Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Media-less Day

Imagine a world in which one day everyone was cut off from every piece of media out there.  Absolutely no radio, no film, no newspapers, no television and worst of all,  NO INTERNET!!!! Everyone run for your lives it’s the end of the world!!! Just kidding. For some people it might be, but for the majority of us I think we would survive.  But, could you imagine not having any kind of media for an entire day?  Think about all the important events and news that you would be missing out on.

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Now, some of you might laugh, thinking that one day is a piece of cake.  Well then I challenge you to a day without it.  Hopefully you’ll see that media is a lot harder to avoid than you originally thought and I’ll be the one laughing at you.  No worries though, that is exactly what I thought before I did my media-less day.  I was so confident that I could avoid it with no problems, no sweat.  Unfortunately I was completely and utterly wrong.  Let’s just say by the end of the day, Media: 1 Sarah: 0.

The day started off well.  I went to the gym without my phone so I could not listen to Pandora.  I ran into an involuntary media exposure when the gym had it’s own radio on and the TVs were on as well.  But I concentrated on my workout, not giving into the temptation of watching The Maury Show that was currently on the television.  After the gym it was smooth sailing, so far so good.  I consulted my friends, via face to face communication, to invite to have lunch with me.  I left my phone in my room and headed off to lunch.   I noticed something interesting while my friends and I were eating.  The conversation was consistent and flowing until when one person’s phone went off everyone else at the table decided to check their phones too.

This was really awkward for me.  Especially considering I was the only one without a phone.  It was difficult to get their attention and I was getting frustrated when I had to keep repeating myself while they were busy looking at the Twitter feed.  I thought to myself these girls need to review their smartphone rules.  Once everyone came back to reality the conversation picked right back up.  I found this little incident fascinating.  It proved to me that people are so dependable on their phone, and it’s an easy escape from an awkward silence in a conversation.

Throughout the day I constantly felt this nagging urge to check my phone.  I kept staring at the blank screen contemplating whether or not to give up and turn the device on.  But I told myself no, you can do this.  Each urge kept getting harder to resist.  I wanted to know what was happening on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, and check my email, or watch Netflix.  Of course when I couldn’t use my phone is when I remembered things that I’ve been meaning to do. Isn’t funny how that happens?

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Continuing in the day I was weakening but still trucking.  The temptations grew and grew.  It was becoming inconvenient not having the sources of media, particularly the Internet.  I resorted to doing homework, but I realized I need to access Towson’s website to  look up assignments or post discussions.  Then I realized there wasn’t much I could do at that point.  All I could do was wait around for a next class, which seemed like an eternity.

Eventually after all my classes for the day, around dinner time, I gave up the fight.  I grabbed my phone, turned it on and was instantly reconnected with the online world that I love.  Personally, I gained a huge amount of realization and respect for media.

I came to the conclusion that my day moved  by very slowly without media.  I think media keeps us entertained and allows us to have something to do in our free time.  That’s how I spend my down time.  I watch movies, play games, or get on the social networks.  Media has a enormous presence in our lives which most of us take for granted.

Most of our lives circulate around media.  Media runs our world.  People use it for business and pleasure, there’s no escaping it.  The biggest problem I had throughout the day without media was that I felt disconnected, so out-of-the-loop from everyone else.  It felt like I was missing out on something important, that I didn’t know what everyone else knew.

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All the different types of media have their own specific role in the world.  Media makes life easier and faster.  Communication is more convenient and time saving. I love having the ability to look something up on the Internet at the snap of my fingers.  Without the Internet I would not be able to do my schoolwork or stay connected with my friends back home.  Without a media world, our lives would be like a blank screen. Nothing going on,  without vital news or information about what is happening in the world.   The current news would not be current, it would take longer to get to use so it would be more like yesterday’s news.

Our society is so set on the “fast-track” lifestyle that everything needs to be fast and instant, because without it I feel like people wouldn’t know how to handle themselves.  It’s almost impossible to avoid media.  It plays such an important role in society that we can’t live without it.  I don’t know anyone who would want to give up media nor should we ever get rid of it. If that were to ever happen we might actually have a real Apocalypse on our hands.

Media Addict… Perhaps?

Have you ever thought about how much influence the media has on us?  Have you ever really looked at how much we are exposed to?  Have you ever kept track of how much of it you’ve seen in a day? I have.

Let me tell you, that I never realized how much media is in my everyday life.  I would have never guessed that I am constantly exposed to some type of advertisement, story, or social network on a regular, more than a few times a day, basis.  But I guess someone wouldn’t notice it because the messages are subtle, or we have gotten so used to them, that the ads do not even faze us anymore.

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I was consciously aware of my media intake for a few days.  I had to literally keep reminding myself that I needed to be on the lookout for ads, commercials, and everything else  because if I didn’t I would have breezed on by it, without thinking twice about it.  But after logging all of the different types of media for those days, I realized I spend the majority of my free time on social networks, accessing them through my iPhone.  I also spent some time reading my school paper, The Towerlight.

It’s mind boggling that I actually spend at least four to six hours a day using media.  These websites are where I get the majority of my news and how I connect with people on a daily basis.  Not to mention, a great deal of my school work revolves around the internet.  My professors assign homework and they tell my class “read this, research that, look this up….” um hello? My whole life revolves around media.  It’s almost impossible not to.

I learned a lot about myself when I recorded my media habits.  I spend short, frequent amounts of time throughout the day on my phone getting updates.  Unfortunately, I browse the social network sites like Facebook and Twitter very often, actually too often.  It’s not that I’m obsessed with what other people are doing with their lives, it’s more of the fact that I need to pass some time, like in between classes or waiting for a friend.  It’s also nice to constantly be connected because I have the ability to look up any question or anything I’m interested in literally seconds.  But browsing the social networks inhibits my interest in the news.

I’ve realized I do not spend nearly as much time as I should learning about what is going on in the world.  I know… that sounds really awful, but it’s the truth.  I always tell myself, “Yeah, I’ll keep up with the news, starting tomorrow…” We all know that does not happen.  It gets to me sometimes, I get mad at myself that I’m not current with what is going on.  I get embarrassed when I hear about something important in the news and someone says to me: “How did you not know about that?”  Boy did my face turn red.

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This whole experience has taught me that I need to make more of an effort to get into the habit of reading a newspaper or going online to read the articles.  I promise that I will pick up a newspaper and read, I cross my heart, if not you can yell at me later.  I also learned that without the media in my life, it would be boring.

What is also horrible is that I don’t take advantage of how easy it is to get the news.  Think about it… there are numerous ways in which we can access the news.  There’s the internet, a newspaper, nooks, phone apps and television. All these resources and I can’t even manage to get one down.  All the different sources are amazing.  It’s a fast and simple way to get the news at a click or touch of a button.  No more waiting around for information, you can get it whenever your little heart desires.

Every type of media has a role in our life, some more than others.  But for the most part, our lives revolve around it and I find that a beautiful thing.  It’s how I learned to express myself and how I learn about new things and other people. I would not be the person am I today without media.  It has shaped our current world, which will continue to change it for the better.

Honestly though, who would want to live without it?

What A Wild World We Live In

Think about all the technology in your life.  How many devices you own?  What can they do?  How important are they in your life? Let me ask you a more important question: Could you live without them?  Take a few moments, really think about…

Wild to think about right? Honestly, answering my own question, I would probably feel psychotic after a few days… wait, let’s be real probably after the first day. It’s okay you can admit it too.  There’s nothing wrong with being addicted to technology.

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As a young woman myself, I am going to guess that the majority of my generation cannot live without some kind of technology.

It’s quite obvious in this day and age it is almost impossible not to be wrapped up in either an iPod, iPhone, tablet, Nook, laptop, or a television.  Our society has become dependent on these means of communication.  Without them, we could not keep up with the ever changing world we live in.  However that is not necessarily a bad thing.  I know there’s people out there who say media is the worst thing and we are being brainwashed and we are losing one-on-one interaction…. blah blah blah.  I think it is the quite opposite.

What we have today has opened doors and created new ways of communicating and expressing our opinions, openly and freely.  People from all over the world can discuss all kinds of topics and bounce ideas off of one another.  In a way, the digital era has unified the world.

Everything builds off each other.  One invention after the other motivated someone else to create something, better, faster and more efficient.  It’s a natural reaction as humans to feel the need to become more advanced.  We can see it in history.  First, there was the printing press, then the telegraph, then the telephone, radio, and television.  Throughout the decades we have come a long way. The most basic product has developed into new high tech devices that we have today.

The development of new technologies have created a feeling of keeping up with the latest trend.  Every new invention that is developed  is later replaced with something newer and more exciting that catches the population’s eye.  Of course, the concept is the same but the design is sleeker  thinner, faster, and more modern looking.  The quality of merchandise has changed and has improved.

It’s almost impossible to keep up with “what’s hot” these days.  Even when you have the newest laptop or cell phone, it quickly becomes obsolete, overshadowed by the rumors of what is up and coming.  It’s difficult sometimes to be in the know about everything going on, but somehow we manage to learn how to work the numerous amounts of media in our lives.  I think even with all the confusion we may face, it is well worth it to have that feeling of accomplishment when you finally learn how to work the “do-dads” of today.

The excitement of new developments is something to look forward to.  The possibilities are endless, what can they come up with next?  New things keep people on their toes, creating things people cannot even imagine that are possible.

It is mind blowing to think about what the wild world we live in could possibly come up with next.  You would think we have everything we could ever need.  But, that is not the case.  Electronics and media will always be built or enhanced, that’s how it’s been and that’s how it will always be.