I spent 29 hours on my computer and around 10 hours on my phone this past week. I’m actually surprised my log time wasn’t more considering how strongly I feel that I’m so dependent on technology. I began using the app Self Control this past quarter and it’s greatly influenced my usage. I’m able to block websites like Buzzfeed, Hulu, and Youtube on my computer and increase my productivity with minimal effort. The time I spend mindlessly browsing what I call ‘junk’ websites has decreased and I’ve noticed that my mood has actually changed as a result. When I spend 2+ hours on a website like Buzzfeed instead of doing schoolwork, I’m incredibly disappointed with myself and think of all the other things I could be doing with that time (going on a run, doing yoga, talking to my mom, etc). Using Self Control has positively changed my behavior and my mood- I guess you could say my ‘digital diet’ is a success! I think the key to my successful cut-down of tech time is that it is passive: I don’t have to think about cutting back, an app does it for me.
I found it difficult to log phone usage because I didn’t have an app like RescueTime on my computer helping me out. It’s also more difficult for me to divide my time on my phone because I don’t see much of my usage as wasteful. I have a very close relationship with my mom, and I talk to her nearly every day on the phone (or at the very least I text her). To me, the time I spend on the phone when I’m talking to her is not a waste but rather positively enhances my day. This changed the way I logged phone usage versus computer usage because I mostly divided computer time into what I saw as productive versus unproductive activity.
I am the kind of person that could be easily described as an internet addict. As long as I am awake and in a place with internet, I have the internet on and several activities running at once. The skype app is open all day as I periodically message friends, and whether I am on Pandora or 8tracks, I have online music playing constantly. These facts make me a little scared to actually count the number of hours that I spend online as I’m sure the number looks fairly frightening. Suffice it to say, it is a lot.
However, when I started needing to track it, I had to make decisions about what my categories for tracking would be and why. One of the major decisions for me was a difference between ‘Tumblr browsing’ and ‘Tumblr roleplaying.’ I decided this was a matter of intent. When I’m browsing, I’m merely going through my dash, reading comments, reblogging, being very passive. But when I am working on my roleplaying, I am replying to threads as my characters, creating promos to attract new people, editing the html and organization on blogs, and answering questions sent to the main page (as I am one of the moderators). I saw all of this as active creativity and community building, which made it a very different activity. Decisions like this characterized my process.
I find it unlikely that I’ll change my internet habits any time soon, not without some outside force like a job that requires me to leave my house. The people I talk to on skype and through the roleplay are ones I can’t contact any other way, and I consider them close friends of mine. And even as I read, I love the playlists that I can access online, so I have the internet going in the background of my most isolated activities. At the moment, it works for me and I still get all my school work done, so I see no reason to change.
I spent a total of 59 hours (44.5 hours on a computer/television and 14.5 hours on mobile) consuming information through technology this past week. This amounts to a little over a third of hours we have in a week. I was not completely surprised by the amount of hours I had spent, since I had previously believed most of my online hours was for my job and education. Then came Monday morning, when I actually sat down and reviewed the data on Rescue Time, I realized I am not as focused as I had previously believed I was.
The program showed me I had unconsciously allocated myself over 50% of computer time, and almost all of the time spent on my phone, was used for entertainment purposes. This was also not taking into account the music I had playing on Pandora which would have severely skewed the results to point where it may have looked like I was constantly tapped into the internet every waking moment. I’m still unsure how I feel about this new revelation. On one hand, part of me feels that I am wasting a quarter of my life doing nothing while on the other hand I realize I need time to relax my mind and body.
Even though I am still unsure of my feelings for this data, I do understand there maybe drawbacks to multitasking. I don’t think I will go the route of using an application, like Self Control, instead I will make sure to limit multitasking on the computer towards one project at a time. For example, if I am doing homework and I have multiple tabs open it will all be related to the assignment I am currently working on. I’ll try this for the rest of the quarter, and see what sort of effects this may result to in my life.
From the data I recorded from my daily activities I am able to conclude that approximately 53% of my day is spent using some sort of technological medium. 35% of the remaining 47% of the day is my sleep, which means that only 12% of my average day is spent without the involvement of some sort of technology. Needless to say that I find myself to be extremely dependent on technology.
I chose not to use any kind of app to keep track of my computer usage, choosing instead to keep track manually. I stand by my choice but it often meant that I lost track of how long I spent in a particular category and that my results are just good estimates based on what I know of my own habits. I do know, from what I did write down, that I spend a lot of time on what I called “entertainment” websites. These are websites such as yahoo and buzzfeed where I can mindlessly look at stories, recipes, and pictures. These are a separate category from video/audio such as Netflix and YouTube, which I also spend a lot of time on.
I found it impossible to separate my information between my computer and my phone. I use them for similar purposes, and it seemed unnecessary to keep them separate. This is mostly because my phone is used to entertain me in the 10-15 minutes before class starts, and I considered most of my phone time to count as entertainment.
Right now, I think that my habits are revolving around entertainment because it is still so early in the quarter that I’m not researching or writing papers for any of my classes yet. As a senior preparing to graduate, my schedule is also significantly lighter than it has been in the past. For this specific time in my life, I think my computer habits are fine the way they are. My habits evolved to reach this point in my life and I’m sure they will continue to evolve as my priorities change.
I’ve clocked around 11-13 hours of technology consumption a day. Six of those hours were usually spent on work towards my job, which is still have fun doing and could be considered borderline entertainment. The other 5 or 6 hours were composed of a mix of entertainment, phone usage, music, communication, and leisure.
I had been jotting down times on a notepad, but never really totaled up the hours until the week ended. The times did surprise me, but I did know I was heavily reliant on technology, so it wasn’t a complete shock. I was more aware of my time and I actually became more efficient in my day. I was more conscious of the time I spent with my phone and computer during my leisure hours. Resisting the use of my phone or computer became an itch that was harder to avoid scratching, so I eventually would succumb and tap back into my technology.
I feel like there are definitely things to do without technology, but it offers such a ready and available solution to boredom that it trumps any kind of desire to do otherwise. I notice sometimes that my hand automatically whips my phone out from my pocket the moment i walk out of a classroom. My first reaction is to check my skype messages and email the moment I get home. It really is an integral part of my life, but I’m unsure whether I like or dislike this heavy of a habit.
My information log was recorded during an unusually busy week for me, and yet I still spent a substantial amount of time using media information sources. Had I not taken a recording of my time, I would have argued that I spent no time at all on Facebook or watching Netflix, because these things are so habitual that I do not acknowledge them as they happen. I used Toggl to record my activities, because many other of the applications were not compatible with my Google Chromebook. This was a helpful method of tracking, except for one night that I forgot to press “Stop” because I fell asleep. That led me to think about how media consumption often does lull us from our waking hours into sleep, whether it is homework or Netflix, so when does it really stop?
Tracking my phone time was more difficult, since it occurred in quick spurts most of the time, not even full minutes. It was also often used simultaneously with other activity categories, like “Facebook” and “Writing Articles”. It is interesting that my main distraction from computer time is my phone. The only reason I was not on my phone more this week was because I worked many long, busy days and I had long yoga classes, both of which required me to leave my phone in a back room.
This activity was really an eye-opener, and it would be interesting to see what my activity level is like on an average week where I have more downtime. It also made me wonder what I would be doing if Netflix did not exist, and it is sad to realize I would probably be reading a book for leisure.
Looking at my time logs, I’m not surprised at all by my results. Just for the highlights, I spent a total of 103 hours consuming media (of all types) in the past week (or almost 15 hours per day). This includes the “good media” (homework and reading a book) as well as the “bad media” (distracting websites and whatnot), and what I’m calling “neutral media” (listening to Pandora while doing these other activities as well as phone calls with family members). Of this time, a disproportionate amount was spent on the “bad” and “neutral” medias. This, again, I wasn’t surprised by. My best friend lives in St. Louis, so naturally it is a long distance friendship. Accordingly, my top three consuming behaviors were Skype and phone calls (44 hours), Pandora (35 hours and 45 minutes), and Skype IMing (31 hours). Right below that is the time that I spent on homework.
This is the first thing that ~did~ actually surprise me. I didn’t think that below those first three activities schoolwork would be the fourth thing. I thought that it might be my gaming activities or perhaps tumblr. But homework was indeed the fourth ranking media consumption, however, my time spent on homework (where the other three activities were upwards of 24 hours a week) was only 13 hours and 46 minutes. My total time spent on homework was little more than 12% of the time that I spent on the other top three activities. This being said, the time that I did spend on homework was spent exclusively and uninterrupted on homework. If I sat down to do homework for 1 hour, I would do homework for 1 hour, same for if I sat down to do homework for 4 hours or 5 hours. It is for this reason that I feel that I can spend this “little” time on homework and still complete all of it. Because that’s what I do. I schedule time for myself to do homework and I do it until completion. If I need to spend 20 hours on homework a week instead of 13, that’s what I do.
That being said, I don’t think I could do much to alter the order in which these activities rank. As long as I have a friend across the U.S. I feel that Skype will remain my main method of consuming media. As long as I am aware of that fact, I feel I am well equipped to handle the other areas of my life accordingly to continue to be successful despite my media consumption.
One thing that I did find quite disappointing when looking at the summary of my media consumption is the fact that it shone so much light on the fact that I barely picked up a book for pleasure reading in this whole week. Recreational reading took up only 1 hour and 28 minutes of my time logs where gaming took up almost 10 hours and Tumblr and Netflix took a combined 23 hours. Web browsing and miscellaneous consumption took up an additional 16 hours and 23 minutes. But reading, which I still claim is one of my favorite things to do, took only an hour and a half. Additionally, I still claim that I am a “writer” but clearly, I do not write, as that is not listed anywhere on this log (arguably writing original content is not media “consumption” but that point is moot, as I did not write).
In conclusion, there were several things that this exercise shed light on by assigning actual numbers to the time that I spent on these activities. I don’t think that much will change at the top of the graph (Skype, Pandora, and Homework), however, after doing these logs, I feel that a lot more can be done to change the middle and bottom of the graph (Netflix, Tumblr, Gaming, Reading, etc.)
Over the course of one week, I logged 25 hours and 19 minutes on my personal laptop for school and entertainment, 2 hours of television, and 7 hours at my work computer/headset. I used RescueTime to track my computer usage, and kept a note on my cell phone (which seems strangely ironic now) to when I watched television and worked. Tracking my cell phone usage proved to be harder because I would constantly check it for 30-45 seconds at a time, so instead of just logging in minutes, I tallied the amount of times I checked my phone in a day. I did this Monday through Wednesday, which averaged out to a whooping 37 times/day. As for total time, I averaged approximately one extra hour everyday for cell phone usage on iMessage, apps, etc. All tech usage combined totals up to 41 hours and 19 minutes, which calculates out to about 24% of my week.
While I’m not entirely surprised, I did find a few of my habits interesting. Looking at my RescueTime graphs, I noticed how many different websites and applications I used throughout the same hour. Rather than devoting an hour to just homework or entertainment, I would do four different things at the same time, combining reading with music with social media. This further adds to Hari and Ulin’s arguments that society has lost the ability to focus. At one point, I even found myself on Netflix while returning emails, making me question how many spelling and grammatical errors I must have made due to all the distraction.
Another interesting thing I noticed was the overlap between what I do on my phone and laptop. I can access iMessage, email, Instagram, and Facbeook on both outlets, so I found myself checking Snapchat on my phone while already logged into Facebook on my computer. Does this mean that one outlet isn’t enough?
These results have made me realize my intense dependency on technology. I need it for all aspects of my daily life, whether school or work. The hard truth is that I know I can’t unplug forever, but I do think it would be interesting to take away my phone or deactivated social media for a few days/weeks. Being more aware of my dependency has been enlightening, but also disheartening.
Looking at the raw data I accumulated for the week put my media consumption habits into perspective. I learned that I consume various forms of media in short spurts, and the accumulation of these spurts was surprising. My music consumption habits on Spotify, for example, were very alarming at the end of the day. Typically, I would play music as I’m getting ready in the morning, or walking between classes. These are spurts which normally take a few minutes at most. It was surprising to record 3 to 4 hours of listening to Spotify when I recorded my data each day.
The same goes with accessing social media websites: a normally scroll through the news feed for a couple minutes, but the frequency in which I do so increased my distraction time online tremendously. This type of media consumption, I believe, is very prevalent when using cell phones with text messaging and phone calls, which was why collecting mobile data was important as well.
The latter half of the week was not the norm of my media consumption habits as I was in an area where Internet connectivity with my laptop was very difficult to access. I did discover, however, that I began to utilize my mobile device and its applications more as a result because they were easier to access.
I feel my habit of consuming media in short bursts with great frequency is hazardous and supports the many studies that say that our media consumption is preventing us from sticking to tasks for prolonged periods of time with great concentration. By going back and forth, it’s forcing our minds to repeatedly restart our focus on a single task, not only making it time consuming, but also taxing on our minds as well. I believe if I change my habits by establishing designated times to consume my media, rather than consuming in short, convenient bursts, my productivity would increase immensely.
Looking at my consumption log, I spend nearly 40% of my day on some sort of electronic device. The sad part is that I was in Vegas this weekend which means my average was way below what it probably is. The days I was not in vegas I was averaging 54%. At the same time, in the age of technology we live in I don’t see it as a completely bad thing. Without technology we would not be able to get work done. Technology, such as using the computer, is also a leisure activity to me, whether it be checking on sports or watching TV shows. I never let technology affect my educational or personal life; when I’m spending time with my friends I try not to pay attention to my phone or other devices.
Looking at the specifics, I always listen to music while at the gym or biking to school. That can’t really be put as a bad habit or reliance on technology. It’s just something that keeps me going. Most of my damage actually came from doing work on the computer which yet again proves my point that all this technology consumption isn’t actually a bad thing if positive things are coming from it. Social media use from the computer came in third followed by television then video games.
All in all this consumption actually opened my eyes to how much of my life is being put into electronic devices. It’s kind of scary if you think about it. But at the same time, if you’re not using these advances we have in this world for either work, leisure, or just anything in general I believe you’re falling behind in our current times.
After taking the time to compile the information I have logged over the logging week, from April 8th to April 14th, I now know that I spend about 60.7 hours in total on some form of device. Knowing this has been a wake-up call, to say the least.
I used the iOS app called Moment to track my usage on my iPhone. It does not log information regarding the applications that I open, but it does tell me the number of times I pick my phone up and unlock it, which logged at a total of 541 pickups during my logging week. To be completely honest, I don’t recall what I was doing during the major of the time that I unlock my phone besides doing it completely out of habit and for the sake of being distracted from my responsibilities. Needless to say, I am very disappointed in myself and my mindless use of my phone.
In regard to my laptop usage, I have a little bit of a different view of my usage. I used the application called RescueTime, which logged both time and specific websites and programs. After the week was done, I logged 30.1 hours. Though I am still surprised by the amount of time I spend on my devices, I do feel slightly different about my laptop because I spend a large amount of my time using it for academic and creative purposes such as reading research articles, watching films to analyze, and editing videos for my internship. So, I find the amount of time I use my laptop rather unavoidable.
After completing this assignment, I definitely feel much more aware of my usage and would like to take the opportunity to change my habits as far as my phone is concerned because it is clearly the most distracting device that I own.
The week that we were tracking out data was a really busy week for me, and to be completely honest, probably not a real representation of my computer/phone/media habits. But at the same time, if we looked at this week’s computer log, I have been working on 3 separate art projects and have probably accumulated an ungodly amount of hours solely spent on Photoshop.
This project has definitely made me more consious of my media consumption habits, and for a few days I absolutely hated my phone and had no desire whatsoever to look at it unless I had to. After three days, though, I was back to my old habits of “scrolling through Tumblr/Instagram because I’m waiting for my tea and I’d rather not get settled until I have it” and “Class starts in 15, let’s see what’s up with Reddit”.
Essentially, my spreadsheet is separated into categories of “School Work,” “Entertainment,” “Personal” and “Misc” which are then broken down into pie graphs as to what those categories entail.
What this has forced me to notice is how I spend my time on my phone versus my laptop; my phone (and the time management app “Phone Usage Time” has pointed out to me) is used for communication and is a space filler from how often I played “Doge2048” while waiting in line for something or just perusing facebook, while my Laptop is more school work/art oriented with occasional TV and entertainment purposes.
I also realized that I spent about 12 hours on /one/ digital painting, so that’s always fun.
In order to keep track of everything I did, especially my media/technology consumption, I wrote down everything. Was it inconvenient? Yes, it was, but I also enjoyed realizing how long I actually do spend on the internet and on social media sights.
In the beginning, I was very conscious of the fact that I had to keep track of my social media/technology use so I tried to limit myself. On Monday, I found that I actually had more time to do my homework and readings for class. I found that I had more time for mundane things like going grocery shopping. Before this info log, I would spend the majority of my 18 hour day on the internet or whatever I wanted other than homework. Yet, when it came to deadlines, I would begin to complain about how little time I had to complete the assignment. Now that I know how much time I waste, I’m very conscious of my past decisions. As the week went on, I found that I threw caution to the wind and continued to spend more and more time online yet also more time away from technology in general. It could have just been the week I was having, but I, personally, don’t spend every waking second with technology or my phone. If I do have my phone in hand, it’s because I want to check the time and nothing more. I rarely, if ever, use my phone or surf the web during lecture or section despite the duration of the lecture.
After completely this info log for the week, I will definitely be limiting my use of technology in general. I find that when I do, I become a more relaxed person. I have time to relax and wind down at the end of each day, and I should take advantage of that time. 18 hours is a lot of time to get work done and I should take advantage of it. Technology becomes overwhelming and it’s good to simply disconnect now and again. Will I be getting rid of my technology use forever? No, I can’t say that I will. I’ll just be very aware of what technology and websites I use and how long I use them from now on.
I found it difficult to find a way to represent my technology usage in the Information Log. I wish that I could have broken down every minute of the day to see the way that I switch back and forth between different devices and activities throughout the day. It’s hard to calculate the exact time spent using technology and for what because sometimes its just for a few seconds. I tried to be as accurate as I could in my Information Log, but I definitely approximated some things. I was grateful that the “Moment” application on my phone was able to track how many times I opened my phone each day. This showed me that a lot of the contact I have with my phone throughout the day is just merely to check something quickly on it and is not necessarily an extended use time period.
While paying close attention to my technology usage, I was alarmed my a few specific things. When I wake up the first thing I do is check my phone before my eyes are even completely open. Every night I fall asleep watching TV or reading something on my Ipad in bed. When I am waiting for someone or in an awkward situation I immediately resort to technology to occupy me. Whenever I go to check the time, I find myself getting distracted by other things on my phone, sometimes even forgetting to mentally note what time my phone display says it is. I think my overall dependency on technology is what scares me the most. The original purpose of a cell phone was to call people, yet only 51 minutes out of 26.5 hours spent on technology were talking on the phone. I only had two significant phone conversations in an entire week.
This quarter I made the decision to take notes by hand because I was becoming increasingly aware of how much time I was spending on my computer each day. I think that this information log would have been far scarier had I done this last quarter or last year, when I did everything for school on my computer. Additionally, I have noticed that I use different devices for very different things. I use my laptop primarily for school work, my cell phone for texting friends and communicating with coworkers in accordance with my job as scheduling coordinator, and my ipad is used during the day for school work and at night for watching tv. Despite the fact that each of these devices are essentially capable of the same things, I found there was quite a separation in what I used them for.
Looking towards the future, I have a few goals and objectives for myself. I would like to get a functioning watch again because I think that would help me from picking up my phone so often and it would be easier to keep it in my backpack during the day and during breaks. I want to make sure that I do not use my phone when I am enjoying time with friends in social situations because that seems to be such a waste of people’s company and is frankly rude, even in today’s day and age. I also made a conscious effort to not use my phone as entertainment at the gym and focused instead on reading for class while on the elliptical. I want to become more comfortable with awkward situations and not resort to using technology to make myself feel occupied. I also want to make a conscious effort to read before bed rather than watch tv on some nights. I like falling asleep while doing something, but that doesn’t always need to be television. Additionally I would like to continue to hand-write my class notes so that I don’t get too caught up on technology and I need to make sure that I pay as much attention in class as I can. Considering that this is my last quarter here, its about time that I figured out how to be respectful and be a good student.
Upon recording the amount of time I spent using any sort of technology, I realized that my life revolves around technology.
At first, it was simple to be aware and make sure to constantly have my times recorded when I was using my phone/ laptop/ or TV but as the week progressed, it became more tedious and I was no longer as accurate. I became insecure and had a strong desire to lie on my information log to not seem as obsessed with technology as I was (I didn’t though), but I have realized that I am addicted to my phone and all forms of technology. However, because of the awareness and the internal struggle of not wanting to constantly write how many hours I was spending using such devices, I was more inclined to just leaving my phone alone or just doing other activities that didn’t involve using technology to make myself look better for discussion. But sure enough, after the week was over, I became extremely aware that I was using my phone and laptop far more and longer than during the week of information logs; because it wasn’t necessary for me to write every moment I was using my devices therefore I no longer cared about duration of usage.
This week of information logging and the week after made me realize that I need to change my habits and stop living on the screen of my phone or laptop and actually be productive outside of the safety of a screen. It made me realize that I should only use my devices when completely necessary and it’s okay to not immediately grab my phone when I’m feeling uncomfortable, and “check my phone” when I want to avoid eye contact. Also, I realized that my bad habits needed changing and I needed to stop relying on technology because my life was starting to look really sad (but not really, I’m just being dramatic). I no longer text because I’m bored but rather, I text when completely necessary because I realized that I didn’t want to be so reliant on a glowing screen any longer. However, I still love technology and I’m pretty sure this epiphany won’t last too long, but of course, only time will tell.
I spent 105 hours on my computer over the 9 days I tracked, which did not surprise me at all. I take notes in class and do homework on my computer and most of my friends live out of state so most of my free time is spent in voice chat and playing games with them. What did surprise me was how much I use my phone. Most of the time I use my phone is when I have to wait for something else. Instead of doing nothing while standing in line, I waste time on my phone. Even not using my phone that much, I found that on average used my phone for almost 2 hours every day. My phone usage tracking was automatic, so I didn’t pay as close attention every time I used my phone. I am interested now in trying to keep track of all the times I pull my phone out to see if I’m really just wasting that much time or if I’m checking my phone in more situations than I think I am.
I spent around 20-25 hours on my computer over the course of one week. I used RescueTime to track my computer usage, but I found that tracking my phone usage was a bit more difficult. I would constantly check my phone every 30-40 seconds or so and it was quite easy to forget to track my phone usage. Using/checking my phone has also become such an automatic process for me that after doing this assignment, I’ve realized that I don’t even think about when or why I pull out my phone–I just do it. Logging my computer and phone usage has made me more conscious of how dependent I am on my computer and phone. Although I spent around 20-25 hours on technology during the week, I believe that I may spend even more time on my computer during other weeks (I was quite busy on the week that I was logging so I had to use my computer less). Logging in my computer/phone usage and becoming more conscious of it has really made me rethink my computer usage habits. I have always been aware that I spend most of my time on my computer and phone, but logging in that information and really looking at the exact amount of time I actually spend on technology can be quite terrifying. Although I don’t think I’ll be reducing my computer usage anytime soon (I use the computer for school as well), I will attempt to not look at my phone as often as I do now.
Reflecting on my information log, I was not very surprised that most of my time was spent on leisure (Pandora and Netflix) as well as on being on the computers at the library. I feel that it had to do with the fact that our information logs were being recorded during week two. At this point in the quarter I am only taking 3 classes therefore my school work load is not over whelming. I did spend a lot of time on the library computers only because last quarter my laptop crashed therefore I am forced to. Whenever I use a computer I tend to avoid wasting time on social media in order to get my work done and go home. However, I also realized that if I did have my own laptop then my time spent on Pandora and Netflix would have definitely increased.
Furthermore, I personally feel like this assignment was a big eye opener. The information log allowed me to realize how much time I actually waste on social media. I was surprised that I spent the less time being on twitter, snap chat, and Instagram just because I feel like I am always checking my phone. I literally wake up checking social media and go to sleep checking my social media. Instead of wasting time I could be more productive and do things for myself such as making breakfast in the morning or finish up my school work at night. Yet, I am not too sure if this is going to change. This is pretty ironic because just a month ago I had been phoneless for 3 months and felt so “liberated” not being dependent on my phone. Now every 5 minutes I find myself checking it for no reason. It seems to be just out of habit.
However, I do feel that because I would manually track everything I had less of an urge to check my phone. Now whenever I have to read or do school work, I tend to keep my phone inside my school bag rather than on the computer table or right next to me. I’ve realized how much faster I get my work done when I do not get distracted. It would be interesting to see how my information log would compare and contrast to an information log that I recorded later on in the quarter such as during midterms or finals.
I forgot to add this to my blog post but while I was on Facebook I came across an article titled “This is The New Loneliness” by James Varon. (http://thoughtcatalog.com/jamie-varon/2015/04/this-is-the-new-loneliness/). In the article Varon goes on a rant to express how we are becoming more disconnected from others as well as ourselves due to technology. I feel like this article would be relevant after completing our information logs just because we are more aware of how much time we actually do spend on twitter, Instagram, Netflix, etc. Would you agree with what Varon is saying? Is there such a thing as using technology the “wrong way”?
Before beginning the information logs, I knew my numbers would come out to be quite shocking. Therefore, when I saw that on most days I spent nearly half the day on the computer, I was not at all surprised. However, it was a little scary and embarrassing to see the exact numbers. In total, I averaged 10% productivity in my online activities. Meaning, 90% of the time, I was either on Netflix, YouTube, or Facebook.
On my phone, I used the app Checky to see how many times I unlocked my phone per day. I topped off at 90 times on a Saturday and over 300 mins of phone usage on a Monday. Even on days where I had five classes, I still maintained almost the same numbers as days without class.
Looking over my logs, I feel that I may have to begin limiting my hours on the computer and on the phone. For the hours I have now, I am physically living half my life in front of a computer or staring down at my phone.
Before beginning my info log I was pretty aware of the constant social media checking habit that I had been developing from some time, I also knew that I could stop if I wanted to, such as when I took another class last year that had me make a similar log. One of the interesting things is that I did not really check my phone for the first few days but by Thursday I was pretty much back to my normal amount.
The most surprising thing about the logs for me was how much time I spent driving and listening to the radio. I work in Ojai and my band’s rehearsal spot is in Ventura so I easily do about ten hours a week driving around. Also for my work I am constantly checking my e-mail and have skype meeting sporadically during the week. I think that for me social media isn’t really a problem, I can put down my phone if I need to, its just that I don’t really want to, and that is where the problem lies.
I think in general I am pretty aware of myself. I know I use my phone excessively and I know under which circumstances I am likely to waste time on my phone or my computer (usually looking at the same websites). I think that what I do on my phone and computer is similar because I have internet on my phone and texting on my computer, but I don’t watch Netflix on my phone and I only text from my computer if my phone is charging in another room. Either way, I definitely escape into the internet way too much. I use it when I have a lot of time to kill, when my work is boring me, when I’m alone in public, basically any time that I’m not excited with what’s going on. Conversely, I have no trouble putting the phone away when I am doing something fun or exciting. I didn’t use my phone during Holi. Over spring break, I went zip lining with my sister and didn’t even bring my phone (she was using snapchat the whole time). Technology is a form of escapism for me. But I didn’t learn that from the information log.
I tried to keep track of my technology use in a way where I wouldn’t have to pay attention to it because I didn’t want my habits to be altered. I downloaded RescueTime for my computer and Moments for my iPhone and went about business as usual. This led to a less specific log because Moments doesn’t track exactly what I do, just how long I am on my phone. At the end of the week when I was writing my log, I felt a need to explain my habits.
I wasn’t particularly surprised by the outcome of my information consumption logs. For the computer, I was a little surprised by how much time I spent emailing, but I realized that I had been doing a lot of coordination correspondence for my extra curricular responsibilities. I also thought that my social media usage would be higher, but for this I realized that Facebook is really the only social media platform I use on my computer, and I haven’t been spending much time on it lately. In terms of my iPhone usage, it was a bit concerning to see the amount of time put in to entirely “non constructive” uses. I knew I spent a great deal of time on Groupme, because I have a close group of friends from high school with whom I regularly communicate using the application. Not to mention the fact that I also have several other groups that are active on a daily basis. I don’t necessarily feel any sense of guilt for the time spent on these, because I find them to be largely beneficial if not imperative in keeping in the loop with my close friends. However, the large amount of time I spend on Instagram is somewhat regrettable, and I may make an effort to cut back. I realize that it’s my go-to app when I don’t have any notifications and am bored and craving immediate visual or comedic stimulation. I follow a few “insta famous” people who post several comedic memes every day, so there’s always a decent chance that something new will have appeared on my feed, even if I had checked it twenty minutes ago. Aside from that though, I really don’t have any problem with the aggregate results of my log. I know I spend a fair amount of time in non-scholastic, non-career oriented activity, but I also realize that this time could and does benefit me in other ways, and is almost necessary to attempt to keep up with the bulk of my peer group who spend a far greater portion in such digital activities.
Before I did the information logs, I had an understanding on how much information consumption I had been used to. After doing these logs I realized that I consume way more information than what I thought. I am usually on my phone, scanning through Wikipedia, online articles, Facebook newsfeeds, etc. and this has been shown in my logs. I believe that scanning through the limitless amount of information everyday, ultimately helps me learn more and develop new types of ways to absorb new information faster and more efficiently. I try to utilize most of my apps on my phone including snapchat, Facebook, groupme, Instagram, plus others to include myself in the world of social media culture. My information consumption is somewhat normal compared to everyone else in my age group and UCSB culture. Most of these apps are time wasters, but they also help me to be productive and are useful tools when needed.
The information log has made me much more conscious and aware of my interconnectedness with technology. So much of my time is devoted to work done on the computer, communications through the telephone, or it is simply wasted on apps. All of the time I spend on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat amounts to way too much unneeded stimuli. I feel bored or like I still have energy to expend after school and work so my response is to find interesting photos, snaps, or posts from friends, to wind down, but usually I just get bombarded by useless information. I have to weave my way through the information for the real benefit if the technology. In the case of Facebook, the benefit would be things such as information on events, and for Snapchat it would be humor, and Instagram would be beauty (or something along these lines). Sometimes I do get the true benefits when I see a nice quote from a friend, so I’m not saying that I need to cut these tools out completely, but I do need to be outside more in nature and pursuing creativity. I think that the vanities of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook don’t help my creativity or inspire me to think about health or the pursuit of grand achievements. I have to learn to manipulate time to further my self advancement in the most efficient way.
I agree with Ryan in the sense that we are not given the direct benefit of our technology a majority of the time, we have to weave through countless information that is entirely irrelevant and unrelated to our goal. However, this is the case with anything that we do. Our non-technological habits require the same amount of navigation. If I chose to read a book for pleasure I might read 4 books before I find one that I truly enjoyed or that had information I want in order to expand my understanding of literature. This is also true for reading for research purposes, we will read hundreds of pages of articles and journals and only find paragraphs of relevant information. Even if we took this further than reading, only a fraction of our daily experiences are memorable or useful. I understand that I may have taken my argument slightly too far, but I feel like the mechanics of our information logs can be applied to anything. More and more technology is becoming a platform for creativity and innovation, I am not saying that hours on instagram or snapchat is necessarily good and I certainly need to limit my technological use on occasions, but I think that we shouldnt be afraid of our reliance on technology.
April 20, 2015 at 2:56 am
(I mistakenly posted this to the ‘Discussions’ page)
Analyzing my information log, the conclusions I’ve drawn do not come as a surprise, but reaffirms my concern over my habits. While my time spent watching television is not particularly concerning to me, since I am usually resting or eating meanwhile; the time spent on the internet is particularly alarming. While specifically reading books is relegated to its own section, usually my time on the internet is a combined mix of working on assignments and trivial internet surfing. This is most concerning, because this is the period I need the most focus, and I am oftentimes distracting myself with arguably useless queries and online meandering, spoiling my own efforts.
To keep it concise, I’d like to realign my focus and keep my attention on important assignments and objectives, rather than apply 50% of my focus on other matters, and still yet expect my grade to reflect 100% effort. I would like to cite a study I read a few years backed that analyzed the effect of the internet and study habits (I can’t specifically remember who published it), and found that when peoples stopped and checked Facebook, or went on an internet tangent, it took approximately 20 minutes to get back into the same frame of focus they were previously in. This does not bode well for someone who may have multiple tabs and is frequently distracting him/herself, creating a perpetual state of distraction. So yes, my own data, as well as my own observations, confirms the concerns posed by our class, as well as the UCSD and NEA studies.
Over one week I spent a total of 62.5 hours or 2.6 days consuming technology on my laptop and phone. An alarming figure and like other students I felt my mood change based on how much time I wasted with nonproductive information consumption. Out of all my technology consumption, which I categorized as time spent on: Facebook, Homework, YouTube, Video binging, coding, music, new sites, and checking my phone, video binging was the biggest category. Taking up 27% of my total time with technology. This finding made me ask the uncomfortable but necessary question, what productive things could I be doing instead during this time? Activities like going to the gym, painting, being outdoors, or hanging out with friends! I also found my productivity goes down with the more consumption I do. The type information I consumed oscillated throughout the week. At the beginning of the week Homework dominated my consumption, but by Thursday video binging began to take over my information consumption culminating with 480 minutes spent video binging on Saturday. Despite recording time spent consuming media, my habits did not change, mainly because my lifestyle encourages technology consumption while doing other activities. For example listening to music while dancing or watching videos with friends. Also since I am a senior I may be more likely to spend time alone with technology compared to when I was a freshman concentrated on making friends and building a social infrastructure around me. Now since I already have one I feel fine binging alone with mindless technology.
However this does not mean I’m not learning from my consumption, I stay up with current events through the news sites I use and Facebook, but it is the fact that I am only consuming and not creating. Except for time spent on homework and coding, I am only ingesting information.
Original: Tracking the time I spend on each of my devices was a little unsettling. We all know that a copious amount of time is consumed by technology, but to actually confront the hours I spend loitering on the internet was an unpleasant experience. Compared to many, I actually don’t spend that much time on social media – the only medium I use is Facebook, and according to Rescue Time, I spend about 9% of all my computer time on Facebook. 9% doesn’t seem like a huge number, but it’s definitely more than it should be as I got nothing of value out of that 9%. I can somewhat justify watching tv, because it at least provides a form of entertainment, but the time I spend on Facebook is more habitual than anything else.
I wasn’t surprised to see that I spend the majority of my computer time doing homework. That makes perfect sense to me. I wish I had tracked how much time I spend listening to music, because I think it’s automatic for me to plug in headphones almost every time I open up my laptop. This is supported by my phone log, which showed I spend about 44% of my phone’s time playing music. Texting and calls (but mostly texting, if I’m being honest) is a close second at 36% of my poor phone’s efforts. This made me feel kind of good about myself: I’m using my phone for its intended purpose! A beautiful fact.
In summation, I thought this information log was a great way for me to determine how much time I’m actually spending on each activity. This week may not have been this most accurate to do it because of the heavy homework load I had, but it still gave me a good idea of what exactly I spend my time on. I think my goal should be to less time transitioning between activities – that 9% of Facebook time is completely unnecessary.
Extended: For my computer time, I had five different categories according to Rescue Time. “Homework” included programs such as Microsoft Word.
“Social” included various social media sites – primarily Facebook, but also tumblr.
“News & Opinion” compiled the various news sites I visit, including buzzfeed (one of my less productive news sites).
“Reference & Learning” was kind of a weird category, in my opinion. It overlaps with homework as it is made up of Gaucho Space, this site, my business simulation site, along with a few other.
“Utilities” was the final category, and includes basic Internet browsing.
If I were to do this experiment again, I would tailor my categories to more accurately reflect what is a productive use of my time, and what isn’t. There was a lot of overlap between these categories, leading to a misrepresentation of the data.
I learned a variety of different facts about my weekly information consumption during and after completing the information log assignment. My results indicate that I spend the most time of my information consumption minutes on my studies. This category included reading, from a textbook or laptop computer, and studying either from written notes, a textbook or my laptop computer. I was not extremely surprised by the fact that this category takes up most of my daily and weekly time. I am much of a technology user compared to some people. In fact, it would not be a stretch to state that my technology usage, in regards to the consumption of information, is much lower than many people. I believe this aspect of my consumption lifestyle is a positive because it shows that I do not vegetate in front of a screen as much as many people do. I enjoy being active and I like the freedom of not feeling tempted to watch the next episode of a T.V show.
The second highest category of my information consumption log was made up of the time I spend listening to music on my IPhone (which I labeled as IPod on my table for simplicity). This category involves my favorite pastime of working out as well. I like to listen to Pandora radio when I lift weights because I do not have to pick the songs that are going to be played. Interestingly, I am consuming information as I work out because even the lyrics of a song can be considered information. I think if I were able to listen to an audiobook of an interesting subject, while working out, I could make my time spent working out optimal in terms of productivity.
I would like to change my level of productivity during the time I spend studying and reading for school. Although this category is clearly the area where I spend most of my information consumption time, I believe I could get a lot more done if I focused better and read at a quicker rate. For now, I will even more time on my homework and studies and hopefully over time I will become a more efficient worker.
Some of the percentages displayed in my information log confirm the UCSD studies’ data. For instance, my non-computer based information consumption consists of a total of roughly 60% of my overall daily average of information consumption. The percentage I calculated would fit the UCSD data which also found that 60% of consumption was non-computer related. It is important to notice that if we add the percentages of T.V, texting, and IPod use, this percentage would technically be higher. There is a reason I estimated 60% for non-computer based consumption. Some of this percentage actually did come from a computer (i.e.; various reading assignments and study guides that are included in the reading/studying category). Therefore my actual percentage of non-computer information consumption is probably closer to around 60%. Further, the fact that a fair amount of my reading and studying did come from a computer screen indicates the impact that the Internet has had on peoples’ everyday lives. All of the documents I have read for classes on my computer were involved with the Internet in some way or another. A trend similar to this is mentioned in the UCSD study. The study states that reading has tripled from 1980 to 2008, because of the Internet. My major takeaway from this project is that even as a person who does not utilize technology or social media as much as others, I still rely on it significantly and largely depend on it for school and for recreational use. (UCSD: Global Information industry Center)
Consumption Info Log
I can’t say that I was too taken back by the amount of my consumption. What was troubling, on the contrary, was the habit of my consumption. Yes, I have access to a majority of the technological playground that now dominates our leisure, social, and even academic lives, but I consider myself a fairly inactive member – consuming much more than I contribute. And though I’m not altogether happy with my consumption, I think I accept it more or less as an inevitability of the times. Anyways, where the information log itself didn’t surprise me, the self-awareness involved with the project definitely did. By keeping track of my consumption, I’ve realized that I tend to consume my information in cycles… cycles that are predictable, pathological, and pathetically unproductive.
Ironically enough, I actually set out to complete my information log so that it had as little influence on my lifestyle as possible. I kept a handwritten record of my activity and separated my consumption into 3 categories: School, Social, and Personal. “School” included any work I had to do that was school related (readings, homework, research, etc.). “Social” kept track of any and all of my interactions with other people (texting, GroupMe, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, video games etc.). “Personal” accounted for any consumption I did for my own sake (surfing the web, news, Stumbleupon, Netflix, etc.). It was an unusual week, and I consumed less than I think I would normally, but, again, what got to me were the habits that I tend to follow. I don’t just open one app when I reach for my phone; it almost always goes GroupMe first, then Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I don’t visit just one site when I open my computer; I check BBC, NPR, ESPN, and then whatever else sparks my attention. And most bothersome, even when I sit down to do schoolwork, I waste a ton of time by opening up Gauchospace, Gold, and any relevant course websites before I actually start doing any work. I’ve known that I follow these ‘cycles’, but I never really considered exactly how much time I waste by doing it. My takeaway from the information log was less reflective of what I actually consumed than it was how I consumed it – but it was nonetheless interesting and worthwhile.
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