Overall, the media of college in 2016 is shaping the experience and the content of my studies and my life as a college student in multiple ways that I would not have foreseen five years ago. As innovative advancements in media continue to be created and all the different forms of social media have become increasingly popular, I have found myself interacting with media, specifically the technological forms of it, at a much more frequent rate than I ever would have imagined in 2011, or at age 13.
The reason that 13-year-old me would be surprised at how much technology I utilize today mainly has to do with the fact that I have always considered myself behind on the latest devices and social media as each have evolved. In other words, while I’m not completely out of sync with the times, I did definitely start using some aspects of technology much later than my peers. Therefore, the evolution of the role technology plays in my life is definitely existent, but it has been slightly delayed when compared to other people my age. Today I consider the frequency of my use as somewhere in between moderate and high.
As a result of my past interaction with media, I found this week’s topic to be very intriguing because it was one that I had never heard of, yet it is something that poses a very important question for me in my everyday life. From normal day to day phone and laptop use for social reasons, online access to textbooks, eLC, email (both school and personal), and other online resources for homework and in regards to my education, there are so many ways in which I utilize media, without thinking twice about the process of it.
However, I do believe the frequency of my use is something I need to be more aware of. I honestly have no idea how many hours of the day I use both my phone and laptop for non-educational purposes, but at this point I can say it is too much. When I consider my social media use specifically, it’s difficult to say whether or not I need to be using all the different kinds of accounts that I have (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) as much as I do.
As I think about how others use these apps, and the frequency with which they use them, I can’t help but compare my usage to theirs, thinking “well at least I’m not as bad as so-in-so'” when social media becomes a distraction from schoolwork and studying. It’s in scenarios like those that irony is present, especially when I know I may actually may have a problem myself, and could in fact be a hypocrite in my own right.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that there are many awesome advantages to having social media and other forms of media as such a present part of my own college life. However, I definitely think that I need to start analyzing and considering how much usage is too much, when it’s useful or necessary (for both for the social and educational reasons), and what the best balance is for me personally when it comes to the amount of time I devote to each part of my life.