Archive for February, 2010

It’s Only Two Days, How Bad Could It Be?
February 18, 2010

So… Avoid using media for two days.

…WHAT?!

Who knew how tough it would be to go without using media for two whole days? Well, it was brutal. I felt disconnected from the world. Left in the dark. Alone.

Alright, so maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it was still unpleasant. Although it was pretty close to impossible to avoid using media completely, it was definitely a challenge simply trying to limit my usage.

I left my ipod untouched. I didn’t watch television, and avoided using Facebook. I managed only to answer a couple of texts that were sent to me. I only used the Internet for homework.

It was tough. I found myself wondering what notifications were waiting for me on Facebook, and the unanswered texts on my phone were really starting to bother me. I really didn’t enjoy walking to class without my music. The soundtrack to my life was put on pause, and it felt strange.

Eventually, boredom set in.

To pass the time without media, I found myself talking face-to-face with my friends more, rather then texting them when I’m just down the hall. I started focusing on homework a little more, too. I guess my GPA will be thanking me for this little assignment later.

Some of the media I was exposed to during my two days of avoidance was unintentional. Teachers would show videos in class, and I had to use the internet for a few homework assignments and checking my school e-mail account. So, what about all the other stuff?

The lure of unanswered texts was tantalizing, and I’ll admit that I gave in here and there. How can you make plans to go to lunch without a phone? How can you ask a friend a question without texting them? How would my teachers assign homework without e-mail? It’s ridiculous how frustrating it is not to have access to the internet whenever I want it. It made me realize how often I simply google something briefly out of curiosity, and how much I take something as simple as a search engine or website for granted.

I began to wonder, “What did everyone do in the past, before texting and the internet?” It’s unfathomable, really. Although, I think that a major part of the reason why our generation is so media-crazed is because of how readily available all these forms of media are. If Facebook, television, and cell phones weren’t around, then the lure to use them wouldn’t even exist. I guess that would make the whole media-free thing quite a bit easier.

Through this whole process, I’ve come to realize just how much I rely on all the available forms of media in order to keep in touch with my friends, family and the world around me.

15 Hours Of My Life That I’ll Never Get Back
February 18, 2010

Keep track of your media usage for two days. The facts will surprise you.

It’s interesting to see how logging my media usage really put things into perspective. I think we all acknowledge the fact that the media is constantly pervading our lives, but we never realize just how pervasive it really is.

I would never have thought that I spend a whole 31% of my day using media! That’s a whole 15 hours, an average of 7.5 hours each day, taken up by media consumption. Even if it’s as harmless as sending a quick text message here and there, that’s still using media, and it’s still taking up time in my everyday life.

I was the most shocked to see how much of my media-consuming-time was spent watching television. I usually don’t watch much at all, but the data says otherwise. That’s probably because I logged my media use on Monday and Tuesday, and on Tuesdays I always watch American Idol. Also, the Olympics are on now, so it seems like everyone has the television on at all times, even if it’s just on in the background.

I think that the most shocking discovery is how much time I spend on Facebook. I spent about two hours on Facebook each day! I guess my excuse for that is that I’ll randomly go on Facebook while I do homework, or while I’m just hanging out. Not to mention, now there’s instant messaging on Facebook, which keeps me on even longer. I’ve come to realize that although sometimes it’s fun and entertaining, most of the time Facebook is just another way to waste time and procrastinate.

According to the data, I learn about the world mostly through the internet. Even without looking at my little media pie chart, I could already tell you that I never pick up the newspaper, and I rarely even watch news on television. I’ve realized that I generally hear about what’s going on in the world by hearing from other people, whether it’s over Facebook or during class. Despite how often I find myself on Facebook, I also keep myself connected with the people in my life a lot through texting.

And then, there’s music. Right when I wake up in the morning, I put on some music and listen to it as I get dressed. I always have my ipod by my side on the way to class, and even have music playing in the background when I do homework.

I’m pretty sure music is a major part of almost everyone else’s life today. As I put my headphones in my ears on my way to class, I notice all of the people around me doing the same thing. When I walk down the halls in my dorm, I hear music seeping its way into the hallways from other people’s rooms, too. Music is everywhere, just as Media is everywhere.

Who knew how much media is incorporated into our lives every day? Before this assignment, I sure didn’t. But I definitely do now.

Are you addicted to media? Take this quiz and find out!