Woman standing looking at cell phone

My cellphone alarm goes off. I blindly tap on my phone screen until it stops making noise.

My snooze period has ended, and my cell phone alarm goes off again. This time I pick up my phone, turn the alarm off, and set the phone back down.

I get in my car and connect Apple Car Play. I open Spotify and put on my morning workout mix. I listen to “Superman” by Eminem on my drive to the gym down the road.

I put headphones in and continue listening to my Spotify playlist while I walk into the gym.

I pick the treadmill I want to use. It has a full view of ten different television sets, all with various channels displayed. I hit speed three and max incline and start my morning wakeup routine.

Ignoring all of the television sets, I finally turn sleep mode off on my phone and get to work, catching up on every social media app I have on my phone. I start with Instagram. My boyfriend has sent me ten different reels to watch. I scroll through them, replying as necessary. Most of them are recipes that he wants to try to cook with me. One or two are entertaining reels of jokes. Instagram algorithms have not quite figured out what I like, so I do not spend too much time on this app. 

I briefly switched to Facebook only to find that my account has been restricted for trying to tag myself in a photo. Another short-lived app experience.

I open my email app. I quickly select all of the spam messages and mass delete them. There are a couple of emails from my daughter’s school that I read and forward to her dad to review.

I look up at the television sets for the first time. There is one news station reporting on Trump stating he’s raised a large amount of money. One television has HGTV on it. Another television has a report showing what appears to be some sort of violent uprising, but the headline is unclear. I quickly lose interest and go back to my phone.

I open TikTok. I start my mind-numbing scroll-a-thon. My TikTok feed has a variety of videos showcasing motivational messages, recipes, places to travel, and “remember in the 90’s when…”

I stop scrolling and wipe down my treadmill. My Spotify playlist is back on, and I head home. Once home, I get my daughter ready for school, feed the animals, pick up a little, and sign on for work. My work computer consumes the majority of my day.

On my breaks from work, I squeeze in some Mind Hunter on Netflix (I am so close to finishing; I watch it whenever I have some free time now).

I sign off of work and check my phone again. I have a couple of texts from parents at my daughter’s school. I open them and reply.

I open up Instagram and see an announcement from Kate Middleton.
She has cancer. I close the app.

Kate Middleton announcement
Photo from Instagram

It’s time to pick my daughter up from school. I get in my car, open Apple Car Play, and open Audible. I listen to “The Covenant of Water” while I drive to my daughter’s school.

My daughter gets in the car, and I open Spotify again. This time, I select my daughter’s playlist, which plays the remainder of the time we are in the car.

I decide I want to try making empanadas. I watch a couple of videos I took of my friend teaching me a couple of days earlier and get to work.

It’s Friday evening, and my family and I sit down for dinner. No phones, tablets, or televisions are allowed during our family dinners. We talk about our days.

I get ready to sit down for family movie night. Tonight is my daughter’s pick, and we are watching the new Willy Wonka movie.

While tracking my media usage throughout the day, I realized that I do not subject myself to a large amount of media that requires fact-checking. I do not put a lot of trust in mainstream media, so I tend to ignore news that I see from them. If there does happen to be something worth giving my attention to on the television sets in the morning, I will watch the various news channels broadcasting their own views and try to pick out the pertinent information, or look it up online to see what is credible.
I use social media as a form of entertainment throughout the day rather than a source of truth. Over the years, I’ve found that it can be very addicting, and I make it a point to limit my intake. I set screen time limits on my phone and adhere to them. In a world that thrives on so much media use, I am probably in the minority of media consumption, even though I feel like I am constantly on my phone or exposed to different forms of media every day.
A majority of the news that I hear about is sent directly to me by people that I know. When someone does send me a link, I try to read or watch the entire report, and then I try to find another source reporting the same thing to pick out any bias or misinformation that might be present. I think it is incredibly important to be media-literate. I prefer to fact-check everything that is sent to me to ensure that I have the correct information so that I can form my own opinions and speak confidently in conversation.

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