring and publishing. That exploring the deeper meanings beyond thinking of media not just as communication can reveal much more about how I interact and use it in my daily life. With my documentation I have been able to see past the negative statements that I had made earlier in my analysis blog posts, and explored them to make positives out of my own media use.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Gauntlett, D, 2015, Making Media Studies: The Creativity Turn in Media and Communications Studies, Peter Lang, New York
  2. Siapera, E, 2012, Understanding New Media, Sage Publications, London
  3. Kaplan, A, Haenlelin, M, 2010, Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media Andreas, Vol 53, pp.59-68
  4. Cabral, J, 2011, ‘Is Generation Y Addicted to Social Media?’, Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, Vol 2, no. 1, pp. 5-12
  5. O’keeffe, g, Pearson, k, 2011, ‘Clinical Report: The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families’, Council on Communications and Media, Vol 127, no.4, p. 800-801
  6. Rokeach, SJ, De Fleur, ML, 1976, ‘A Dependency Model of Mass Media Effects’, Communication Research, Vol 3, pp. 5-19
  7. Michellenetworkedmedia, 2017, Networked Media, viewed 8th of April 2017, <https://michellenetworkedmedia.wordpress.com&gt;
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Analysis blog entry 3- Reflecting on the reflection

Looking back on my two analysis blog entries I would say I’ve mostly covered everything. Specifically, in my analysis blog entry two where I’ve made clear statements that I concluded from my documentation. Which I believe I can explore and make reference to key readings regarding media and new media. While also drawing theories on the initial question of “what can we do with online media”.

Areas that need to be developed are thinking more critical in terms of my writing, these posts are quite informal and therefore my essay will need to take a different approach. I think my documentation could’ve been more extensive, because truth be told I missed a couple of nights. Therefore, going back and remembering certain media I engaged with was difficult. Had I been more diligent, maybe more arguments would’ve presented themselves.

Drawing from my evaluation it is clear through my documentation, this concept of routine and dependence on social media is key to what came out of this journey. I think those two ideas are the main ones I will focus on in my essay because they were the most prominent and related back to my usage. Discussing how we fall into these routines and why, the idea that new media has caused us to become dependent with being online, and insert examples from my documentation that support these statements as well as relevant readings from academic sources. These concepts will not be discussed from a negative stance, but rather an informative and explorative one.

Analysis blog entry 2- Evaluation

Heres what I think I can evaluate from my week following my media use.

  1. I use media for everything, and thats to just basically get through life.
  2. I have a routine I never knew I had until this week.

I don’t think these statements are negative I think these are extremely explorative and honest. In the way that I want to know why and how I came to be this way with online media. I found that I was extremely dependent on social media and communication was always this way of Snapchating and Instagraming. But not texting or calling someone? like I could’ve made a group chat with my friends, but I snapped them a random picture and captioned it instead. When did that become the social norm? and why do I choose to do it instead of texting and calling?

What was extremely noticeable out of all my entries was I had a morning and night routine. Every morning I would wake up and check the same social media apps like they were my morning paper. Then at night I would do the same, before bed, check my social media apps (just in case I missed something- you know fomo is real) and then look at my countdown or horoscope app ect. I had this routine I was unaware of, and what I also noticed was that there were times where I wasn’t engaging, I was just mindlessly scrolling through my social media feeds to pass the time. I was jumping back and forth between Instagram, Snapchat ect, there wasn’t a time where I would stay on the one platform. It was this constant back and forth where I was online all the time.

Which leads into my next statement that online media helped me get through the day. For everything I did, I used an app. Finding my way to a cafe? I used maps on my phone, checking when my train arrived? I used my Journey Planner on my phone, checking to see if I could buy coffee? checked my bank app. Everything I did revolved around online media and now looking back on my entries I can see that I was extremely dependent on it.

Analysis blog entry 1- Evidence

We were tasked with an assignment to blog our online media use for one week. So on day one, we brainstormed as class all the media we had consumed 24 hours prior and formed a comprehensive list. I did this before starting every blog post, and also checked my internet history browser. As well as going through my open applications on my phone because of course I always forget to close them. This then helped me describe all the online media I engaged with the following day. Basically my online media use was already documented for me I just had to find it.

My media use was quite extensive, in the way that I would use my phone for everything and being online was a constant. In all my entries I made sure to talk in depth and describe how I engaged with my friends and on what platforms. I made sure to include pictures and tags to illustrate what I had been doing online. I included a “what” in each entry so it was easy to see what I engaged with each day. Then carried onto the “how” and “why” in my discussion. I would open my blog every night, click new post and directly write all the information concerning my media use, which trust me was not hard at all. I had to minimise what I wrote about the word limit would be out of this world if I had written every little thing. Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are my most commonly used media apps. So majority, if not all of my entries have a description on what I did that day concerning those particular apps.

 

Monday the 27th

What?

  • instagram/ Schedigram
  • email
  • Spotify
  • RMIT blackboard
  • The music.com website
  • Snapchat
  • imovie
  • Streaming

Today I was working from home for my internship so I was using my laptop to access Instagram for social content. I was using a program called Schedigram and looking up multiple influencers and recording their information for clients.

I was emailing back and forth with my boss, about documents and questions. While I was working I was playing songs off Spotify on my laptop. This was off a playlist I found on the browse section to motivate me to work.

I worked on my essay for university on Microsoft word and also used blackboard and Google to find research and information on my topic. As I was doing this, I received a text from my friend about an article being written about her. This prompted me to find it and read it online. I then sent snapchats about it to my friends, and answered multiple chats about it on the app.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 4.48.18 pm

While on my computer I noticed I had an unfinished video I made ages ago of my Europe trip last year. I decided to work on this through iMovie and continue editing it for about half an hour before I decided to watch Law and Order: SVU. I streamed this on a website illegally, because all the new episodes being aired on TV I have already seen.

After scrolling through my Instagram feed as usual I decided to publish an Instagram story because I just wanted to post something. I published a photo of Venice I had taken last year on my SLR camera. I found it on my computer and emailed it to myself so I could have it on my phone and then uploaded it with the amount of days I had left to go. I found myself constantly going back and forth to see who had seen my story.

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Sunday the 26th

What?

  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Shopping websites
  • Email
  • Made a playlist
  • Youtube
  • Countdown app
  • Google search
  • Mapps app

Today my media use followed the same routine as usual, by continuously using snapchat, Instagram and Facebook throughout the day. I didn’t distribute content, but instead consumed and engaged with it.

Unlike the other days I browsed on my laptop on multiple clothing sites, I saved all my items, and linked them to my reading list so I could buy them at a later date. I did this for an hour to update myself on what’s been trending in the fashion industry.

I found today that I was using online media to complete small tasks.  Such as helping my dad write an email for work, and constructing one myself on my laptop because he didn’t know how to use Gmail properly. I also unfollowed a group on Facebook and removed myself as an admin for a page I produced content for in my recent internship.

On my Ipod I made a playlist specifically suited to my mood at that very moment so I could listen to the songs before I went to bed that night. Before this I also watched multiple makeup tutorial videos on Youtube via my laptop, from different users. I kept watching the videos that appeared on the “up next” tab. I did this for entertainment purposes and because I have an upcoming birthday in which I would need to do my own makeup and wanted to learn new skills.

I then checked my countdown app to see how many days I had left before my Europe trip and became curious about restaurants and coffee shops in London. I looked up on the Safari app on my phone “the best coffee shops in London” and typed in the names that appeared into my Maps. I wanted to see how far away these coffee shops were from where I was staying and what transport I would need in order to get there.

 

Saturday the 25th

What?

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Spotify
  • Countdown app
  • Horoscope app

Much like yesterday I was working so majority of my time was spent consuming media. In between my breaks at work I would scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feed to quickly see what was happening.

This was a mixture of liking posts on Instagram, saving pictures and print screening funny memes to text my friends about. I was purely doing this to pass the time on my breaks and because I was bored at work. When I knew I was going to be staying back at work, I Snapchated this to my friends through a series of pictures on the app. This prompted engagement from my friends, where I replied to snaps and the chat part of the app.

On my way home from work I was watching all my friends snapchat stories of what they were doing on a Saturday night. I also did this with Instagram stories, I went through every single one until I had watched them all. I knew some of my friends had a 21st, so I was essentially waiting to see their social posts. Once I was home I played songs off Spotify through my laptop and saved them to my songs list. To later download and add to my IPod, I also browsed through a few albums to see what new songs I liked. My routine before bed has been checking my horoscope and countdown app, because now it’s become a habit.  Because I was home from work late, it meant I was consuming media more than I was distributing it.

Friday the 24th

What?

  • Instagram/ Instagram story
  • Snapchat
  • Facebook
  • Commonwealth bank app
  • Netflicks
  • VSCO cam app
  • My journey planner app

My media usage was very little during the day as I was working majority of it. I started the day as usual, checking all my social media apps on my phone. Double checking my bank balance via the app. Making sure there was enough to buy myself a coffee, and then texted my friend about our plans for the night ahead.

Once I had finished work I went home and started to watch a new series on Netflicks on my laptop, I watched about 3 episodes. All for entrainment purposes, and simultaneously Snapchated that I was watching this new series. I did this because I wanted to share what I was doing with my friends and expected them to engage with me.

I also engaged in #NationalPuppyday by sending everyone on my Snapchat a video of me and my dog. This was because I was receiving images and videos of my friends and their dogs, I took this via my phone after countless tries to get it right.

 


Later that night I went to see Client Liason, a music group, where I distributed online content by uploading two snapchat stories of them performing.  Purely because I wanted to share my night with my friends and share with everyone how good the performance was. I also made a boomerang of their performance on Instagram stories. These were all taken on my phone.

I used the Metro train app, “My journey planner” to find out when the next train was going to arrive, so I could let my parents know what time I would be home from the gig. Later that night I went through all my videos and pictures I took during the show, and used VSCO cam, an app on my phone. To edit all my images, making them brighter and clearer and saved them to a separate folder on my phone. In hopes that I would upload one to my Instagram at a later date.

 

 

Thursday the 23rd

What?

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Email
  • Messenger
  • Tumblr
  • Countdown app
  • Horoscope app

Today I consumed online media, by waking up and checking my usual social media apps, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by phone. I went on Twitter and scrolled through countless tweets about the London terrorist attack to gain further Information about what was happening. Followed by going on Facebook and liking people’s statuses about the event purely because I agreed with their opinions and was interested to see what they had to say.

I had university, so I Snapchated my journey on the train to my friends. I also messaged my friend on Facebook messenger to see if she was coming to class. This was all purely out of entertainment and mainly sharing with my friends what my day had been like so far. Once I was at university I checked my emails and deleted all the unnecessary spam and proceeded to online shop on the ASOS app on my phone. I didn’t buy anything but I continuously scrolled through different sections while I waited for my friend to arrive.

Throughout class I constantly engaged with online media by liking people’s photos on Instagram and browsed my timeline. I found myself switching back and forth between Snapchat and Instagram to see what my friends were doing.

Before I went to bed I reblogged images on my Tumblr and scrolled through my feed via the phone app. I also made sure to check my horoscope app and countdown app. To see how many days, I had left till my holiday and to check what my star sign said about my day.