Hey there, for the final time for this week!
Today’s final entry (Monday, 27/3/2017) I’ll be once again going through my media usage, highlighting the Whats, Hows and Whys of how I use online media.
From yesterday evening and last night it was primarily focused on social media, while today it has focused more-so on educational sites for academic purposes.
Similar to the past week, the main sites (or apps) I visited included Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (including messenger). These are visited quite frequently, usually for brief periods of time, mostly consisting of consuming media and not nearly as much authoring. I also used the Uber app to organise a ride home, the PTV app to check public transport times. These were for practical reasons – be able to get out, socialise and be able to come home again safely. I checked my emails (which I usually do a couple of times a day, deleting most straight away that aren’t important so my inbox stays uncluttered). I have 4 different emails all linked on my phone, my RMIT student email, a hotmail account that is used primarily for online shopping and most online email subscriptions, I have a gmail account that I use for job seeking and other more professional reasons, and finally an email that I used to use with my Instagram for promoting and business purposes. I delete almost everything that isn’t uni-related or shopping related (eg. for online receipts, shipping confirmation and tracking and ticket purchases, etc). I watched a one hour long episode on Netflix – for entertainment.
I made four posts to my Instagram story, the first of which I’ve embedded as an example. This was a boomerang, with an Instagram filter and sticker applied. I also filmed a short video and two images. These were all captured on my iPhone 6, and uploaded through the Instagram app. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I like being active on my Instagram Story, so as to have things my followers can view or interact with me when I don’t post for extended periods of time.
Today I’ve used the myRMIT and blackboard to complete readings for courses, I’ve also used the online RMIT library, as well as databases such as PSYCHinfo for social research on psychology. These are all consuming media – reading, downloading articles. For one of my classes I have to anonymously contribute to a discussion board on blackboard surrounding the topic of psychology of gender – in this way I have authored content, however, it has been anonymous so no credit was given. I also used Turnitin to submit as assessment task. These were all accessed on my laptop, and the reasons behind this usage were educational, so as to complete work, readings, write and submit essays and assessments.
Hey guys! We’re nearly at the end! We’ve made it to day six (Sunday, 26/3/2017)!
Over the past 24 hours I have used the following online media:
- Facebook Messenger – communication purposes to speak to friends to organise meeting up
- PTV app – checked train and tram times.
- Instagram Story – I filmed and uploaded a video through the app from my night, I also applied a filter and a caption on the video itself
- Commbank App – checked current bank balance
- Twitter – consumed media, checked feed multiple times. Also authored media, posted tweets. For entertainment purposes, and to stay up to date
- Instagram – consumed media, checked Instagram feed several times over the night and today. Liked many photos and left a couple of comments. Usually complimentary on photos of friends. Mostly for entertainment, sometimes to pass time.
- Facebook – consumed media, watched videos, read statuses, scrolled through my feed – these are primarily for entertainment purposes, I also watched a political video, that was to stay up to date with current news and events. I shared a friend’s post about her lost cat that lives close to me – this was to help spread the word or assist in hopefully finding it. Looked up restaurant I was visiting for current weekly specials.
- Uber App – I ordered an Uber home, practical reasons for transportation
- RMIT site/blackboard – consumed media for educational purposes, accessed online readings, course guides and obtained assessment due dates.
- Apple Music – listened to music through the online streaming service, for entertainment purposes.
- Weather App – on iPhone.
- Checked emails
Over the past 24 hours I’ve mostly consumed media rather than authored. It was also mostly for entertainment, educational and practical reasons such as getting to and from places.
Day Five, already! (Saturday, 25/3/2017)
(I haven’t been home too much this weekend so I’ve been documenting my usage on my phone and posting these a day or two later)
So! Over the past day from Friday night to Saturday night, I’ve actually done and contributed to my online media usage in a different way than my previous posts!
I used Instagram Live for the first time! It was my friend’s birthday and we went out and decided it would be a good idea to film part of the night live for our followers (it wasn’t). I don’t think it was particularly interesting content for anyone that watched, except perhaps few that we’re friends with who left comments during the livestream. Instagram Live streams can be viewed in the app, similarly to the stories, however, you can only watch what is currently being filmed and once it’s gone, it can’t be viewed again (there is a feature to download them now, but we did not opt for this). This was mostly for entertainment purposes for ourselves, rather than publishing meanwhile content. Live streaming is not brand new, it’s been around predominantly on Periscope and Facebook Live for a while. But since Instagram introduced stories, which work almost the same as stories on Snapchat, Instagram is one of the most accessible/popular apps and is potentially leaving others unnecessary because you can do most of in the one place. I have more followers on Instagram than friends on Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter, so I can reach a wider audience on there, which has meant I tend to just use Instagram (with some exceptions, particularly Twitter) and not worry about the rest.
This birthday was organised through a Facebook event, which was accessed several times before arriving, so as to stay organised and up to date with what was happening on the night. I checked my Instagram and Twitter feeds regularly. I used the Uber app to get a ride home at the end of the night.
For the following day – Saturday – I checked my social media feeds as soon as I woke up, as well as the weather app to see the day’s forecast – my usual morning ritual, so ingrained in me that I don’t think about it anymore. As mentioned over the last few days, this is partly, habit, entertainment, wanting to stay up to date, and communication reasons.
As the day went on, I made a few tweets, continued to check social media. I watched a one hour episode on Netflix, as well as blackboard to complete some homework. For entertainment and educational reasons, respectively.
Hey, hi, hello!
We’ve made it to the halfway mark of this exercise!
For today’s entry (Friday, 24/3/2017) I’ll be focusing on another platform that I use the most a bit more in depth again. This time it will be Twitter.
Now, I think Twitter is an interesting website – as a microblogging platform, because it definitely isn’t as popular with people that I know like Instagram and Facebook are. While there are countless celebrities on there, a lot of people I know, just don’t get it, and I understand why. I regularly make posts (tweets) everyday, which are all limited to 140 characters. It’s by far the social media site that I author and post the most content to. The limitation of characters also definitely shape the way the site works and how people interact with it as well as each other. There is often a need for abbreviations and shortened slang in order to fit to the character count, and these makes it feel very casual, and far more socially acceptable to post many things one after another – often because you can’t fit it all in one. For example, posting 5 photos on Instagram or making 5 statuses on Facebook in a row are probably going to be seen as more abnormal than making 5 tweets.
Because of the casual nature, as well as less people you often personally know to follow (and following you – note, this isn’t always the case, but it is for most people I know) – there’s a small knit community that interact together, frequently replying to posts that feel a lot closer and less forced than say commenting or receiving a comment on an Instagram photo. For example, I have 1% of the number of followers on Twitter as I do on Instagram – and that’s a conscious decision. I use Twitter on a far more personal and private level, often posting things that I may not want to share with 12 thousand people, but may still want to post online or receive feedback for without directly messaging a single person. It’s also interesting to note that a lot of memes originate from Twitter, and perhaps this casual and often humorous nature could be behind it.
In the past 24 hours I’ve posted 5 original tweets including one photo, and 3 replies to other people. These were all taken, written and posted from my phone on the Twitter app. The photo was not edited at all – unlike my entry about Instagram, where you can see all of my photos are generally edited to fit a theme or aesthetic. This isn’t really present on Twitter. The reasons behind these posts for communication purposes – it’s an easy way to post something for most of my close friends to see. It’s also enjoyable, and a way of documenting thoughts and things that are happening that are written in a way that is usually humorous. Sharing opinions on Twitter, especially about social or political topics is something I did, is easier and more comfortable, because there are less people to start arguments or controversy.
Ways that I consumed media on Twitter – I checked it about 20 times over the hours I was awake. I also liked 12 posts, 4 of which were photos.
Onto my third day documenting my use of online media, and I’ve tried to be a bit more specific than the previous two days. Starting my 24 hour period from about 5pm yesterday to 5pm today (23/3/2017) I recorded how and when I used different media platforms.
5:00pm: Posted 2 images to my Instagram Story.
5:30pm: Posted 2 tweets, also checked my twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds for updates from friends and other people I follow. Watched 2 videos on Facebook, including a short dog video and a movie trailer and commented on a friend’s Facebook post.
5:45 – 11pm: Checked Instagram and Twitter about 17-20 times – I usually do these together because they are not as cluttered, generally not too many posts to go through, and also usually show the most insight into what people are up to/interesting images they are sharing. Although I check them frequently, it only lasts seconds to a couple of minutes. Whereas, I only checked Facebook 3 times in that time, which is full of videos and memes, rather than many actual direct original content from people I know, and it usually takes longer to go through.
I liked 16 posts on Instagram and commented on 2 posts – both from people I know in real life.
10pm: I watched 2 episodes of a show on Netflix before bed (24 minutes episodes)
9am (next day): Checked Instagram and Twitter as soon as I woke up for about 10 minutes. Browsed the Weather app to check today’s forecast.
10:30: Checked Instagram, Twitter and Facebook more in depth on my way to uni on the train
11am: Posted a photo on a friend’s Facebook Timeline for her birthday – the photo had been taken on my iPhone 6 the previous weekend, the flash had been overexposed so I briefly adjusted the brightness on the app VSCO cam. Created and posted a Boomerang video on my Instagram Story – taken once again on my phone, a moving image similar to a GIF. Checked my story from the day before, over 1000 followers/users had viewed it.
11:30am: in the hour it took to get to uni I checked my Facebook notifications 4 times, Instagram and Twitter twice.
12:30pm: During my one hour lecture, I accessed blackboard to view the lecture slides.
3pm: Scrolled through my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds
3:30pm: Accessed Blackboard and the online RMIT library and databases to conduct social research. Also accessed Seek – job searching site, in order to view current jobs in Psychology as per one of my assessments for my social research class. These were all done for educational purposes.
4:07; 4:25; 4:47: Checked my main 3 social media apps again each time
5:00: Used the PTV app for public transport times and updates getting home, replied to Direct Messages on Instagram.
Now digging a bit deeper and looking into why I did all of these things. The vast majority of my usage was consuming media – checking the 3 major social media sites – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – I usually do out of habit and boredom. Sometimes when I find I haven’t checked them in a number of hours I actually feel good about it, and yet I keep on accessing them frequently – as a source of entertainment and to stay updated. The videos I watched on Facebook were for entertainment purposes, while checking things like the weather and train times were more practical. The direct messages was to communicate.
The media I created and posted were for different reasons. The Boomerang – partly because I like how they look and move, I posted a moving image of the book I was reading, this became a starting point for conversation with one of my followers and friends. The photo on my friend’s timeline on Facebook was to wish her a happy birthday but also make it more personal. The comments were to compliment friends, to express how I felt in a positive way.
For my second day on how I use media (March 22, 2017) I’ll be focusing on one particular platform of online media (my most used and my most public) – Instagram.
Over the past 24 hours, while I’ve been awake, I’ve checked my Instagram feed once every 25-30 minutes – on average. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on what I was doing and if I was alone. Habit plays a large role in frequency of checking, as does for entertainment purposes and the idea of fear of missing out – the need or desire to want to stay up to date and not miss anything, as well as the need for constant communication.
That’s how I consumed Instagram, but today I also actively contributed to it. I uploaded 3 photos and a video to my Instagram Story – a feature that allows me to make posts that can be viewed chronologically one after the other that disappear after 24 hours. This is an interesting feature, because it allows me to post things that I may not want permanently on my own feed, but I may still want to be active on Instagram or show my followers certain things. I also uploaded a photo to Instagram, which I’ll be going through in detail today.
My Instagram could be viewed as curated, a constructed persona of myself, and it’s definitely not a realistic portrayal of my everyday life. I don’t really look at it like an actual representation of me or my life, moreso just a collection of images that I think look nice together. I generally don’t try to make my online image on this platform very personal, and my posts mostly include ‘selfies’, ‘flatlays’, travel photos, photos with friends and other points of interest including makeup, fashion and food. I don’t really post about what I do on a daily basis, nor very much about myself. For today’s post, I created a flatlay image, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a photo of objects laid out flat and usually taken from above. This can serve many purposes for advertising or marketing; this is a good way of highlighting items from particular brands – they can be tagged and easily featured (which I’ve done in the past), it can also be a good method for getting exposure, often if you tag brands they may repost your image and hopefully credit you – potentially growing your follower base. I generally post these because I think they look nice, while also breaking up the types of images I post so they’re not all of me.
A lot of work can go into these images, and what I’m focusing on today is how false and contrived they can be. It’s important to note, that a lot of these images that I, and even more-so social media influencers post, are not natural or effortless. While it only took a couple of minutes to arrange the items that I already had on hand, and then a couple of minutes to choose and edit an image on photo-editing apps on my phone, sometimes an entire hour (and even longer) can be spent, making sure it’s perfect.
I used my iPhone 6 to take the photos, and apps Facetune and VSCO cam to edit them. For this post, I didn’t tag anything or anyone, I also generally don’t use hashtags. I merely captioned it with an emoji, and within an hour it had 178 likes. Here you can see a before and after from editing these images, and below you can see how they sit on my Instagram feed.
Day One! (Thursday March 21)
For the next week I’ll be posting daily, tracking what I do with online media. Each day I’ll be outlining my general activity (like below), or focusing on certain aspects about how I have specifically contributed or consumed online media.
In the past 24 hours or so, I’ve contributed to online media by uploading content including:
- posted a Boomerang video to my Instagram story
- 7 tweets (3 original, 4 replies to other people)
- Comments on friends’ Facebook posts
- Comments on Instagram posts
Online media that I have used/consumed in a less active role has been:
- Youtube videos – watched mostly music videos, for less than an hour
- Checked my Facebook feed
- Checked my Instagram feed
- Likes on Instagram posts
- Likes on Facebook posts
- Liked and retweeted other people’s Tweets
- Facebook videos – generally cooking and dog videos – watched as well as saved, so I could look at them at a later time.
- My Instagram feed, watched a bunch of Instagram stories for people
- Netflix, watched 4 episodes
- Facebook Messenger – to communicate with friends
- Replied to Instagram stories – use of Instagram Direct Messaging
- Use the PTV app to check my public transport to get home and to uni
- Listened to music through Apple Music – on the train and bus, before bed, even at home.
- Used the RMIT site, including Blackboard and the Media Factory blog to stay up to date with course readings and work
- Went through Tumblr for some drawing inspiration
- Checked online for store locations and trading hours
- Checked my bank balance as well as transferring money on the Commbank app
- Checking notifications across most apps I use
- Check emails (and immediately delete most of them)
- Online window shopping
- Weather app to check the weather to decide what to wear
As you can see, for my first 24 hour period, I didn’t author or publish very much to online media, and most of my online interaction consisted of absent and passive checking of social media apps, as well as using them for specific purposes (for example weather app and public transport app), and private communication (Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messaging). All interactions were through the use of my iPhone or through my laptop, almost all through Apps (on my phone) and websites (on my laptop).
Why? Every time I’m not stimulated for a couple of minutes, I whip out my phone and refresh my Instagram feed, check my Twitter feed for anything new; desperate for anything to keep me entertained and up to date, ensuring I’m not miss a single thing. Even when I’m already watching a show on Netflix and I’m supposedly already stimulated, habit keeps me grabbing for my phone, wanting to avoid boredom at all costs, even if it costs me the ability to fully engage with a single platform. When I’m alone; between classes, travelling to and from uni, going to the shops – I’m always listening to music from my phone; as a distraction , but also as a sense of familiarity, comfort and enjoyment.
Even in the past twenty minutes since I’ve been writing this, I’ve checked Instagram 3 times, Twitter and Facebook 4 times, despite “actively” working and writing.