Contextual essay

This session for my digital artefact I wanted to look at the affects digital media can have on us as consumers and provide tips and tricks and an all-round positive space to not only learn something but to be inspired to be better. I chose to do this by creating a blog series explaining my own experiences, having a discussion area to explain different ideas and information and to share content that I believe is positive and/or helpful in any way.

Based on the fact almost all of the population is connected to the digital lifestyle I decided to make this page as a way to not only share but inform and educate people when it comes to using the our phones and social media. I believe it would be useful for people my age as its important to disconnect every once in a while.

The way in which I chose to make this Digital Artefact was to make a blog series in which I would be able to share positive information, educate and also be a platform of sharing my own story when it comes to falling out of the societal norms of digital media in the twenty-first century.

At first I decided I was going to do a series of short videos on TikToks, however I after taking 2 hours to shoot a 1minute video I realised that it wasn’t working for me

My tiktok

on that tiktok I got a fairly decent response, its no viral video but it got 70 likes 3 comments and 2 shares. This wasn’t a horrible response but it was not fitting the FIST method so I decided to scrap that and do something that was a little more effective and informative.

This took a few weeks of figuring out my process however I started the “Ignorance is not bliss” blog page and thought that would work better than my tiktok idea.

As a result of starting the blog a lot of the issues I faced were disappearing and new issues were being introduced. The blog got no where near the amount of the attraction I would have hoped for as I put a lot of work into content and not equally as much work into plugging my blog.

I plugged my blog on reddit, twitter and even my personal facebook page and I forgot to factor in that most of my target audience is considered or have the personality trait of “being lazy” so reading a blog is probably not the way they want to spend their afternoons.

I left the comment section open hoping for replies, again this didn’t happen, I even looked in to getting people to repost their personal experiences on my blog as I know a few people in my course who have interesting stories when it comes to their breaking point with social media and it would have been really interesting to document and share however the people I asked have since dropped out of uni before doing so.

Feel free to check out the blog here where you’ll see all of this sessions work.

Where it all starts

Lets talk Social Media.. 

To get on a personal level about half way through the start of the year I decided it was time for a cleanse. Lets be real who doesn’t want to be more present when they’re out and not have to worry about little things like their phone going off or who’s messaging you back.. Sounds ridiculous right? 

Up until this point I didn’t realise how possessive my phone is over my life. I kind of get fed up after I noticed my screen time widget telling me my phone usage was at an average of 7 hours a day. 

There are a number of contributing factors that lead up to this point in my life. My disconnection on social media came after a series of broken friendships, lack of care for “instagram life” and the absolute garbage I was consuming through channels such as instagram, facebook, and snapchat. 

This blog is about the simple things I did to change this lifestyle and trade it in for something a bit more present and to enable me to be connected to the people and environment around me 

Ways to get out of a toxic relationship with your phone

At some point we all go through a serious relationship with our phone. I for one have a screen time average of 6 hours per day. Astronomical! Here are some of the best ways to get rid of your bad phone habits and sever the attachment your hand has to your phone.

  1. Greyscale

You as a human are attracted to colour, your home screen on your iPhone is full of bright colours Im sure. From Facebook to instagram even to snapchat and messenger. Enabling the Greyscale feature allows you to cut the connection between these bright colours and your subconscious mind. You can activate this in your settings of your phone. Your phone will look a little different. also a lot less attractive, leaving you to not want to spend so much time on your phone. Interested in the greyscale feature, learn more here.

2. The Morning/Night Rule

This is something ive found works, It may not work for everyone but it certainly does for me and for a lot of people I know. The morning/Night rule is simple – don’t let your phone be the first thing you look at in the morning, and don’t be the last thing you look at before you go to bed. Breaking this habit is a little harder than it seems. I recommend getting an alarm so you have no reason to pick your phone up first thing in the morning. However I know that not everyone can spend the time or money investing in an alarm clock so if you’re using your phone for the purpose of an alarm, Turn your phone off in the morning.

Another way to make this a little bit easier is charge your phone on the other side of your room not on your bed. This means it won’t be the last thing you do before getting into bed and you’ll also have to physically get out of bed in the morning to turn your alarm off.

Start easy, go 5 minutes without your phone in the morning/night then slowly build it up as you get better. Breaking this habit allows you to regain control of your life and your time.

3. Social media addiction

This sounds so simple but never underestimate the power of unfollowing people. Go through your instagram (and other apps that are consuming a lot of your time) go to your followers and sort through them. Highschool friends you don’t talk to? Unfollow. Friends of friends of which you’ve never spoke to? Unfollow. Celebrities that push misleading body images? UNFOLLOW.

If you follow a big number of people, cut back to 400 people that you’re allowed to follow. Let this number include you family, close friends, informational pages, inspirational pages and anything else that represents you as a person. If you have a smaller following amount cut this number down to 100-150 people/accounts you follow (with the same rules applying.)

4. Do Not Disturb (DND)

This is a great way to disconnect. In the more recent updates of the iPhone you’re able to set times in which you wish to not be disturbed. Set this time from a couple hours after you get home from work of an afternoon (allowing you to have some time on your phone – and not going cold turkey. The idea is for these habits to stick, not last for a tiny week detox then have you jumping back into your old toxic ways) and set the Time it turns off before you go to work. You will still receive calls, however this just allows you to not get those pesky notifications from the game you never play which you downloaded 4 years ago which is hidden away in some little folder never to be seen.

Have any questions? Leave a comment and start a discussion surrounding this topic or topics you’d like to get into. See you next time!
Melanie

Does putting your phone on Greyscale work?

Its no secret that app developers, social media companies, and even iPhone developers spend a mass amount of money and time to make their products work to the best of their ability. One of the biggest ways to keep your attention is using your sub-conscience psyche to keep your stimulated in order to keep you using the phone/app/social media etc.

What is Grey scale?

Grey scale is essentially draining all the colour out of your phone for it to look like its got a black and white filter on top of everything. As a result of this, your phone screen will go from this (left) to that (right)

What does grey-scaling do?

straight away you can notice a lot of differences. The idea of the bright colours are to entice you to select them. You are drawn to bright colours subconsciously. You don’t even have to know about it. So taking the colour out of things changes this. You can still tell apps apart but you won’t be drawn to an app as much with gray scale on compared to having this feature turned off.

Take the colour red for example, the colour of the notifications on an Apple iPhone. Having a little red notification circle disrupts a lot of the colour schemes within a home screen, or pages of apps you’ve got on your phone.
What does the red notification want to gain? You’re attention. Disrupting the colour scheme/pattern of your home screen with this colour makes you want to get rid of the notification and by doing this you must spend time on the application sending this notification.

You can turn this feature off however for the purpose of instant contact, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a phone in the first place. Enabling the Greyscale feature on your phone allows you to still be notified and see when you have a notification, but removes the subconscious need to remove the notification button hovering above your apps.

The Psychology of colour

Having already talk about red and its ability to draw your attention, lets talk about the other colours you might find within your screen. Do you ever wonder why most apps have the same colours on their app icon? Red, Blue, Purple, Yellow, Orange. Breaking that down further do you ever wonder why they’re all sort of the same tones of each colour? Again this isn’t a coincidence this is due to the app development departments of companies using psychology to best connect you with the app. They do this using connotations (Background thought associated with colour) to enable a connecting link between your subconscious mind and the application due to the colour of its icon.

As you can see above different colours represent different things. To read up more on the colour psychology click Here.

Have any questions? Leave a comment and start a discussion surrounding this topic or topics you’d like to get into. See you next time!
Melanie