In order to better understand media practices and online usage I recorded my daily media use over the period of a week. I would get to the end of my day, and recount everything that I did that day, trying to remember specifically the times that I was online.
When I was online and engaging with media, I would go through the motions without thinking twice about what it was that I was doing, sometimes completely unaware that I was engaging at all- scrolling through my newsfeed. During my daily reflections I became more intentional about my media use and discovered how integral it is to how I live my life.
Each day I would engage with different online mediums for various periods of time, however every day featured Google, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, PTV and my WeatherZone app.
What I found was that I was more of an observer than a creator, author or publisher. While you can give a voice to the people, not everyone’s voices want to be heard. I found that online validation influenced how I behaved online. I would rather share something privately than post publicly onto a friend’s wall. I rarely posted a status because I feared I wouldn’t get enough likes. Objectively, I recognise that these fears are ridiculous. I know Facebook and Instagram likes don’t represent my real-life worth in the slightest form.
Yet, this is the way that people engage on the Web 2.0. We as a community of users and consumers have developed a ‘worth’ system based on likes (and now shares, comments and reactions) and whether I like it or not, it has influenced the way I engage with online media.