Mobile Usage Diary
What to do:
Choose a consistent two-hour period (outside of class time) for any six days in the first two weeks of class and record your mobile media use during that time. Things to keep track of:
• What device(s)? What are you using—mobile phones, tablets, game systems, music players, e-readers?
• Where? Are you settling down to intentionally use these devices somewhere? Is it just something to pass the time while waiting? Are you using mobile media while doing another activity?
• What are you using the device(s) for? Are you communicating with people on social media, email, or chat platforms? Playing games? Watching videos or listening to music? Reading news or ebooks?
• Which apps or software programs that you’re using?
Take detailed “field notes” as you go, rather than at the end of the assignment period, to ensure that you’re not relying on memory to fill in the details. Your notes should not only record enough detail to address most of the questions above, but should also collect any thoughts or observations you have during this process. Do you start to see any patterns for when or why you use mobile media? There’s no “right” way to do field notes, as long as they reflect a thoughtful exploration and attention to detail for the assignment.
The aim of this assignment is not to be self-conscious about your media use but instead to help intentionally consider the role that mobile media plays in our daily lives.
What to turn in:
1. A short analysis of your mobile media use in about 500 words, making sure to summarize the time/days you chose, and answering as many of the questions above as possible. Was there anything that you found surprising when you intentionally focused on your media use? Any broad trends that became obvious?
2. Your “field notes” from this exercise. At the bare minimum, these notes should include the date and time of your observation, where you were, and the mobile media you were using.
Your analysis should follow the standard formatting rules: double spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins, etc. The field notes do not need to be formatted or edited in any specific way.
Upload your analysis and your field notes to Canvas in Microsoft Office .doc or .docx formats, LibreOffice .odt format, or as a PDF file.
If your field notes are written, take pictures of them and paste the images into a document, or save them as a PDF file.