Over the last 6 months (since I turned 30 old enough) I have noticed a change in my media consumption habits both from a medium and a source. Up until recently Facebook was my main social media channel and TV was a regular way to kill the little free time I had (either live sports, popular sitcoms or the usual, Discovery, History and Nat Geo route). Then I started to notice I was spending less time on those and more time on Twitter and reading books. But why?
The “Old” Media
The move away from TV makes sense, it is just boring. I was never a huge fan of reality TV and it pretty much dominates the channels these days. I still watch the educational channels (Discovery, History and Nat Geo) and sports when I get time, but watching TV, often while I was working, has greatly reduced. I am not running around claiming to “cut the cord” either. Cable is the only way to get the best live soccer matches from Europe and I sure am not given those up. Plus, any breaking news was published on Twitter 20 minutes earlier.
Facebook is another story. I am not concerned with all the privacy issues and what they are doing with my data like many others. I use Facebook to stay in contact with friends and family while Twitter is more of a business/interest monitoring tool to stay up on the latest happening. I believe where Facebook is starting to fail is on content, and that is basically my fault. The content is all based on who you are connected with. The issue is the content is stale and the same every day. That may be because both I and many of my friends are married and have kids now, so our lives are much more tame. But seriously, how many times can you read the same individuals complain, brag or be passive aggressive about the same crap. And much like work, I feel like I have to play politics and can’t unfriend individuals to avoid awkwardness. So, much like TV, I am bored with Facebook.
The “New” Media
I have always been a fan of reading, but since college, books have lost to blogs and magazines. Then recently I realized there were some good old-fashioned books I was interested in reading. So many so that I decided to get a Kindle Fire (which I am now selling). And with the ability to read magazines in app form, and the addition of other news-like outlets (NSFW, Twitter), tablets are an awesome media consumption device. It was hard at first to replace physical books with a device, but I got use to it. I don’t know if it is my old age but I have a new appreciation for the amount of time it takes to write a book and the other media sources traditional authors are up against.
Twitter has been my largest source of media consumption by far. I can’t get enough of it for some reason. It is a combination of being able to follow many points of interest at once and the speed at which breaking developments are reported. It not only jumps Facebook, but I check Twitter more than my RSS feeds (yes, I still use those, RSS is not dead). I love the way that the Twitter apps leave off where I last stopped and keeps everything in chronological order so I don’t miss anything. On the other side, the Facebook app is all over the place, doesn’t show me everything and what it does show is in a crazy, non-chronological order. I am not really in the mood to mess with the settings to get it straight. Twitter also has some great third party apps like Tweetbot that I use on all Apple devices.
I am really satisfied with the information I get from 140 characters to 140+ pages. But I am starting to wonder how and where I will consume media when I turn 40.