Functional Analysis on Daily Media Use Using the Gratification and Use Model
This work in writing will examine the media habits of the writer for one week's time. This data will serve as the basis of the analysis in this study by examining the information using the 'Uses and Gratifications Model.
Daily media use by the writer of this work for one week's time included a daily alarm via radio blaring the morning's news. On the way to school the writer of this work listened to music on a radio station playing the writer's choice music and this followed the writer logging on to the Internet prior to leaving for school and checking email and a couple of social media website used by the writer. This was not the extent however of the use of media as the writer used online media on and off through the day communicating with friends and with associates as well as checking eBay for auctions on interesting items or items that are intended for gifts for birthdays and other special occasions.
The writer of this work also listened to the radio station when on the road between locations and used the mobile phone for logging on to websites when waiting in line or when sitting and waiting on appointments. The writer watched television at night for a couple of hours including the evening news and some favorite weekly shows. The writer also used the Internet at night to download music and other files as well as to interact on Facebook and other social media websites.
III. Use and Gratification Model
Dominick (2012) writes that a function of media is "that of entertainment." (p.39) According to Dominick mass media's entertainment scope "is awesome." (2012, p.39) The majority of newspaper content is comprised by such as current events, as well as "comics, puzzles, horoscopes, games, advice, gossip, humor and general entertainment features…" (2012, p.38) Radio entertainment is stated in the work of Dominick (2012) to be varied depending upon the specific format of individual stations.
Mobile media has emerged and served to result in amplification of the entertainment function of the media according to Dominick (2012). In addition, the Internet is reported by Dominick to have "enlarged our options for entertainment" as "surfing the Web has become a national pastime" since individuals in the United States are reported to spend approximately 3 hours each day on the Internet and a great deal of that time is spent in leisure activities.
Dominick states that surveys reveal that the reasons that people use the media include such as staying abreast of government activities and understanding current world events. Other reasons include keeping up with political leaders and their activities. Also listed as reasons for media use are such as learning how to do new things and satisfaction of curiosity. (2012) Media serves a purpose of diversion including: (1) stimulation; (2) relaxation; and (3) emotional release of pent-up emotions and energy. (Dominick, 2012, p.40) Media is reported in the work of Dominick to serve as social utility and stated is that social utility is "a set of social integrative needs, including our needs to strengthen our ties with family, friends, and others in society." (2012, p.41) Social utility is reported as being such that can take several forms including use of the media as 'conversational currency" since media makes provision of a "common ground for social conversations and many people use things that they have read, seen, or heard as topics for discussions with others." (Dominick, 2012, p.41) Dominick states that radio and television media are used by some individuals as a method for overcoming the feeling of loneliness as radio and television "represents a voice in the house for people who might otherwise be alone." (Dominick, 2012, p.42) Dominick (2012) concludes by stating the fact: "it is not only media content that determines audience usage but also the social context within which the media exposure occurs." (2012, p.42)
IV. Analysis of the Media Use of the Writer
The analysis of the media use of the writer of this work has found that the media use of the writer is for many reasons that fall within the framework of the Use and Gratifications model. For example, the media first thing in the morning via the alarm clock-radio is such that is functional in nature and for the purpose of waking up and getting a start with the day.
The early morning news blaring from the radio serves to remind the individual of what they have on their agenda for the day and serves as a motivator for the listener to rise from bed and get going in unison with the world around them. The interaction first thing in the morning on the Internet via social media website such as Facebook serves to bring the individual in line with the world around them and the events of the community that are occurring or will occur in the immediate future.
The radio on the way to school is not just mere entertainment but the music of choice serves to motivate the individual as they began their daily journey in the world and pumps enthusiasm into the individual as their favorite music is heard. As the writer of this work advances through their day, the mobile phone as the internet, is again not only social but functional in that the individual is able to check the weather forecast depending on what outside pursuits are planned for the day but as well, the individual can keep up with the current events not only on a local basis but nationally and internationally.
Furthermore, sports news and media is a big attraction and this is only one aspect of entertainment purposes for which the mobile phone internet and computer internet connections are used throughout the day in the life of the writer of this work. Magazines and newspapers also serve the function of obtaining information, news, television scheduling, and local sports scheduling as well and fulfilling functions of entertainment. Radio listening after school on the way back home serves as more of a type of filler and serves to function as a relaxant for the writer assisting with unwinding before reaching home which is in contrast to the functional use of the radio on the way from home to school each day.
Certainly, the television viewing in the evening serves the same function for relaxing. Television viewing also serves as a functional escape for the writer of this work as the viewer of television is able to escape from their immediate environment and their life as a whole as they immerse themselves in the television shows and the lives that the actors portray in the television programming. Use of the internet in the evening at home serves functionally as a social tool for gaining information and for interacting with others whether it is friends or family on a social level which has a large place in the life of the writer of this work and society-at-large. In globalized society, ones' friends and family are scattered and social media websites allow individuals from far locations to interact socially as though they were in close proximity.
The writer of this work was surprised to find that the use of media is all-pervasive in the life of the individual. In fact, the writer of this work was quite unaware of just how dependent on media that not only the writer, but also the entire population is on media of all types. Furthermore, the functions in use and gratification that media serves in the lives of individuals is very much taken for granted and largely unacknowledged by many if not most people since they are so accustomed to the use of media that it is really utilized…