People can use media for different purposes. The Internet and other media are versatile – while they may be utilized for educational purposes and professional growth, they can also help individuals interact with each other and serve as a source of entertainment. A more attentive look into the use of various media types for two Subjects may reveal specific trends that can be explained by one’s occupation, personality, and interests. The process of information gathering for this assignment showed some key patterns for the two Subjects and presented some possible differences and similarities.
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The main patterns that may be considered are the use of the Internet as the primary media type employed by the participants in daily life and the high activity of the Subjects during weekdays and Saturdays as opposed to a lower level of interaction on Sundays. The hypothesized differences are connected to the purpose of media as an informational source as opposed to a method of social interaction, while similarities may include the notable part of the Internet as the primary medium being used.
Pattern 1: Internet as the Main Type of Media
The analysis of the gathered data reveals an overwhelming prevalence of time that Subjects spent on the Internet in comparison to other media types. Throughout the week, both participants engaged with the Internet for almost half of their total media interaction time – 43 and 41 percent for Subject 1 and Subject 2 respectively (insert charts 4 and 5 here). While other media such as books and television took up a significant part of their interaction as well, the Internet was a leading form of engagement. Moreover, the use of other types, including newspapers and magazines, was either small or absent from the participants’ daily routines.
The comparison can be made apparent if one examines the time of interaction through the week. For instance, Subject 1 used the Internet for a total of 805 minutes during the week, while the time spent reading a newspaper amounted to 45 minutes. Similarly, Subject 2 spent 705 minutes on the Internet during the week of data collection, and he did not engage with any publications at all. More importantly, both Subjects were noted to use the Internet to engage with social media platforms, more specifically Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. While the Subjects’ objectives were different, they both successfully employed these websites and applications to fulfill their needs. Out of the 805 minutes spent by Subject 1 on the Internet, 615 minutes were reserved for social media. In the case of Subject 2, 705 minutes of total time were connected to using social media in some ways, although the participant often multitasked.
This pattern can be explained by the growing role of the Internet and social media in people’s lives. People can use social media to interact with friends, regardless of their location and remoteness from each other. They can also access information, read current news, or find articles and books relevant to their interests. The mobility of devices and the accessibility of such platforms is another explanation for the presented numbers. A person can open Facebook, Gmail, and other apps on their phone and use Wi-Fi or cellular data if necessary, making the Internet more accessible than other media.
Pattern 2: The Use of Media During Weekdays and Weekends
A second pattern shows that both respondents engaged with different media types during weekdays and Saturdays more than on Sundays (insert chart 3 here). For example, Subject 1 employed a variety of media, including magazines, newspapers, radio, and books throughout the week. However, on Sunday, his interaction was limited to the Internet (insert chart 1 here). Following the same pattern, Subject 2 watched television and read books on weekdays and Saturdays, but listened to the radio and used the Internet for short periods on Sunday (insert chart 2 here). The length of interactions may be explained by the fact that Sunday is not a working day for the majority of people. Thus, Subjects might have been interested in other activities – spending time with friends and family, doing house chores, or pursuing other hobbies. During weekdays, the use of some media can happen during trips to and from work, lunch breaks, or as a relaxing activity after work.
As was mentioned above, the main similarity between the two Subjects is their use of the Internet and social media as a primary source of information and entertainment. Notably, both participants stated that they used YouTube as a music streaming platform, commenting on its functionality. While both subjects enjoyed listening to the radio, YouTube served as a way to turn on their favorite tracks or music that helped them concentrate. The use of Facebook can also be noted as both individuals engaged with it as the main social media platform. Facebook is a network that connects people regardless of their physical location, which may explain its popularity for the Subjects. Moreover, it has a broad range of features, appealing to both participants who had different goals for using the platform.
Many contrasts can be seen in the Subjects’ data as both individuals had different purposes for each medium. Subject 1 primarily used social media, books, and magazines as sources of information on the topics of personal interest, including philosophy and religion. Subject 2, on the other hand, found ways to interact with friends through instant messaging and watching movies together, whether on the TV or online. Thus, while both participants engaged with the Internet the most, the nature of interactions was completely different. Moreover, Subject 1 employed other sources of media to collect information about the local and global news, including newspapers and radio, while Subject 2 stated that the Internet and Facebook, in particular, were his preferred medium for accessing such information. Notably, Subject 2 watched television for 470 minutes, while the first participant engaged with this medium only for 260 minutes during the week (insert charts 4 and 5 here).
Such differences may be based on the Subjects’ interests and occupation. Subject 2 stated that his job was stressful and, therefore, in his free time he wanted to relax and be in the company of friends, doing something that does not require high concentration levels. He preferred to watch movies and socialize with other people on Facebook and Snapchat. On the other hand, Subject 1 expressed a clear interest in learning, which resulted in him choosing informative media. While he also engaged in conversations, the primary function of all media types was to help him learn more about his interests.
The analysis of two Subjects and their interaction with media revealed that the Internet could become a universal source of learning, entertainment, and communication for many people. Both participants used social media almost every day. While they had completely different objectives, such platforms as Facebook and YouTube were able to satisfy their needs and replace other media types in their functionality. The proposed hypotheses and patterns are confirmed by data – Subject 1 and 2 used the Internet more than other media and were more active on weekdays and Saturdays than Sundays. Furthermore, the differences between their uses of the media were also established, being explained by the Subjects’ interests, personality, and occupation.