My Daily Media Habits

Wake up


When I wake up, usually the first thing I do is check notifications on my phone. I’ll set my morning alarms a bit earlier than I necessarily need to be out of bed for exactly this purpose; I like to have some time to wake up and “check in” with some of my more frequently used social media applications. If I have notifications from any of these I check those first, and then I’ll browse for maybe 15 minutes before I force myself out of bed. The three social media apps I use the most are Twitter, Instagram, and Slack. If I have a notification from Facebook or Tumblr or something else I’ll check it, but I use them much less frequently than the other three. I check out what is trending on Twitter, where I’ll usually get my news. I rarely will click on an actual article, and typically will just read the twitter highlights unless it’s something I’m particularly interested in. Then I’ll casually flip through some stories on instagram, and from there move on to Slack. I’m part of a private slack group dedicated to Patreon supporters of a pop culture podcast I’m subscribed to (previously called Storm of Spoilers, now just The Storm post Game of Thrones). I’ve met a lot of fellow pop culture nerds through the Slack, and we’ve all become friends over the last year or so. So I like to pop in there frequently throughout the day and catch up on what’s happening across the channels (we have channels in the Slack dedicated to current pop culture news, television shows we’re watching, movie trailers, music, etc. so it has become a source of news for me in a way). 




I have a pretty long commute, so it’s usually a time for plenty of media consumption for me. If I’m carpooling that day I will typically listen to music or a podcast, but if I’m by myself I like to put on whatever audiobook I’m currently listening (or relistening) to. 


Work day


I have a job that allows me to be on my headphones all day while I work, so my entire day is spent consuming media. Depending on my mood, I usually toggle between music (thank god for Apple music, honestly), podcasts, and audiobooks. More often than not it’s audiobooks, because I’ll get bored listening to the same music playlists over and over. When I’m on a break at work I’ll flip through social media again (Twitter, Instagram, Slack), check email, answer the occasional text. Again, the “news” I’m usually consuming is highlights of whatever is trending on twitter; I find that if I invest too much energy on (what is usually) political news I just end up angry and frustrated and sad, so I don’t make much of an effort to seek it out anymore. The world is a dumpster fire, same as ever. 




If I don’t have homework or social engagements after work I have been finding myself more and more often just laying on the couch toggling between the same social media apps I check in on all day. But as I become more aware of this habit, and the fact that there are so many other things I can be doing with my time, I’ve been trying to step away from it. I’ve begun to read physical copies of books again, since I got so used to audiobooks at work that I forgot how nice it is to hold an actual book in your hands and read it in your own voice. Sometimes I’m reading several things at once, but right now I’m rereading Sense and Sensibility to keep up with a Jane Austen podcast some friends of mine started. I also have been playing a LOT of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on my Nintendo Switch. It’s alarmingly easy to get lost in that world for hours at a time. 




I don’t post a whole lot on social media (besides participating in conversations on the Slack), and what I do post is generally aimed at being dumb and funny rather than anything else. One thing I have recently done, though, is make a bookstagram. I read quite a lot, and I figured it would be a fun way to make it an artsy and aesthetic type of thing that could possibly allow me access to ARCs, and an easy way dip my toes in the pool of online media criticism. So far it has been pretty fun.



As far as the credibility of my news sources go, it’s probably pretty apparent that I don’t put much thought into it, as I usually only barely skim the news as it is. I’m easily annoyed by click-baity titles, and naturally distrustful and suspicious of most things in general, so I don’t really put a lot of weight on what Twitter tells me is happening. If a news highlight or trend does grab my attention, however, I do try to note the source before looking into it further, and if it’s a generally credible and respected news source then I’m more likely to investigate. I also follow a lot of entertainment journalists on Twitter, and like to think I choose ones who are very transparent in their reporting or commenting on whatever stories are circulating. The Slack has also been a reliable source, or, more accurately, the people in the Slack. We all try to be smart consumers of media, and we all have a lot of in-depth discussions about news and pop culture stories and their credibility and implications.