For my Digital Culture and Information class, I was asked to track my internet interaction for the day. I wake up and immediately reach for my phone. The thought doesn’t even cross my mind; it is just an instinct at this point. I aimlessly scrolled through various social media platforms attempting to stay updated on the new gossip or whereabouts of my friends far away from Lexington, VA. On weekends, this is about 30 minutes of responding to and sending snapchats, reading texts about breakfast and the plan for the day, and scrolling through mindless posts on Instagram and Tik Tok in bed. As unproductive as this is, it is a staple part of the weekend morning routine. From there, the internet usage took a backseat because of my interactions with other people. The occasional snapchat or text was sent but not a primary focus for the rest of the morning. The afternoon was a very different situation, though. Especially in this day and age, the emphasis on using the internet for coursework is exponentially high. I practically spent all afternoon on my computer. First, I tackled my geology assignments. I used canvas to access videos from my professor on the online platform YUJA. Once I finished watching those, I took my leftover questions to the internet and ended up reading up about mineral cleavage and watching YouTube videos on the differences between covalent and ionic bonds. Here, the internet served as a source of additional information. After that, I was reading eBooks for DCI and writing discussion questions on Padlet- another internet platform. My Spanish work also was all online on the Vista Higher Learning program. The assignment included an online clip of a news broadcast and some Spanish vocabulary. Even though this seems like a lot of time on the internet already, most of it isn’t close to being done. Following all of that, I had to take a geology quiz and write this blog post- both online. Once, all the work was done I stayed up late face timing my friend, continuing the mindless scrolling and watching some Netflix. With about 80% of my schoolwork online, I have access to so many great resources and can participate from basically anywhere. These are some of the positives, but I also have access to online distractions. What I included during the “homework” part of my afternoon, didn’t cover all my internet time. I am missing out on the many snapchats, texts, online shopping, and email breaks that came up and set me off course. On one hand, it is great to have so much at the tip of our fingers. I couldn’t have gotten through my geology work without the help of crash course and other more in-depth online explanations. On the other hand, though, I have to argue that all of these additional online distractions not only prevent me from getting my work done more efficiently and quickly, but they also cause me to stay up later and develop a poor sleep schedule. All my procrastination is on me; I am not denying that. I do, however, think that it creates a much more difficult environment for me to do my work!
Overall, this blog post really made me think about the impact of my digital footprint. This quote from the Huffington Post article Your Digital Footprint Matters says “With each Facebook post, email, Instagram photo, comment on a blog, YouTube video, Skype call, etc. you are leaving a trail that can be seen, searched, or tracked.” Clearly, after writing this post I have realized, I spend a lot of time on the internet so this has become quite a relevant topic for me. After reading about this, I am more conscious of the actions I take on the internet.