I chose Wednesday to do my social media diary because I don’t have classes on Thursdays or Fridays, so it makes it feel less of like a “week day”. I did it not hour-by-hour but rather where I was at the time because I think it reveals more about how I use social media.
10:00am-11:00am: Woke up and after checking email, skimmed through Facebook. I “liked” a few statuses about breast cancer awareness events that members of different chapters of my sorority are holding so that they could get more visibility online. I clicked on an interesting link (something stupid and entertaining) to read while I brush my teeth, but I don’t share it or comment. It made me think that while the person posting it might not think that a lot of people paid attention to it since there weren’t many “likes” or “comments” or “shares,” there are probably a lot of other people like me who click on it and read it without “participating.” I respond to a few messages that I received through Facebook messenger and open up half of the SnapChats I received (I have a huge number of snaps that I’m just too lazy to go through). I don’t look at Facebook again since I’m getting ready for class. However, I do take a Snapchat of something I thought was funny and sent it to my friends.
11:00am-12:30pm: I have an Anthro class at this time, and I always leave my phone in my bag so that I’m not tempted to click on Facebook or check my email and become distracted.
12:50pm-3:30pm: I use this time to study or catch up on work back in my room, but during this time, I’ve taken 3 breaks to dedicate to Facebook. The first break was right when I finished biking and sat in my room. I clicked on 4 links and “liked” five photos of friends from different states, also in my sorority. Just to note, throughout my whole time “studying” I would check my phone and respond to friends on the messenger. The second break I used solely to talk to people on messenger because two of my good friends were responding really quickly to topics that I thought were important. When I realized how little work I got finished, I went back to my way of sporadically responding. The third break was a really short one. I caught myself grabbing my phone when I finished a problem for a p-set to go through my newsfeed. I didn’t really comment or like anything.
3:30-5:15pm: This is when I’m commuting and tutoring a student. I try not to go on my phone when I’m driving, but it’s hard to resist if there’s huge traffic. Today, there wasn’t any, but it was still very tempting to click on the multiple floating circles that appear on my phone when I receive messages from friends on Facebook. Before going into their house, I respond to all of my friends and do a quick scan of my newsfeed again. Nothing interesting, it was almost the same. I click on a link that I found but I don’t read it, saving it for later. During my tutoring session, the only time I went on Facebook was when I was timing her on a few problems. That was more to respond to friends on Facebook. When I get to my car before driving off, I use a few minutes to respond to friends.
5:16-7:00pm: I’m on my way to tutoring another student. It’s pretty much a repeat of the block before. When I arrive, I respond to friends who had messaged me while I was driving, but I don’t go through my newsfeed this time. During our tutoring session, I didn’t go on Facebook because it was a very interactive session. However, when I reached my car again, I checked Facebook messenger and looked through my newsfeed. My friend posted something on my wall and I felt obliged to “like” it and write some short comment.
7:01pm-1:00am: I broke up this chunk into hour-by-hour because nothing exciting is happening. During this time, I’m cooking dinner and doing homework. Most of this time is also spent on Skype with my boyfriend, so I don’t go on Facebook as much.
- 7:00-8:00: I scroll through my newsfeed when I’m waiting for something to cook and look at notifications. I “like” three pictures that friends posted of them at some function. I use SnapChat to send pictures of my food to friends and followers.
- 8:00pm-9:00pm: I use Facebook on my phone to respond to messages from friends while I’m doing homework. I SnapChat a few friends silly things because I’m procrastinating. When it’s 9 though I use the Mac application for Self-Control and tell my friends I need to do homework because I got very little done. I put my phone away.
- 9:00pm-12:00am: I’m mainly doing homework and Skyping with my boyfriend, so no social media use.
- 12:00am-1:00am: It’s not until the hour before I go to sleep that I look at Facebook the most. I check my notifications and then I go to a Facebook group that I’m in to see what people have posted about EDM. There’s a link to an article about a Deadmau5 Tweet feud and that reminds me that I haven’t been on Twitter in a while. I use the Twitter application on my phone to scan through tweets from DJs. I don’t really follow friends or anyone else.
Judging from my social media diary, the only time I create content is through SnapChat. Rarely do I produce anything for Facebook unless I go out and take pictures but even then, I don’t always upload them onto Facebook. I’m not sure if I’m fully “participating.” I think the most participation I’ve done in a while is through blogging. However, I do think that “likes” add some participatory element because it allows creators to know that there is an audience there. In addition, participation may not have to do with creating your own content. Participation may be contributing to the circulation of information. If a link that I found on Facebook intrigues me enough, I’ll share it with other friends by messaging them. Most of my participation is meant for one-to-one or one-to-few communication, like through Facebook messenger or SnapChat. I’m a big narrowcaster, since I’m worried about privacy and don’t really have the confidence to broadcast anything I make.