What 24 Hours of Media Consumption Looks Like

I’m going to be honest. Going to school as an online student has really given me the perfect excuse to be on the internet A LOT. Not only am I an online student, but I’m an online student studying media and mass communications.

Media and plenty of communication… Facebook is basically studying. Right?

Maybe wrong.

My mornings start early, and I am definitely not an early person. Media isn’t a part of my morning routine while I am trying to get out the door to work, but it definitely is once I get in the car and start my commute. I’ve recently discovered a love for podcasts, so my morning drives for the past few months have all been started by listening to Crime Junkies  on Spotify.  Maybe an odd choice for starting your morning, but I really love listening to something that catches my attention and keeps me awake.

I’m currently working as a nanny for a 20-month old little girl, so often the second piece of media I consume every single day is what we refer to as, “The B-word”. The B-word stands for our beloved childhood classic, Barney and Friends. My charge is obsessed with him, so he often keeps the peace for me while I prepare our breakfasts. Thanks B-word.

After making breakfast for baby and coffee for me, I usually get some downtime to browse my social media accounts – Specifically, Facebook and Instagram. This browsing is usually done on my phone and pretty surface level, I don’t really click on any news stories or links to outside sources. I use this time to catch up on friends, families, and groups that I am a part of before I go on to consume any news bigger than my personal bubble. I do often see some local news headlines, and many of them on this day were centered around a pretty big snowfall we were projected to get later that evening.

Around noon is usually nap time, so this is where a lot of my media consumption takes place. I check my emails for anything that may pertain to work, school, finances, or orders I have placed, and then I browse emails from stores whose email list I subscribe to. On this day, I clicked on an email I received from Groupon and dream vacationed through some getaway deals  for awhile. From there I spent about an hour on Facebook, doing a lot of browsing but also interacting with several articles posted by friends and in groups that I am apart of.

In particular, an article that was posted on Medium regarding the ethics behind the thrift retailer Goodwill was being deeply discussed in a Facebook group I follow about sustainability. After reading the article regarding goodwill, I went on to read two articles also on Medium regarding someone’s experience with one year of microdosing and then an article about the possibility of Trump resigning in 2020. The last thing I did before nap time was up was check Hobby Lobby’s online advertisement to see if there were any good deals on crafts or activities to keep us busy for the week.

Throughout the rest of my workday I casually browse Facebook or Instagram once or twice, but mostly the only media I consume is Jack Johnson through the Alexa or Mickey and the Roadster Racers on Hulu. I also read a few Frozen books and a book about a school bus, but after that I go back to listening to Crime Junkies on my drive back home.

While cleaning up around the house and cooking dinner, I watch Dr. Phil, 20/20, and Super Nanny on Youtube. When we eat we watch a documentary on Netflix, and then I went on to play Luidgi’s Mansion on our Nintendo Switch for a bit after that. I checked our weather a few times that night on AccuWeather to keep up with the snow, but aside from that I didn’t consume any more news for the night.

I ended my night by reading a couple chapters from my textbook Race, Gender, Class, and Media : Studying Mass Communications and finishing up the Netflix documentary my boyfriend and I had started earlier in the evening. Although I often feel like media fills a lot of the empty space in my days, I realized that my day really doesn’t center around it. I also realized that I choose to avoid a lot of the more serious and hard hitting news articles and aim more to consume things that interest me.

If I were to rank the credibility of my media sources (1 being least trusted and 10 being most trusted), I would rank them as follows :

Facebook – 3

Local News Source (The Journal Times) – 8

Medium – 5

Youtube – 5

AccuWeather – 9

Facebook is low on the list in terms of credibility because while I do find a good portion of my news via Facebook, more often than not I see far more fake news than I do credible news. Being a student studying media I usually can brush past it quite easily, but I think that if I did not have the experience I do that it would be much more difficult for me to decipher which news is fact based and which is opinion based. Many of the titles on Facebook articles are extreme and “clickbaity”, focused much more on getting you to share the link due to it’s shock factor than it’s credible information.

Youtube and Medium are higher in terms of credibility but not by much, as still much of the information presented is opinion based rather than face based. I put my local news source at an 8 because they have been criticized before for having obvious bias in their articles, and they are not a place I look to if I am searching for completely fact based, true news articles. AccuWeather scored highest because it is the site I rely on the most for weather forecasts, and although they aren’t always completely right they are a pretty trustworthy source for your weather watching needs.

Overall, I think that I know where to find credible sources of information when I am in need of them, I just do not choose to consume a lot of news in my daily life. I found that consuming too much news brought me down, so I aim to consume media that I find enriching and informative in other ways, even if that is more so the opinions of others than it is statistics and research and scientific evidence.