Contemplation and Information Final Post

Looking back at activity one, I don’t think I fully understood the impact that technology and social media have on my everyday life. I wasn’t aware of how much of my time I actually spend each day using technology/social media. I have a neutral view of how I view technology/social media since the beginning of the project because although it distracts me from doing my homework or tasks at work, it also helps me relax and take my mind off of the monotonous tasks such as homework and other tasks which I think is helpful to my mental health. It also helps me stay connected to my friends and family which is a positive aspect too. My perceptions of my use of social media were pretty accurate to my actual use of it. I think that I am more habitual about using social media as opposed to intentional because I use it without thinking about it sometimes, it has almost become second nature for me to check my email as soon as I wake up or to scroll through Instagram or Twitter while sitting in class or bored at work.

Some aspects of activities three and four that I think I will apply to my everyday life are going to places that I usually don’t go to to do my work such as the Commons on the Green, so that I can relax first for like five to ten minutes and then dive into the work that I need to get done. I found this very helpful because instead of immediately jumping into the boring work and getting annoyed right away because of the work, the time I spent just relaxing helped me transition into wanting to do my work. Also, limiting the amount of distractions while I do my work is something I’m going to implement into my everyday life. I found that I was more productive and able to finish my work at a much quicker pace when I limited my distractions which meant not checking my email and resisting the urge to scroll through Instagram and Twitter and check my Snapchat stories.

I think that everyday life has become more distracted with the rise of social media and technology, people are constantly on their phones, laptops, tablets, etc. which is diverting their attention away from more important things such as paying attention in class or in business meetings. Some problems that social media present in society are lack of interpersonal skills, lack of face-to-face encounters, and unnecessary drama. Some benefits are the ability to connect to friends and family over long distances, ability to access and share information easily, and it’s profitable. I think sociologists can minimize the problems of social media by making society aware that problems exist first, and then addressing these problems in an educational manner.

Contemplation and Information Post 4

I was in the Commons on the Green after I finished my dinner earlier today when I did this assignment. I decided to eat by myself tonight and catch up on some work. Granted, this might not have been the best place to do work, considering how many people were there, but surprisingly, the first 5 minutes of relaxation were actually that: relaxing. The sounds of the dishes clanking together combined with the fullness of my stomach after a good meal helped with the relaxing part. For the next 15 minutes I read an article that I needed to read for class tomorrow. Besides it getting a little bit louder, I really wasn’t distracted much. I got through the article. I usually don’t work like this because I usually never do work in this place. During and after the activity, I kind of felt indifferent. I was relaxed when I started, but it wore off as I got more into boring school work, plus I knew that I had to do this assignment.

Contemplation and Information Post 3

While I was doing this 20 minute exercise, I found it to be quite helpful because I was able to get a lot done in that small amount of time because I wasn’t using my phone or checking emails or social media. Some distractions did come up though, most of them were because I had to get focused not looking at people or my phone. I started to browse one social media site, Twitter, at the beginning, but then I stopped. This is very different to how I usually work because I never relax before I start and I always usually have the TV on and take many breaks to check social media. It was kind of nice to take a minute to relax and clear my mind a bit before being productive. Even though it took a while for me to focus, just meditating a little before helped a lot. During the activity I felt fine, sort of indifferent, but after I felt more productive.

Contemplation and Information Post 2

For the four hours that I monitored my use of social media and email, I checked them about 7 times.

It started when I woke up, I checked my email for 2 minutes and then looked at Twitter and Snapchat for about 10 minutes.

Then I surfed Twitter again in class at 11:15

I scrolled through Instagram for about 20 minutes in between classes.

Checked my email again when I was eating lunch for 5 minutes

Spent 5 minutes on Twitter at the beginning of my next class at 1:25

Then I checked my email and social media sites again at various times while I was at work when it was slow and on my break.

I checked my social media and email a lot during those 4 hours when I should have been paying attention in class or at work.

I say that out of the 4 hours, I probably spent close to half that time on social media or looking at my email. I do it pretty often and it affects what I’m doing at the moment or it always takes me longer to do my homework of task. I feel like I use social media and email a lot, but it is not excessive and maybe I could cut back a bit, but I really wouldn’t be conscious about it. Sometimes it just depends on the day or the activity. If it’s really boring or I’m not very busy, I’ll use social media more.

Contemplation and Information Activity 1

After reading the article and questions, I would say that I barely use my technology intentionally as opposed to habitually throughout my day. My use of technology/social media often times distract me from my school work and on my job sometimes, but it helps me stay connected with my friends and family. It rarely affects my mood unless my favorite sports team (Alabama) loses and I see Auburn fans on my Twitter timeline talking bad about Alabama. I think my life would be more productive and less distracted if I was more intentional on how I used my technology every day.

Social Media Exploration Final Post

The social media site that I chose to explore was WorldStarHipHop.  On my blog, you will see two other posts related to this topic and assignment that show my initial ideas for sites to explore and the reason why I chose this one. This is a site that I have been on before, but was not an avid user of before this assignment.  WorldStarHipHop is an entertainment site that allows the general public and users to upload, view, and comment on posts ranging from music videos to vine compilations.

For this assignment, I spent an hour a day for a week on the WorldStarHipHop site and viewed the videos that were on there each day. As stated earlier, the site is open to the general public so I was able to view videos that users of the site had uploaded. While watching the videos I looked for trends or patterns that were noticeable among the users, and there was an evident trend of videos about current events such as the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, the ebola pandemonium, news-related issues, and up to date news in the hip hop world. Another trend that I noticed on Friday of the week of my exploration was a trend called “Flashback Fridays” which consisted of videos of old music videos that came out in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

My experiences on this site were intriguing because for a week I viewed the topics and issues that were being presented which made me feel connected to the other users who were viewing and leaving comments on the same videos that I was on. Being on this site made me feel somehow connected or networked with the other users because it was like we were all hanging out on this site and watching the same videos that entertained us. Although I wasn’t actually hanging out with these other users in person, the site made me feel like I was connected to them because I could read their comments on the videos I had watched and they could read and respond to mine as well. This idea of thinking networked is explained on page 40 of Rainie and Wellman’s book Networked. Also they explain that “the internet has become a place simply to hang out–a destination for diversion and entertainment” (Rainie and Wellman). I felt like I was simply hanging out while using this site because it was filled with exciting videos that I could watch with friends and strangers who were watching from the comfort of their laptop, smartphone, etc.

My experiences on this site were very unique, I watched videos that portrayed current event issues, music videos from hip hop artists, vine compilations, and other interesting videos on this entertainment social media site. I felt like I was connecting with the other users of the site and realized what Rainie and Wellman meant about the internet becoming a place to simply hang out because I honestly felt as if I was hanging out with people that I haven’t even met before because we shared a similar interest in certain videos and were entertained or not entertained by our selections.

Rainie, Lee and Barry Wellman. 2012. Networked: The New Social Operating System.  Cambridge, MA:   The MIT Press

Social Media Exploration Post 2

I am using the social media site for the social media exploration project. I plan on using the site for an entire week, and monitor my experiences based on the content of the site. I am going to keep track of my experiences by writing them down and looking for trends or patterns while using the site. 

Social Media Exploration Post 1

YouTube: ( socially driven website for sharing videos with friends and the general public. 

Instagram: ( social networking site that allows you to share pictures and videos with friends. 

Facebook: ( social networking service that allows users to post status updates to share with friends and also upload pictures and videos.

WorldStarHipHop: ( socially driven website that allows users to upload videos for the entertainment of the general public.