Posted by: paulacunniffe | 10/02/2010

Media Diary Day 7

In a serious departure from my usual media consumption today I read a newspaper. As in a physical paper. People still buy newspapers here all the time – particularly at the weekend. My dad buys the same paper religiously and has done for as long as I can remember. We spend Sunday morning doing the crossword. Today I read the Irish Times, which comes with Saturday magazine and other supplements. It was weird reading a paper again because in Gainesville, besides maybe the Alligator, I’ve never bought a paper!

My brother was hogging the TV in the living room playing his PS3 (oh the joys of being home!) but I shoved him off to play some Rock Band. If you’ve never played this game you’re missing out. It is SO much fun! I don’t sing though. No-one wants to hear that.

Reality hit after that and I had to go to my grandmother’s funeral removal mass. Phones were turned off, it was the most detached I’ve been from some form of media all week. In the evening time after all the guests had left I sat down in frot of the TV for 3 hours. I had a quick look online at facebook and my emails. Now I cannot sleep (even though it’s almost 2am). There’s this terrible show on TV about some British ‘psychic’. Seems bad reality tv isn’t confined to the US!

I’m thinking about what I’ve learned about my media consumption this week… the first thing is that I’m a serious creature of habit. I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is turn on my laptop and check emails and facebook. I might not even reply to my emails straight away but I check to see what’s there. If I’m trying to wake myself up I’ll go straight to AOL Radio, even though their Fresh 40 station plays the same songs over and over! I watch the same small selection of TV shows all the time (regardless of the country I’m in!)
The second thing I learned is that I’m finally getting into the swing of life as a master’s student. This week was the first week that I managed to get my reading done before the weekend. I think I’ve finally worked out a system of being productive – don’t go home for lunch!

Unfortunately life happened this week and got in the way of my media diary… because of that the latter half of the week didn’t really match the first half. I think I can still take the same lessons from this experience, even if I did have some upheaval halfway through!

I spend too much time on Facebook! Maybe it’s a comfort thing because I’m away from home and I use it to keep tabs on what’s happening with friends in Ireland. It could just be habit, or a distraction from work/study. I think it’s all of the above!

Being away from home there are two things that have been my savior in Florida – skype and webtext. I really love skype, it’s even great for calling international cell phones at a low rate. Webtext is a great way to text friends/boyfriend in Ireland, even if it does mean I feel like a pimp with two cell phones!

The last thing I learned is that I love sharing links/looking at links people have posted. I’m more likely to get my news that way than by going directly to a news outlet’s website. I’m a real fan of the idea of ‘like it, share it’.

I’d like to say that after this week I’ll read more news, because I feel this is missing from my daily media routine. I’m not sure how successful that will be, but I’ll try!



  1. Even though you had an extraordinary event disrupt your regular media habits, it’s possible that these seven days have enabled you to pay more attention to when you’re resorting to TV, AOL Radio, etc. Do we really need to check e-mail 10 or 20 times a day? Do we need to fill up time with mindless TV (I know I do, ha ha)?

    Even on the day of the funeral, you played a video game and watched TV. I think lots of people would do the same. But 20 years ago, maybe the whole day would have been spent with family and church and in the home, eating and so forth.

    We don’t have to be enslaved to our habits — we can change them if we want to. But first we need to notice what habits we have!

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