The Media Diaries

When Time magazine put a crinkly, vaguely toxic-looking fun-house mirror on its cover and named “you” the person of the year for 2006, the Establishment weekly was more or less cheering on its own diminution. After all, like most purveyors of mass media, from TV (see the nightly news) to the music industry (Tower Records, R.I.P.) to daily newspapers (which have lost over 20 percent of their stock valuation in the past four years), Time is facing both a vexing shift in consumer behavior and the rise of self-generated content. Of course, amid all this apocalyptic hype, young people are consuming more media than ever. But what is it they’re reading, watching, and listening to, exactly? We asked three members of the coveted 18-to-34 demographic to keep a diary of their habits for a week.

Photo: Eric McNatt

Mark DeYoung
32, program director at Lumen Institute, a Christian leadership organization.

9–9:15 a.m. Checked Yahoo and work e-mails. Kept both open all day. Wall Street Journal in the office. Played music off throughout the day.
11–11:10 Drudge Report.
12:30–12:45 p.m. News videos on
9:30–12 a.m. Saw The Departed.

8:40–9:05 a.m. Love and Longing in Bombay (a short-story collection), by Vikram Chandra, on subway.
9:05–9:15 Opened e-mail accounts. News stories on
12:20–12:40 p.m.
12:40 Visited the MySpace page of Steven Delopoulos, a musician, and played his songs during the afternoon.
9–11 Watched Strangers on a Train (rented from Blockbuster).

8:15–8:40 a.m. Love and Longing in Bombay on subway.
8:45–9:15 Opened e-mail accounts. Wall Street Journal. Played music off during morning at work.
10–10:10 (to read about The Departed).
12:30–12:50 p.m.
3–3:10 Colbert Report sketch on YouTube.
7–7:30 First Things magazine on subway.
10:30–11 Several short stories from In Persuasion Nation, by George Saunders.

8:30–9 a.m. In Persuasion Nation on subway.
9–9:15 Opened e-mail accounts. Wall Street Journal.
10–10:05 Ordered The Sinner’s Guide to the Evangelical Right, by Robert Lanham, through
12:10–12:20 p.m.
1–1:10 Drudge Report.
9:30–10 Hannity & Colmes.
10:15–10:45 Love and Longing in Bombay.

8:45–9 a.m. AM New York on subway.
9 Opened e-mail accounts.
12:15–12:45 p.m. Wall Street Journal.
1–1:10 Watched several movie trailers on
2–2:15 Visited

10–10:30 a.m. Listened to WPLJ (95.5 FM).
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Channel-surfed between TBS and TNT, mostly.
1–1:30 a.m. A bit of 8 Mile on VH1.

1–1:45 p.m. Village Voice.
7–9:30 Saw Reds.

Photo: Eric McNatt

Bridget Batch
31, freelance photographer.

7:45–8:15 a.m. Checked NetHere .net e-mail account,, Salon, at home.
8:15–9 Google, tripadvisor .com,,, HBSC .com,, (Website of photographer), (Website of a photo producer).
9–9:30 New York Times Magazine.
11:10–11:20 Boyfriend read Ten Commandments from the Bible (New Revised Standard Version) aloud to me, inspired by jokes about Stephen Baldwin.
11:55–12:30 p.m. Listened to Man Man, by Man Man (vinyl).
1–1:30 iPod on subway: Light & Magic, by Ladytron.
1:30–1:50 The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway.
2:30–2:45 Purchased GOOD, Smithsonian, and Seed magazines at Barnes & Noble.
8–8:30 On Hampton Jitney en route to Long Island’s North Fork for a three-day shoot, listened to Chaka, by Chaka Khan, on iPod.

10–10:45 a.m. The Eraser, by Thom Yorke (colleague’s CD), in car.

8 a.m.–5 p.m. Listened to Shoegazing compilation; Hail to the Thief, by Radiohead; Physical Grafitti, by Led Zeppelin; and a Spanish-music mix tape a colleague made for his mom.
8–8:05 Caught a bit of TV news. Didn’t notice the network.
11:30 iPod: Le Tigre, by Le Tigre.

8 a.m.–5 p.m. On location, listened to The Commitments soundtrack and The Eraser.
5–7 Long Island classic-rock station in the car back to the city.
9–9:30 Listened to Discovery, by Daft Punk, and read Nytimes .com.
11 p.m.–12 a.m. Watched three-quarters of Primary Colors (from Netflix).

11:45 a.m.–5 p.m. Listened to music in my salon while correcting my hair, including “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” by Whitney Houston, and Eminem. At points when my head was not forced backward over a sink, glanced through W, Glamour, and Angel magazines.
6–6:15 iPod on subway: Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1, by a U2 side project.

11 a.m.–2 p.m. Finished Primary Colors, then read about it on Wikipedia. iPod while painting my house: Double Fantasy, by John Lennon and Yoko Ono (three times).
6:45–7 iPod on subway: Original Soundtracks.
Midnight–12:35 a.m. Buckshot LeFonque, by Buckshot LeFonque (CD).
1–1:15 Started to watch Closer (Netflix). Fell asleep.

9–9:30 a.m.
11–11:15 p.m. Nytimes .com, job-hunting on Craigslist.

Photo: Eric McNatt

Abigail Aronofsky
23, copy editor at Penthouse.

7:30–8:30 a.m. “Morning Edition” (NPR) at home.
9–9:20 AM New York on subway.
9:25 AP and USA Today headlines on a screen in office elevator.
9:40–9:55 E-mail accounts (Gmail, work, NYU e-mail, Hotmail), Gawker.
1:20–4:30 p.m. Gawker, TMZ, “Rush & Molloy” online,, Facebook, Google, Nysun .com.
5:30–6 iPod on subway: “London Bridge,” by Fergie; “Save Room,” by John Legend; “Steady, As She Goes,” by the Raconteurs; “Ain’t No Other Man,” by Christina Aguilera; “Plástico,” by Willie Colón & Rubén Blades.
7–8 iPod at gym: Ministry of Sounds Session, by Max Graham.
9:10–9:25 Gmail, AccuWeather .com at home.
10:45–11:30 Grey’s Anatomy on laptop (purchased on iTunes).

7:45–8:30 a.m. “Morning Edition.”
8:45–9:15 The Obscene Bird of Night, by José Donoso, on subway.
9:20 Elevator-screen headlines.
9:45–10:15 E-mail accounts, Gawker,
10:20 Nexis.
12:45–1 p.m., Deadspin.
1:50–2:15, Eater, and
5:45–6:15 The Obscene Bird of Night on subway.
9–10 Gmail,, Gawker.

7:45–8:45 a.m. “Morning Edition.”
9–9:30 AM New York on subway.
9:35 Elevator-screen headlines.
9:55–11:30 E-mail accounts, Gawker,, Nytimes .com,, UrbanDictionary .com.
3:10–4 p.m. Websites for “Rush & Molloy,” “Page Six,” NY1, CNN,
4:40–4:45 MSNBC .com.
8:30–midnight America’s Next Top Model, One Tree Hill, CW11 News at Ten, and Sex and the City at hospital ER while waiting with a sick friend. Not shows I’d normally watch!

8–8:50 p.m. “Morning Edition.”
10–10:15 E-mail accounts.
10:50–11:15 Gawker,,,
Noon–12:05 p.m.
12:30–1 Google,, Wikipedia,, Nexis.
2:20–2:50 p.m.,
4 Placed bid on eBay for a handbag.
7:45–8:15 “Celebrity Drama” and music on Hot 97 on gym stereo.
8:30–10 The Office and Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) at friend’s apartment.

7:50–9 a.m. “Morning Edition.”
9:20–9:50 Metro NY on subway; Sergio Mendes’s Timeless on iPod.
10:30–10:50 E-mail accounts, checked eBay auction.
12:50–1:15 p.m. IMDb, Wikipedia.
3:15 eBay (bought the handbag).
4–5:30, Wikipedia, UrbanDictionary .com, and Nexis.
6:50–7:50 iPod at gym: “Stars Are Blind,” by Paris Hilton; “Morris Brown,” by Outkast; “Quimbara,” by Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco; “Me & U,” by Cassie; “Déjà Vu,” by Beyoncé; “Promiscuous,” by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland; “Corazón Bandolero,” by Yerba Buena.
9–10 Checked e-mail accounts, Gawker,,, and personal MySpace page.
Midnight–12:25 a.m. The Office on laptop (purchased on iTunes).

9:30–10 a.m. “Weekend Edition.”
2–2:30 p.m. Us Weekly.
3–3:30 Allure (it was left at Laundromat).4–4:30 E-mail.
5–5:30 Blender.

11 a.m.–noon E-mail accounts,,
10–10:30 p.m. Gmail,

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The Media Diaries