After tracking my media consumption for the better part of two weeks, a few trends have definitely come to my attention. Some of the following conclusions are drawn directly from data shown in previous posts, and others have been extrapolated from general observations and consideration of my media use over time.
I’m a multitasker—for better or for worse—and an impatient one at that. I tend to hop back and forth between programs and platforms just to pass the time while I’m waiting for something to load fully. Even as one tab appears on my screen, I’m on to the next one that loaded ever so slightly faster. If something’s taking forever on my computer, I’ll check it out on my phone, and vice versa. I constantly have multiple programs and tabs open, and I switch back and forth freely to whichever grabs my attention or loads quickest.
Another trend, which seems to have partly stemmed from the first one, is an excess of media delivery options. In what is most likely an effort to always be “doing something” (the multitasker’s mantra), I have a plethora of apps and programs and tabs running at any given time, ready for my attention. No amount of information is ever too much, apparently.
In contrast to the trend of excess is that of integration. So many of the various programs I use are integrated with others. My Gmail account is linked to Google Chrome, Chrome is connected to everything. Evernote connects my computer and my phone, and now Chrome as well. All my email accounts are on both my computer and phone, and all my social media accounts are synced similarly. From any one app I can probably connect to a least three or so more, so why do I have so many? With all the varying ways to consolidate media and have it nicely packaged and delivered to me, why have I made everything so complicated?
I’m clearly a big new media user, so the time of day I’m most active is rather irrelevant—I’m always connected. I think my main concern, after considering these ongoing and emerging trends, is not how much I’m connected but how. I’m beginning to notice that it’s not the information that’s overloading me but how I acquire it.