I have to log three consecutive days (72 hours) of my media usage. Conducting research like this is important because it is a process that is repeated over and over again within the industry, to see how media is consumed, responded to and for deciding new avenues of approach. The hardest thing about this research is to decide what to define as media. Media is everywhere and we are constantly bombarded by it, so much that it becomes invisible and confusing.
I have chosen to log the media that I am actively involved in or using. If I read or view something or message someone I am actively using that media. With advertising, I will only log those adverts I notice and engage with. Otherwise I will be looking out for adverts and spending my time logging them instead of experiencing my day as normal. If I ensure to only include the media I actively use my findings are going to be more representative of my typical media usage, and therefore more useful.
For mobile phone usage, I will only log when I receive and send text messages or when I have a conversation over the mobile phone. Unlike the majority of my peers, I do not use my mobile phone for accessing the internet, so instead I will log my iPod Touch usage. This is where I access the internet most when I am away from my laptop (the usage of which will also be logged).
I have decided that actions regarding alarms, timers and checking the time using media devices will not be logged. Firstly, because, I check the time regularly and I can see this becoming overwhelming and tiresome, and so easy to forget. Secondly, this data will not be very enriching to my research.
I will use the Note App on my iPod Touch to log the media I use. This will be an efficient method to log what I use and the duration it will have been used for, especially since the time will always be available at the top of the screen. My iPod is the one device I always have with me so I will be able to ensure all media usage is logged. These notes will not be included in the log itself as they are not representative of my normal daily media usage.
Due to the invisibility of media, and the vast amount I expect I will use, the challenges of completing this log will involve remembering to write down what I am doing, what media I am using and when. Since I use several different devices I think it may be difficult to remember to log all of my usage. I will have to pay extremely close attention to what I do during these three days.
What I expect, by completing this log, is to see the media I use and the platforms I use. I expect I will be shocked by the extent of media I log. I hope to find out whether my use of media is influenced by the situation I find myself, or the people I am with. I hope to find out how long the periods are when I am without media and whether I am dependent upon it. I think I will be surprised about the amount of media I use that is ‘invisible’. Most importantly, I hope this assignment will educate me about conducting research into media and its audiences, improving my knowledge and skills for future research projects.