This week’s blog prompt is a bit alarming, once I open my phone and see my own screen time numbers in real time.  A typical day for me during the weekdays looks quite a bit different than screen time on a weekend.  Typical weekday 2.5 – 3 hours, weekend oh boy much bigger number.

Human hand holding alarm clock on red background, idea conceptMost days start with the alarm being snoozed a minimal of a couple times.  You know, set the alarm to get up out of bed and be productive, then realizing that the valuable sleep might be more important.  When I do get up out of bed and grab my phone, I check to see what messages might have come in, or alerts letting me know who my waiver wire fantasy football pickups are that week.  With any luck, hit snooze only once and make my way downstairs to the gym.  Here is where I’ll stream some music or follow a workout on one of the numerous apps I have or YouTube.  Ideally, the Peleton App to track my workouts and hold myself more accountable.

Head upstairs around 7:15 and see if the kids are awake.  Ask them what they’re watching, as they typically eat with the tablets and headphones on in the morning (actually makes it much more peaceful in our household).  Usually it is some sort of sports reel or highlights from the previous night.  What can I say, we like sports.

I make my way to school and begin my day.  If I find the time my computer opens up to a quick news source glance, MSN, CTV, TSN but in some cases I don’t even have the time for that.  Often times my first “real” look at my phone comes at lunch when it is time to head into the staffroom.  If I have Social Studies that day, we look into some quick current events for the day.

Coaching development training words tag cloud video illustration3:20 the bell sounds and then coaching takes over.  Fall=Football, Winter=Hockey, Spring=Baseball.  Add in other teacher tasks before or after this and before long we are back at home for the night unwinding.  Kids want to usually watch something and so do I.  If it’s Monday, Thursday, or Sunday it’s football and constant checking on phone for updates and scoreboard watching.  Other nights it’s the mindless scrolling, searching Kijiji for my next purchase, or anything else that pops up on the feed.   Then bring on the Sandman and repeat the next day.

Since this class I have been much more aware of my time spent using my socials and the corresponding algorithms.  This week our group researched and presented on Fake News.  Jordan’s section on Filter Bubbles definitely poses questions to think about and for me with even the content my own kids are watching.  I am an avid art watcher, so I try to like and follow other artists, particularly street artists to fill my feed, along with cooking, and of course sports.

filter bubble youWe all know the tips and tricks, to change our own algorithms but some of the best seem to be engaging with the content you are watching through commenting and liking.  I find I tend to be most critical of content on Facebook.  So much is shared that isn’t fact checked or is severely outdated and recycled content.  Fake News is just so easily shared and with deepfake technology it is even more convincing.  Although, I still feel there is a very entertaining and intriguing side to deepfakes as well.

My current conundrum is with my students and my own children.  How to show them what they watch and like, is influencing their choices without them even understanding it is happening.  I need to figure out the best way to show them that their likes and searches have more interactive power than they even know.  Time for some more conversations and further digital media education.