My Digital Footprint

How technology effects my day to day life

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Checking my email every morning

When I get up the first thing I do is check my email. It helps me to stay informed with what is going on in my classes, or even with my school. It gives me the ability to communicate with my teachers whenever I need to. there are instances where I do not check my email and it affects my grades in a negative manner.

So part of my normal routine in the morning is to log into my school email on my laptop. Occasionally I forget to do this and it completely messes up my school day, because we end up having to submit a journal to a teacher, and I can't do it because I can't get on my email at school. At least not on my laptop that is. So I am going through my day and I get to seventh period, or English 12, and my teacher has us submitting a journal that day. Me being complacent, didn't log into my email, so I ask if I can submit it when I get home. The teacher says I can, so I am out of hot water. But when I got home I had forgotten about submitting the journal, so it didn't get done. This ended up putting me behind in English.

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Morning weather check

Every morning after I check my email and prepare my school stuff for the day, I check the weather. It is a vital part of my day, because it tells me whether or not I need to take a jacket, or an umbrella to school with me... and the one time I didn't do this I paid for it dearly.

It was the last day of my junior year, and I walked out the door to go to the bus, but I had forgot to check the weather. So I am walking out to the bus and it is overcast and a little chilly. It slowly starts to sprinkle as I continue my walk. I finally get to the bus stop, when the sky opens up. I am standing out at the bus stop without an umbrella, and it is dropping buckets of rain every minute. After a few minutes I am soaked to the bone, and very cold might I add. So I run back home and knock on my dad's bedroom door and ask him to take me to school after I change out of my sopping wet clothes.

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Checking my grades three times a day

I typically check my grades three times a day. Once in the morning, afternoon, and night. This usually keeps me up to date on assignments, as to whether they are missing or what kind of grade I received. When I don't check my grades they plummet like a plane with no pilot.

Sophomore year started out like any other year, except there was one little thing that was different. I couldn't check my grades, because the powerschool server had crashed, or they were changing the format, but I couldn't access my grades for three weeks. I thought no big deal, I'll just stay on top of my assignments. I thought I was doing a good job but contrary to my belief, I had just arrived at home, and my mom asks me a question. Her question was "Why do you have an F in four of your classes?" I honestly thought that I was doing fine, so I said that I didn't. She then proceeded to pull up my grades and show me. Needless to say I was grounded until the grades were fixed. This experience showed me just how important it is to stay informed on my academics, and how easily digital media can be used for both punishment and reward.

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Overuse of the Internet

This is one of three charts taken from net nanny program on my laptop. This particular chart was from last Wednesday, it shows that I was surfing the internet rather than doing homework.

Through looking at these charts from last Wednesday, I have realized how much I abuse my internet use. It is things like this that put me in my current restriction from use of digital media, except for school related use. This was a huge eye opener for myself, as I was not aware that I used the internet that much. Definitely a lesson learned here.

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No Phones at Dinner

In my family we have a rule about phones at dinner. The rule is you just don't have it out. Plain and simple. It allows us to enjoy each others company, make plans, hear about everybody's day, and general family stuff.

When I first moved in with my now adoptive parents, we went out to dinner at Red Robin. When we arrived and were seated, we noticed that a family was eating out and ALL of them were on their phones. Nobody was talking, they were just staring down at their phones. To me this was pretty appalling, because coming from where I did, a behavior like this meant severe punishment. At least it did for me anyway. This really made the no phones at the table habit sink in. How are you supposed to be a family if you never communicate.

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Texting in class

While there are good things about digital media, there are also bad things. One of the ways digital media negatively affects my life, is well... I tend to get distracted by it when I should be doing other things. Like for instance texting in class.

I remember it was freshman year, and I was sitting in Mr. Nichols' World History class. We were supposed to be doing a fill in the blank worksheet for the chapter we were in. As I was sitting there, my phone vibrated on my desk, so I checked the message. As I started to text back, Mr. Nichols walked up and took my phone from me. He told me I could pick it up in the student services office after the bell at 2:54. So I went to pick it up and there was a detention taped to it. Needless to say, I don't text in school unless it is an emergency, or something I can't wait to tell my parents.

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Checking the news... When I should be doing class work

I am always reading something, whether it be a book, newspaper, article, magazine, or whatever. I tend to do this more when I don't want to do something else. Typically I read news articles when I am in a class that I find boring or if I am curious as to what is going on in the world.

Last year I had an online class second period of second semester, and I was constantly getting in trouble for reading google news, when I should have been working on my class. Now sometimes I got into trouble for other things but it was mostly for reading the news. I can only imagine how annoying it was for the teacher to have to get me back on task every day, for the same things over and over again.

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I am always on Facebook, it is how I communicate with my biological family. It keeps me informed on what my friends are feeling or struggling with. I helps me remember birthdays, and many other things. But Facebook isn't just a good thing, it is also used for slander, or bullying, and I know it is because I have experienced it.

My biological father shortly after he dropped me off at the department of child services office, wanted to be able to talk to me more often. A little while after this happened I made a Facebook account, and added him as a friend. Unfortunately after this happened he started trashing my views and saying hateful things to me on Facebook. When I told my adoptive parents that this was happening, my caseworker told me I had to block him on Facebook. I didn't want to, but by law they couldn't allow this to happen. It is sad that it does though, we can't monitor everything all the time, and unfortunately it leads to tragic things when something isn't said when things like this happen.

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I Love My Country Music!

Everybody that I know, knows that I am a HUGE fan of country music. I love pretty much anything that is country. Even people who have only known me for a few days or hours know I am a country music kind of guy.

So there I was moseying out to the bus one morning, when I came across a song on my playlist that is my absolute favorite. So there I am dancing down the road to my bus stop, being carefree and not keeping track of time. I look up and my neighbor is already at the bus stop, which means I am late getting to the bus. As I get within twenty feet of my neighbor, the bus pulls up and stops. Luckily she waited for me, instead of moving along. The moral of the story... don't dance on your way to the bus stop. I just thought I would mention that the song I was dancing to was Heartland by George Strait.

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PC Gaming with the family

When it comes to video games, I am not necessarily a big player, but PC gaming is a little different. I love playing PC games, especially the one pictured above. My family every once in a while, will sit down and play up to three hours of a particular PC games called Age of Empires. This particular game is based off of strategy and resource management.

It was a relatively calm night, except for the fact that it was snowing about three inches every hour. My family and I were sitting in the office in our house huddled over our desktop computers. We were playing a game of Age of Empires, or A.O.E for short. So we were playing the game and out of nowhere one of our opponents bursts through my palisade, and starts attacking my villagers, and my crops. I started freaking out because I didn't have any militia queued at the time, so I couldn't defend myself. So here comes my dad with his army... He obliterated the enemy that busted through my wall. We ultimately won that game.

What An Eye Opener

This project has showed me just how much I rely on digital media on a day to day basis. I learned that I personally need to cut back on my use of digital media. I filled one of my digital media log sheets almost completely in one class period. For me that was a breaking point. I didn't realize that I am so consumed by digital media. I can definitely relate to the "Are we being tracked?" as my parents have a gps tracker in my phone. They constantly know where I am. I am definitely going set down a lot of my digital media items over fall break. The Digital DNA presentation that Mrs. Young showed us, opened my eyes, I didn't realize that my digital footprint was so large. I didn't realize that I needed to step away from digital media. You know, I might just set it down now and go sit outside and listen to the birds, and enjoy the warmish weather before winter sets in.