What I learnt about what I do with online media, the what, why and how.

Online media is completely embedded in my life, it has been this way ever since Web 2.0 allowed for consumers such as myself to actually interact with media. I wake up to my alarm and immediately check my major social media platforms, I get ready for the day listening to music online, I leave to go somewhere and use google maps and tram tracker to find my way. I’d get to my destination and continue checking my media accounts to stay in the loop, I’d probably take photos and videos of where I was and perhaps upload them, then later after I’d go home I’d browse the web for simple entertainment. My whole day is spent accessing, interacting with and discussing online media.

During our week of self-documentation I discovered just how much media I consume on a daily basis and began to analyse what these media’s did for me and how I used them. I knew that there was a lot of it but I was shocked to find out just how much ‘a lot’ was. In my initial estimations of use I only really considered the main platforms of media that I use; Netflix, Facebook and Instagram. I didn’t factor in all the small things that I use on a daily basis to function in the way I do, including transportation information and apps, email, google, youtube, banking applications etc. I didn’t factor in any of these things because I only access them on my phone, and for some reason I forgot that my phone is a media server that uses internet. I guess it’s been too long since I haven’t had any internet access on my phone as I have a plentiful amount of data and never worry about overusing it. I learnt from this that I’ve been blissfully oblivious to the reliance I have on the online media world. I’m not sure I’d successfully make it through a day without it. Through thorough reflection I uncovered 3 main reasons that I use online media; for social upkeep and satisfaction, for professional and administrative use and for pure entertainment lead consumption.

The first reason is the easiest to unpack. Everyday of my media documentation I consistently used Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. My uses for these three platforms slightly differ from each other as Facebook is the site in which I get global information and consume high levels of popular culture through photos, articles and videos. “The initial purpose of Facebook was to allow university students to create and maintain social ties which were relevant to the university experience” (Personality and motivations associated with Facebook use, 2008, Pg. 579), however Facebook isn’t used by me to just ‘keep track’ of my friends, it’s more to keep track of the world, what’s happening, the latest funny creations and stories, and lastly to give any friends an overall account of my life through uploading photo albums on my profile. “Facebook is a computer-mediated Social Networking System that has become one of the most popular means of communication” (Personality and motivations associated with Facebook use, 2008, Pg. 579) since its exponential growth since 2004,this has allowed for it to be so full of different medias. Instagram is much more directly social based. I mainly follow friends and family and Instagram is an easy way for me to discover the best parts of their weeks through edited photos and videos (which you can read about in my first blog post). Snapchat is much more informal than its counterparts. Snapchat is used by me to converse with friends and share with them what I’m currently up to. Together the three are used by me (and I’m certainly not the only one) not only by choice but also by a forceful desire to always be up to date with the world.

Professional use of online media is my most interesting internet usage point, as it is the only reason that is easily justified and makes complete sense. Internet is found by this reason not just a platform for entertainment and social connection, but a platform for learning, directing and effectively completing essential tasks. I’m not just talking about using google drive for assignments. Universities have discovered that “social media sites can be valuable tools for collaborative learning” (Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media, 2011), but universities aren’t the only ones using the internet as a tool for connectivity. I’m also discussing the overlooked applications (by me) that I would be in trouble without, including online banking, Uber, Email, Maps and online work roster systems. I found myself very aware of each time that I accessed the internet and realised that I needed it on countless occasions, most notably when I lost my bank card and required the internet to lookup a cancellation number, and to check that my account had not been accessed by an outside party. If I had not been able to do these things immediately on the Friday night that it occurred then I would have had to wait until Monday to head into a bank branch and cancel my card at customer service, giving anyone who happened across the card a whole weekend to steal my money if they so desired. This banking service is just one way that companies and education systems have taken advantage of the technology at their fingertips, it makes so many things much simpler and makes connections from one party to another during every hour of every day possible.

Last but not least is my pure consumption of media, where I seek out the online environments to entertain myself, only lightly interacting with the online content. This was usually achieved through Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud and online streaming sites for films. “A substantial number of service providers in the Web 2.0 domain seem to understand that next to the high-volume hit products and services, there is a high… market potential of individual…products and services” (Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 2008, Pg. 245), these services are sought out by individuals mainly for reasons of entertainment and lead to high levels of consumption. I found that Netflix in particular was used by me over and over and over again. This was due to my desire to effortlessly relax and watch a film or tv show without any advertisement, without having to find a new episode and most importantly without having to move. It makes watching film so simple compared to any other method of doing so. I tried a different streaming source, but found it hard to locate and didn’t trust that it wasn’t harming my device with viruses. Through Facebook my consumption was also simple, I didn’t search anything, I simply followed my news feed down and down, then refreshed the page and repeated. In doing this I didn’t necessarily interact with online media as I simply viewed things for the sake of it.

Online media is important to me. I rely on it for many things and it continually supplies me with new and fun ways of interacting and connecting with people and information. I’ve learnt that I am actively involved with media every day for all purposes, stretching from education and sourcing important information to simply watching a 7 minute dog video that brightens my day. The internet is an excellent tool that I’ve been taking advantage of to benefit myself, however after recording my excessive use I’ve come to realise that I may be too dependant on it for my own good. Online media will undoubtedly continue to develop, and by doing so envelop more people into a digital world, helping them through communication and interactivity.

 

Reference list.

Moran, M; Seaman, Jeff; Tinti-Kane, H., Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media, 2011, Boston.

Ross, C. Emily, SO. Sisic, M, Arsenault, JM. Simmering, MG. Robert, RO. Personality and motivations associated with Facebook use, 2008, University of Windsor, Canada.

Constantinides, E. & Fountain, S. J Direct Data Digit Mark Pract (2008) 9: 231. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 2008, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 231–244.

Documentation analysis #3

After reflecting upon all my previous blog entries I’ve begun to realise all the different ways I really do use media when looking at them all as a whole. I’ve nailed my main uses to 3 separate topics, these are;

  • accessing online media for social uses (I both want to do this and feel pressured to),
  • accessing online media for professional uses (I have to do this in order to complete uni work, update work rosters, find my way home on public transport etc.) and
  • using online media as a platform for pure consumption for entertainment purposes (Netflix, YouTube, Facebook etc. any site that I browse in my free time that isn’t necessary to me).

I realised throughout my blogging that everyday was so similar yet so different. I always used the same major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Email, however it were the little things that interested me such as Uber, Tram Tracker, Google search, Google Maps, TimeTarget, and online banking. (all of these are applications on my mobile). I certainly found that I accessed much more different medias on my mobile than any other platform as it is always in hand and the quickest device on which i can access any information I desire or require.

I’ve discovered that I’m extremely reliant on media and I’ve been quite oblivious to this fact, and why wouldn’t I be, it’s been a long time since the internet hasn’t been available for me to access with the touch of a thumb. Not only am I reliant on it but I’m heavily encouraged to use it for professional reasons such as university, work and banking. In fact I’d be unable to do many things relating to these topics without access to online media. I don’t think I could have even applied to be a student at RMIT without it (research, discovery through advertising, application, payments, student portal, email).

After all these discoveries I’ve become intrigued at the comparison of my internet usage between the above three reasons of use. I want to explore why and how I use it in these different ways, and how it’s changed the way I live today.

Documentation analysis #2

  1. I take the online access that I have for granted. 
  • I am constantly connected on my phone, tv and laptop, yet all I do is consume.
  • I have the potential to do more
  • I don’t notice how connected and how reliant I am on the online platforms
  • I use the major platforms constantly (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Emails, Google, YouTube, Netflix etc.) but I’m also always using smaller ones a lot less often, yet I’m still reliant on them (Maps, Uber, Spotify etc.)
  • Functional Vs Social – structural flows between content. Facebook leads where, why am I on there.
  • When do I HAVE to do things online, I’m forced to use it (forms online etc)
  • I understand why I use it for functional uses but why do I use it for social – is it really social? Is there crossover between the two in this generation?
  • Feeling forced to be on social platforms, to stay up to date, FOMO
  • Can discuss netball pages, communications that are functional but are accessed on social sites (Facebook has lots of official pages etc.). Can discuss Domain, TimeTarget.

I think it’ll be interesting to explore the ideas behind Functional use of online media and Social use. Not only in comparison but also how they interconnect and can be one and the same in our modern society, as it has become culture to be a consumer and create of online media.

I want to explore these ideas because I think about how convenient to use and how accessible the internet has made things, it’s normal and easy for me to follow but older generations struggle to adapt and I find this interesting (and frustrating).

 

Documentation analysis #1

Over the last 7 days I have been (attempting) to document all, or most, of my media use on that has been occurring daily, and then writing up a blog post about said use. This was the first task of our 1st assessment for Networked Media as it is a starting point to analysing our own contribution and interaction with online media.

The week was eye opening for me as I realized how much media I actually interacted with online. I mean I knew it was going to be a lot but I was still surprised at exactly how much ‘a lot’ was. I noticed that I was almost constantly consuming online media and rarely ever creating and sharing it myself. The first 3 days of documentation were easy, I focused each on a major media platform that I often use (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube). The 4 days following were more interesting. I found them more difficult to write because I started repeating things that I had already said. This was strange because I do not have a daily routine at all in life, yet I tended to have similarities in my daily interaction with social media’s and other online platforms.

I was pleasantly surprised that each day I had at least one little new thing I had done compared to the previous day, whether it be downloading a new application, booking an Uber, uploading a photo or applying for houses and browsing housing websites. At first thought I didn’t consider these things to be relevant as I didn’t use them as heavily as the main platforms, but I now think the opposite, little things do count and they will help me in the rest of this assessment as they prove the connections I have with the online atmosphere and how much I rely on media every single day.

I honestly thought that this task would be a total chore for me every night, but, even though I ay have been late with some entries, I found the results entertaining to overlook upon. It really illuminated that I would be up struggle street if I didn’t have the online access that I have today, and that I certainly take it for granted. It’s no wonder the older generations find it difficult to keep up. We are constantly online doing everything that they used to physically do through the web.

#7: My Media Interaction

#7: Sunday the 26th to Monday the 27th of March

What: Watched a television series on Netflix

How: I saw a meme on Facebook that was of the show and so I opened a new tab on my laptop and accessed Netflix to watch it whilst I was doing other small things that required little attention.

Why: I felt like watching something light and funny to relax after studying lots, working, going to house inspections and just being generally busy. Watching Netflix is left for my downtime and sometimes I desperately need some downtime. As I’ve previously stated, Netflix is ridiculously easy to use and it’s free for me (my sister pays and I leech off her account). I can watch it on my tv, phone and laptop and it quickly loads with a good internet connection, is ad free and best of all is effort free as all the episodes continue on after each other, rather than if I was illegally streaming them I’d have to access a different link to watch a different episode etc.


What: Applied for houses online with both the domain and real estate websites. Then looked up the location for these houses on the maps application on my iPhone.

How: As I’ve been accessing these sites a lot lately they have started to be advertised all over my laptop and phone, I am constantly getting popups on random websites, receiving emails and text messages all linking me to the site to check out the newest houses on the market. To look up the location I simply type in the address and can instantly see how far the house is from everything that I need.

Why: I’m currently looking for a place to rent and so of course I’m actively applying online for houses. It’s an easy and quick way to check out places and give people access to my information in a timely manner. The constant bombardment I receive from advertisements and reminders gives me constant access and ability to interact with these sites. Checking the location is important to me as I’m a young student without a car and need to be close to netball, uni, work and hopefully some friends.


What: Emailed people I found on FlatmateFinder.com as well the ‘Fairy Floss Real Estate’ page on Facebook, letting them know that I’m interested in sharing their houses with them.

How: The flatmate finder website offers contact details for each applicant and facebook advertisements on fairy floss real estate messaged me their details when I showed interest in renting out their room.

Why: I used these contact details to contact people via email as I think it’s an effective yet professional media platform to use for such an occasion. My email is also easily accessible on both my phone and laptop so I can receive notifications of responses as quickly as possible.

#6: My Media Interaction

#6: Saturday the 25th to Sunday the 26th of March

What: Looked up online what zoo tickets cost on the Melbourne Zoo website.

How: Typed into google ‘Melbourne zoo tickets’ and clicked on the first link.

Why: I wanted to go to the zoo but needed to make sure I could afford it. The website also offered a list of animals that were available to see at the present time. I looked this up because after watching so many videos of animals I thought ‘I want to go to the zoo’. I also needed to make sure that it wasn’t too expensive so as I wouldn’t waste time and effort getting to the zoo only to find out that it was out of my budget.


What: Updated my availability for work on Zeus TimeTarget.

How: I was sent an email reminder which included a link to follow to the site.

Why: The site easily allows me to notify my work (a very large corporation) that I am available for certain times, dates and events so as they can save time in offering me shifts as I can actually work at the times I’ve specified. This is much better than the comparison of them just blindly offering me shifts and wasting time and energy when I reject them and they have to continue offering them to others. It also makes it so much simpler that they send me emails that give me access to the site at the best times for the company.


What: Sent snapchats to my friends and read all the snapchat articles, and tested out the newest filters.

How: I simply accessed the app on my phone after receiving notifications that I was receiving snaps. I do not use snapchat how it was designed to be used (surroundings, photogarphing what I’m up to. I use my story for that sometimes, if I think it’s interesting enough to be uploaded and viewed by all my friends. I instead send stupid videos of myself and hold random conversations and catchups.

Why: I use Snapchat because I find it the most interesting means of communication for me. It’s fun and interactive and the articles are a great way to interact with media as you can easily send them to your friends and play the little games they include. There’s an option to subscribe to all the magazines that are active but I prefer to check them out whenever I feel like it.

#5: My Media Interaction

#5: Friday the 24th to Saturday the 25th of March

What: Once again, watched a film online.

How: I streamed it illegally from 123movies.com on my laptop.

Why: I watched it because I’d previously heard about the film and after some light research I found that it was very highly critically acclaimed. It had great online reviews (imdb), yet it wasn’t licensed for Netflix so I had to scout it out from other servers. I chose to look up my online reviews from imdb because it is such a popular and widely used source and therefor I find it pretty reliable and expect it’s information to be accurate. It’s also free. I used 123movies because I’ve used it in the past and found it to be of relatively good quality and minimal ads/viruses.


What: Played around on Facebook, scrolling aimlessly through news feed and saving articles, memes and videos.

How: I accessed Facebook on my iPhone in the free application

Why: I was temporarily bored as my boyfriend was playing on his PS4 and I could easily look at my news feed and half listen/half watch him. I always scroll aimlessly like this because it’s addictive to stay up to date with social media, get the latest memes and tag everyone before they tag you. It’s so easy to do this when doing other things too because it doesn’t require your full attention, you can easily look up and stop scrolling or pause a video etc.


What: Googled a phone number to cancel a debit card.

How: Opened up the google application on my phone

Why: I had lost my credit card and needed to cancel it ASAP. I googled it online because I knew that i’d find a solution with a phone number to call that would immediately cancel my card and stop people from accessing my account and stealing my money. This was certainly the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to do this, compared to going into my branch which I would have to travel to get to and waiting in line at customer service to ask them to cancel my card, not to mention I would have to wait until Monday when the branch would be open in business hours.


What: Accessed the CommBank application on my phone, and googled the gmcu website.

How: The CommBank app on my phone is so simple to use, it registers my fingerprint to give me immediate access to my NetBank account whenever and where ever. The GMCU website isn’t as easy to access as it isn’t an application, however on the website there is an option for mobile banking which is a mobile compatible system and screen.

Why: I need to immediately access both my accounts to check that all my funds were still there and had not been stolen, and to transfer money from one bank to the other to pay rent.