How do you use media, and what are the effects it has on you?
I wake up every morning to the alarm on my phone & the last thing I do each night before falling asleep is reset the alarm on my phone for the next day. I am surrounded by media from the second I wake up, till the time I fall asleep. As I get ready in the morning, I play a religious devotional on my phone. Then I listen to music in my car on the way to work, where I then spend all day on the computer. After work I either go teach dance classes, where I use my phone to play music, or I go to school where I am on a computer the whole time. For the dance classes I teach, I spend hours listening to music & watching dance videos. The more music I listen to, the more ideas I get for choreography and different dance concepts. Then as I choreograph I have to listen to the song over & over again to make sure the timing is right & to more fully understand the musicality.
I also paint commissioned paintings so while I am working on my paintings I usually listen to documentaries or shows on Netflix. I love movies so I try to pick things that I can listen to mindlessly & not have to watch. I really need to start listening to podcasts because I’ve just about made it through all the documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
As for actually socializing with my social media, I mostly socialize with strangers. I love painting because of the people I am able to connect to. Clients are able to find me through social media & my website. Since every order is custom, each order has a person & their story behind it. Some orders are for young adults that are starting new adventures in college, or moving to a different country. Some are for people in mourning & I always cry as I read their emails. Each story is different & I wouldn’t be able to reach as many people if it wasn’t through media.
When I am with friends & family, I am always conscious to keep my phone put away. I love taking pictures & filming video, so I always carry my camera with me instead of taking them with my phone. The content is better quality anyway. Then I edit the pictures on my own time, when I am not with people. I hate being in a room full of people where everyone is on their phones. I like watching movies in a group, or even play video games but the difference is we are all using the media together in unity. I’ve also noticed that when I’m with my friends & we are all on our phones we tend to gossip more. We see pictures that remind us of a rumor going around or we talk about about how the people we went to high school with have gone “down hill” as we watch their snapchats. The more we are doing together, the less we are talking about others & bringing negativity into our lives.
Along with photography, I’ve always loved fashion. Growing up my mom always told me that it takes about 7 years for all the trends from New York Fashion Week to hit Utah. That’s not so much the case anymore. My sophomore year of high school was the first year New York Fashion Week was live streamed. I watched it in all my classes. Gone are the days when you have to wait for the next magazine to come out or wait every six months for fashion week. All the top fashion magazines release articles on their websites daily & Instagram has become a Mecca for creative inspiration & recreation. Normally I am pretty good with coming up with my own outfit ideas, date ideas, color schemes for family pictures, & summer bucket list ideas but if I ever need a bit of inspiration I go straight to Pinterest.
I didn’t realize how much media affects my actions until the Royal Wedding a few weeks ago. I have been so busy with school & work that I honestly didn’t care about Megan & Harry. My cousin invited me to brunch at her house to watch the wedding. I went for brunch & then left before the wedding started to study before heading to work. When I got home that night I found myself loading up my wedding board on Pinterest for at least an hour. Then my mom & I were talking about my pins & locations for my future reception. I don’t even have a fiance, why am I planning my wedding? Now I realize that the pictures & videos I watch influence my outfit choices, my conversations & what I spend my time thinking about. I over analyze a lot, so there is always a lot of thinking.
I am pretty cheap when it comes to buying clothes & I am a fan of the thrift store. Trends, pop culture & media don’t have an effect on how I spend my money but it does influence what I think is cool. My brother on the other hand, he will buy name brand things, full priced, right when they come out. We are both on trend & well dressed but we just have a different way of doing things.
Media has also influenced the way I treat the people in my life. Sometimes I see things that motivate me to serve my family, help me to support them, or give me ideas on how to do something thoughtful. Other times it has encouraged my negative attitudes towards my family members, political ideas, groups of people, and teenage gossip.
I love how mass media helps us spread important messages & because of technology, we can do it so rapidly. I do think at times it can be toxic so I’ve had to set guidelines for myself. I’ve deleted twitter because I get offended so easily. I set timers on my phone when I am on social media. When I watch videos, movies or shows, I think, “would my mom watch this?” I have also followed lots of inspirational speakers & religious leaders on my Instagram & YouTube so that when I am mindlessly scrolling, I am seeing inspiring, important messages.