The reality of my social media use.
I have to say, 7 days of tracking my social media usage was actually exhausting. I knew that I was heavily involved in the social media and digital world. However, I’m not sure if I’m impressed or embarrassed about the amount of time each day that I spend immersed in that universe. It has also made me realise how disconnected and connected social media makes you from your reality and your physical world, at the same time. For the most part, a lot of my daily use was repetitive.
The process of documenting my days was draining, boring and tedious. We don’t want to analyse what we do online, because often it makes us realise how much time we are ‘wasting’. At the end of each day I documented what I did, leaving out information about some things that I had already commented on in previous days. However, I have made note of these actions that I would do everyday through social media, allowing me to understand myself better.
Viewing vs. Authoring, Publishing and Distributing
I was intrigued to realise that while I do engage with social media a lot by ‘viewing’, I was heavily involved with authoring, publishing and distributing content in a vast range of ways. Just ‘liking’ something has a lot more implications and actions to it than I originally realised. By engaging with content through this ‘viewing’ way, I was taken from my original site of choice (e.g. Facebook) to many interconnected websites and blogs by clicking through to find out more, view videos and find out more about content. Social media is completely entangled with websites, streaming sites, personal blogs, companies plugging their products and more.
Human Engagement vs. Alone Time
One thing I did notice, is that about 60% of my online and social media use was done through my iPhone 7 Plus and the rest done through my MacBook Pro. And there was not one occasion during my week of tracking that I engaged with other human beings in person while I was using social media. I didn’t watch any videos with friends, show them a funny meme I saw or anything that engaged both my social media and the physical connection of someone enjoying the content with me.
Distracted Social Media Use.
I spent a lot of time skimming through articles, looking at imagery and key points, but rarely committed to engaging 100% with what I was looking at. Usually I would have music or be streaming content from Netflix or Stan on another device. We are bombarded when we log in to a social media platform – visuals, text, advertising, world issues, notifications. We are already distracted constantly, but by engaging with multiple platforms at one time (eg. Stan and Facebook) – how can we multi-task to a point where we are engaging effectively with both platforms? Is that even possible? When I was using the internet and digital space for university work, I attempted to hone in my focus as much as possible – usually just on the one article or engaging with one online platform at a time.