Note: This post is an assignment for one of my classes. I was required to record and then analyze all textual production within a two day period. I was also required to use a unique and textual medium for the analysis. I chose my personal blog for reasons explained towards the end of this post.
I began logging my textual productions as soon as I woke up on Tuesday. Unfortunately for me, my Tuesdays begin at 4:30am due to my early morning work shift. The first few texts were work-related, which then shifted into several written descriptions for items on Pinterest. After another text written for my employer near the end of my shift, my textual production log is empty for several hours.
At 10:45am, I finally log another text. I made several notes throughout the following hour- one was a written prayer, the next was note concerning the Bible passage I had studied, and the final one was a verse written down to help me memorize it.
At 11:41am, I began writing critiques for the students in my Fiction Writing class. I did this for an hour.
The afternoon went on. The only textual productions I made were class notes (few in philosophy, lots in fiction writing) interspersed between doodles and outlines for future novels (lots in philosophy, few in fiction writing).
At 5:00pm, I returned to work, initiating a few more work-related logs. I also worked on a blog post during the quieter times of my shift. Finally, my day ended by texting friends and family for over an hour. Interestingly, I had not texted throughout the entirety of my day until this point. I will analyze this further, but first, on to Wednesday!
Far less happened Wednesday than on Tuesday. Despite the fact that I was awake at 6:30am, I did not produce any texts until 11:50am, when I texted a few friends. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the same way as my Tuesday afternoon- taking notes and doodles in my notebook throughout my classes. Finally, I worked for another hour on editing/critiquing the student work, sent a few more texts, and then went to sleep.
When I began to analyze my log, the first thing I noticed was how few of these textual productions were intended for anyone other than myself to view. My class notes, my journal, and my novel outlines and doodles were all created with no intention to be seen by anyone other than myself.
I also noticed the sporadic habits I have when it comes to texting. I have been told by friends that I am difficult to communicate with, and I have agreed with them, but it is interesting to see it so plainly, and literally, spelled out. I forgot to check my phone all day on Tuesday, which caused me to end the day by spending well over an hour texting, something I dislike doing. My texts throughout Wednesday were short and sporadic, though they were scattered throughout the day rather than left until the evening. These two observations- the textual productions I create privately and my terrible texting habits- have further emphasized my inclination towards solitude.
I also noticed that when I produce text, it tends to either be very short or very long. For example, a lot of my texting and my work notifications only took me 15 seconds to write. However, my notes, outlines, and homework would all take at least an hour to complete. This fits with something I already knew about myself- I prefer to focus on one task at a time, and when I have to multitask, I want to get that done as quickly as possible so I can return to my single task. This is something I do purposefully, because I have read numerous articles relating the lack of focus among my generation with the overuse of multitasking, especially multitasking on phones or the Internet. At the end of this post, I have cited one such article.
It is interesting how my textual productions habits seem to reflect aspects of my personality. However, I do wonder if I am merely drawing these conclusions because I know my own personality. I think it would be interesting if a complete stranger were to analyze these texts. Would they come to similar conclusions as I did, or would they interpret the findings completely differently because they did not know me personally?
As you can see, in the audience pie chart, a lot of the productions are intended for myself. After that, they are intended for only friends and family to see. I definitely prefer to remain private.
The categories, interestingly, were all fairly even in their distribution. School-related texts were the most common, but only slightly, with texting being nearly equal.
Overall, I have learned a lot about myself as a text producer. I can see areas that I am proud of and areas that could use some more work. I like the fact that I tend to focus and spend a lot of time on my homework. However, I do think I need to be better about communicating with my friends.
In the article I cited, the author describes how compartmentalization, setting aside time for specific tasks, helps to focus when multitasking. To improve my textual production habits, I think I will try to implement his advice by setting aside specific time to text, so that I might reply to my friends more efficiently.
Textual Production Log
4:58am- package count, log- work-15 seconds
5:32am- Pinterest description, Pinterest- social media- 10 seconds
7:02am- blog post draft, blog- social media- 30 minutes
7:43am- employer note, log- work- 15 seconds
10:45am- prayer, journal- personal- 2 minutes
11:00am- Bible notes, journal- personal- 20 minutes
11:25am- memorization, journal- personal- 3 minutes
11:41am- fiction critiques, Microsoft word- school- 50 minutes
1:30pm- philosophy notes, notebook- school- 5 minutes
1:30pm- novel ideas, notebook- personal- 1 hour
3:00pm- fiction writing notes, notebook- school- 1 hour
3:00pm- novel ideas, notebook- personal- 10 minutes
5:00pm- package count, log- work- 15 seconds
6:10pm- equipment update, log- work- 15 seconds
6:11pm- edit blog draft, blog- social media- 20 minutes
7:15pm- text family, text- social media- 45 minutes
8:15pm- text friend, text- social media- 20 minutes
11:50am- text friend, text- social media- 15 seconds
11:51am- text friend, text- social media- 15 seconds
12:45pm- text friend, text- social media- 15 seconds
1:30pm- writing theory notes, notebook- school- 20 minutes
1:30pm- novel outlines, notebook- personal- 10 minutes
2:50pm- critiques, notebook- school- 10 minutes
3:13pm- literature notes, notebook- school- 1 hour
8:00pm- Bible notes, journal- personal- 2 minutes
10:30pm- critiques, notebook- school- 1 hour
10:55- text friend, text- social media- 15 seconds
11:35pm- text friend, text- social media- 15 seconds
When I was trying to decide which medium to use for this analysis, I absolutely did not want to use my blog. I did not want to use my blog because I did not want my “worlds to collide”, so to speak. I did not want the people I know on the Internet to actually see one of my assignments from school, and I did not want my professor to see my personal blog.
This caused me to, again, reflect on my analysis. I discovered that most of my textual productions are for myself and not for other people. However, when they are for other people, they tend to be for a very specific person. I complete assignments for professors, I write notifications for my employer, and I text my friends and family. I rarely use social media, and when I do, I am typically just recirculating something someone else made, be it a Facebook post, a blog post, a tweet, or a pin. I like to have a lot of control over my textual productions.
I did not want to use my personal blog because, suddenly, I would lose some of that perceived control over my productions. However, this caused me think of how futile it really is to keep everything private, especially when so much of modern-day life is both textually produced and on the Internet. All of the texts that I want to keep private are written, physically, into journals and notebooks. It’s unlikely that a large amount of people, if anyone at all, could read those. This blog is on the Internet. If my instructors or employers wanted to find this blog, it would only take a Google search. It is not hard for school and work to find my personal life. They all exist very close to one another on this tenuous thing we call the Internet.
So, I decided to move past the fear of my worlds colliding because, the truth is, I don’t have “worlds”. I only have one, and everything is connected to everything else in that world. I need to accept that fact and adapt to it. I can’t kid myself into thinking that I can retain control over texts I voluntarily send out into the Internet.
However, there was another reason I did not want to use my blog. I did not want to lose credibility with either my blogging audience or with my professors. I wanted to write this post like an essay. I wanted to use a lot of impressive jargon, clean formatting, and to sound like I know everything about the subject of which I am speaking. This assignment called for me to use a different format other than that of an essay because that sort of language is inappropriate for a personal blog. I had to adjust. to attempt to write something academic in the familiar tone I use when blogging. This feels very awkward to me, but I think it is a good exercise. It has made me more conscious of the difference tones I use when writing in different contexts.
Cohen, Gary. “Career Coach: The best way to multitask is to focus one priority at a time”. Washington, D.C.: WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post. Nov 4, 2016. Accessed Feb 13, 2017.