In this media journal, I will document my 24-hour media consumption and examine the information and data I provide while engaging with different platforms and services. I aim to explore the implications of data sharing, algorithmic content delivery, and the importance of privacy and security settings.
6 a.m.: I wake up and turn off my phone alarm, then check my work emails on Outlook. Despite knowing I shouldn’t do this outside of work hours, I can’t resist due to anxiety. Afterward, I browse Instagram and recently been finding myself drawn to #Amazonfashion, where I discover new outfit ideas for work and home outfits. Now that I’m getting older and is finally making adult money, I’m starting to find my own style and it’s been fun.
This experience prompts me to reconsider my privacy settings on Instagram, as I realize I haven’t given much thought to how it shares information with its parent company, Meta.
On Instagram, I engage with content related to my interests, particularly Amazon related items. I like posts showcasing outfit pieces in different weather, seasons and settings, which often leads me to explore other accounts’ Amazon stores to find links to these items. This reveals my interests in different types of clothing styles, which Instagram’s algorithm may use to curate my content feed with Amazon fashion finds.
10:30 a.m.: During a walking break, I scroll through Facebook and notice promoted posts for sports related events.
I realized that clicking at sports articles on Facebook likely contribute to these targeted “suggested for you”. The platform’s algorithms are likely using my behavior data, such as the promoted posts I click and the posts I liked, to tailor ads to my interests.
2 p.m.: While conducting legal research for work, I visit various websites and read online articles. Many of these sites use tracking cookies to collect data about my browsing habits, including the cases I read and the time spent on each page. Data brokers and news articles can utilize this data to deliver targeted content.
7 p.m.: In the evening, I stream a movie on Netflix and notice that the suggested movie recommendations closely align with my previous viewing history and preferences. The recommendation algorithm likely analyzes my behavior data to predict my movie preferences and provide personalized suggestions. This convenience highlights how my online activities contribute to shaping my media experience through algorithms.
Reflecting on my day of media consumption, several themes emerge regarding privacy and security. I realize the importance of regularly reviewing and updating my privacy settings on various platforms and services to avoid unintentional sharing of personal information and preferences.
Throughout the day, I encounter algorithm-driven content delivery through promoted content and tailored recommendations. While these algorithms aim to enhance personalized experiences, they rely on the data I provide to shape the content I consume. It’s essential to be mindful of the information I share and consider its potential use by platforms and data brokers.
This exercise makes me more aware of how my data is used online. It reminds me to be cautious and find a balance between enjoying personalized content and protecting my privacy.
In summary, this journal shows how my media use reveals personal information. It underlines the importance of managing privacy settings, understanding data sharing, and thinking about what I share online. By being more aware, I can control my personal information better.