The most important thing for me to determine before I begin my 72-hour log is, what is media? I must decide what exactly constitutes the consumption of media and distinguish perhaps between checking the time and watching a film. Even before I conduct this research into my own usage, I am already well aware that I lead a very much media-saturated life, consuming a broad variety of mediums.
For me, and for the purpose of this text, I will define media as a direct communication with something or somebody else. Checking the time, then, does not fit into these parameters. Stumbling upon an advertisement on the back of a Bus however, does. Recording each occasion I check the time on my phone, or conduct other actions of that ilk, seems a waste of time and would, in my opinion, skew the data that I’m collecting.
The 72-hour log will consist of three continuous days of recording my usage habits. In order to practice, and to enable me to decide what may class of media, I conducted a pilot log of 24 hours. To do this, I printed the Media Log template provided and made some slight adjustments allowing me to add slightly more details in some columns, such as ‘Purpose Served’.
There were some challenges that arose from conducting this pilot test. The most prevalent of which was perhaps convenience and ease of recording data. Unless I was to take the Media Log sheet out-and-about with me, proceeding to note all media interactions, I would find myself forgetting what media I had come across throughout the day. To combat this issue, I decided to take photographs or screen-shots of the media I’d consumed during the day, returning home to complete the log in the evening using said images to refer to.
Another thing that became apparent was my consistent use of Social Media; specifically, Twitter. To avoid adding 30-Second bullets of ‘Twitter checking’ to my log, I decided to round-up these chunks into entries that consist of perhaps 10 minutes of phone checking – adding the use of a variety of Social Networks in the ‘Other Observations’ column.
These are the main two changes that I will make as I come to conducting the 72-hour log as they will certainly make my life easier and, hopefully, allow the data to show a more accurate reflection of my usage. To ensure that the data is accurate, I intend to record and log usage as often and as correctly as I possibly can.
Once the 72-hour log is finished I expect that my media usage will be somewhat routine and for some commonly-used applications to appear centric. As I mentioned earlier, I am an avid Social Networker. In addition to apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I expect to see repeated use of Netflix as well as some gaming-time sprinkled amongst it.