Sunday, March 24, 2013

A day in the networked life

I was inspired by the sample diaries and social media logs printed verbatim in Networked. I decided to try an experiment and last Tuesday I kept record of how I used my cell phone and social media sites for the day. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a slow week with it being spring break so lots of people were gone, and then I became really busy at work with a project that was finally ready for me to complete after a month of waiting for it. So, here is my log from Tuesday, March 19, with additional comments about the book following:

6:45 a.m. Usual morning routine: take iPhone with me to bathroom to get ready for the day; check Facebook and my Yahoo email while doing my hair and makeup. I do not have my work email come to my phone for my sanity. Watched on Facebook a YouTube video of my friend Shannon Owens, who appeared on SportsCenter last week, since I missed it live.

7:15 a.m. My son Grant brings in a past photograph of his preschool class and points to the picture of his former teacher and asks if he can see her sometime soon so I grab my phone and text her about babysitting on Friday, since we do in fact need a babysitter and I hadn’t asked anyone yet. Then I get my earbuds and plug them into the phone so I can watch another episode of season 4 of “24” on Netflix while I’m drying my hair (I really just read the captioning since I can’t hear over the dryer but I don’t want Grant to hear what’s happening on the show). 

8:30 a.m. Get to work and check iPhone again. Find article on Facebook about cell phones posted by a work colleague that may be useful to this class and email it to my Yahoo account.

10:15 a.m. Receive text back from Grant’s sitter that yes she is free Friday. Replied to confirm.

12:15 p.m. Lunch time. Check Facebook and emails. Watch “24” on Netflix on my iPhone again.

1 p.m. Receive text from friend about having Grant over for a playdate on Friday since daycare will be closed. Replied to confirm that sounds like a plan.

3:15 p.m. Receive text from my youngest stepsister Jessica that she stopped by our parents’ house and got the family picture I had left for her, per her request. Replied that I was glad it was passed along and not lost!

3:30 p.m. Receive text from my husband that says “Have fun not going to class.” I don’t reply at this time, as I’m caught up in tasks at work.

4:45 p.m. Receive text from my husband asking what I want for supper. Take a break from work stuff to check email and everything one last time before turning computer off.

6:45 p.m. Text my friend Britta to remind her to call me tonight since she didn’t have time yesterday. We need to discuss some issues going on at daycare.

7:45 p.m. Receive text from Britta that she will call me as soon as her youngest daughter is asleep.

8 p.m. Miss call from Britta while trying to get my own sons to bed. Call her back at 8:15 p.m. We talk for about 20 minutes about a daycare meeting that is coming up on March 27 with Vice Chancellor Juan Franco. These daycare issues have been basically consuming my life outside of work!

9:30 p.m. Check Facebook and email again before going to bed. I’m sure I probably liked a few people’s statuses. I don’t usually comment or like things during work so it’s not obvious that I’m actively checking Facebook during work hours!

While my experiment was definitely not very exciting, it was interesting to compare my test with the samples in the book. I don’t normally do any kind of chatting or IMing but I can imagine if I did, then I wouldn’t get much work done. It’s hard enough being interrupted a few times with personal issues via texts during work. I would say I average receiving about 50 work emails a day and send at least that many, so it’s hard to find time to answer personal emails. I try to do that over my lunch hour.

There were a few times while reading Networked that I found myself nodding in agreement, as the authors were definitely describing my own experiences. On page 103, a survey respondent says about mobile phones: “My husband’s cell phone bugs the hell out of me! He always raises his voice, never wants to let it go to voicemail, and always has it in his pocket. He stops everything to answer his phone, while I do not.” Too true. My husband could literally be in the bathroom and if his phone rings and he left it in the other room, he will come thundering out of the bathroom to get it, or yell at me to answer it and bring it to him. Really? I think whoever it is that’s calling would prefer that he would just wait.

Also, on page 186, they describe the Pew Internet Networked Worker study results, which showed that “about half of employed email users check their work emails on weekends, sick days, or before and after going to work for the day.” Guilty. It also talked about workers making or receiving work-related phone calls on weekends or when they are sick at home. Guilty again. I definitely have trouble not thinking about work when I’m at home. There is so much to get done that I find myself constantly thinking about ways to make things work out in a timely manner. Sick days are also a pain because then I have to call and explain my tasks to others. Thankfully, when I was on maternity leave, my boss didn’t bother me or email me for the entire 10 weeks. I didn’t think he could do it, especially since he asked me several times “How long are you going to be gone again?” and also asked me how soon he was allowed to email me after I had the baby! I told him give me at least six weeks, at which he looked shocked – but then, it turned out he did listen and learned to go to others while I was away. 

I did enjoy Networked, but I feel like a lot of it was obvious or information we already knew from class. It felt like it was written for people to read in 50 years to understand how our society worked.

1 comment:

  1. Lindsey - I have my work e-mail come to my phone and although I thought it'd be a huge pain, it actually helps me sort out the "junk", delete it and have the important messages starred and ready for when I get to work. Not that I open, read and respond to every one but it is nice when traveling to glance and catch up on what's going on back in the office. I can't say I'd do it in every position I've had but it's definitely more helpful than I originally thought being connected to work 24/7 would be!