12 Feb For this commuter, radio rules
It’s Monday at 5:29 a.m., and the house phone rings with an message from my kids’ school district to say that school will be closed — again — because of an expected blizzard. A minute later, my cell phone alarm rings. It’s time to get ready to teach at LIU Post, but I’m hoping that classes will be cancelled, because I live an hour away and my neck of the woods on Long Island is supposed to be hit hardest.
I check the news on TV. Lots of schools are closed, but not Post, which is expected to get minimal snow. So I check email on my phone. Maybe there’s a more recent update there from the school. I learn classes are on.
Over the course of the day, I checked my phone dozens of time — uploading this photo of snow at Post to Instagram — and spent a few hours on the computer to do classwork and homework. But what surprised me is the amount of time I spent listening to the radio. I hadn’t really calculated it in the past, but it was about two hours day given the commute. I usually catch up on the news with the local NPR affiliates, while also mixing in some music from 97.5 WALK FM. That was the case on this day, when I logged my digital consumption in a diary for my Digital Communications class at Syracuse.
Yes, I checked my phone often for email and Facebook and Twitter updates, but those check-ins amounted to minutes in the grand scheme of things. Maybe on other days it would be different, and I’m sure that TV would have played a bigger role in my digital consumption if I had chosen a different day under different circumstances. But on this day, radio ruled.