2 days. 48 hours. 38 unread emails. 47 missed phone calls. 18 unread tweet mentions. 3 DM’s. 1 new Facebook message. 1 miserable person; me.
I never knew that media consumed so much of my time until…this past weekend, when my MCOM professor challenged my class to do without it for at least 2 days!
I did it! Well, I tried to do it at least. I lasted for about 37 hours total without my iPhone, laptop and television until…well, I’ll let you read and find out exactly what stopped me!
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 5:00 p.m.
I figured this would be a good time to start because I had to go to work that evening. Therefore, I wouldn’t be able to use my cell phone, laptop or TV anyway. The hard part came when I got off and felt the need to check my text messages and hop on twitter to catch up on what I missed while at work for a long six hours. Instead, I fought the urge by cooking me a small dinner, taking a hot shower and heading to bed. This was a pretty easy day. Tomorrow was going to be the challenge, and I knew it.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to work Saturday morning because I would have been late! Why!? Because my iPhone is usually my alarm clock. Instead, I was awakened by the noise in my apartment; my roommate was in her room having a conversation with herself about a status one of our high school friends posted online. Of course, she called me in the room and of course I went. I mean, technically, its not me using media…I’m just looking!
I continued on my day by heading to the mall. I figured this would be something to keep me occupied for a couple of hours. The ride to the mall was a silent one. However, I found that quiet time quite useful, as I used it to think about more important things, like what I was going to have for dinner when I got back.
After about three hours in the mall, I headed home, in silence. I had nothing else planned so…I ATTEMPTED to start on some homework. That was….until I realized I needed my laptop to do so, because all of my courses have online learning centers.
When I saw nothing else important to do and I took a early check-in to my bedroom for the night.
Sunday morning, my inner peace was disturbed when I was rudely awakened by a voice mail notification — “Tifphany! This is your mother! Where are you!? Are you okay!? I pray that everything is okay and if it is, you need to return my d*** phone calls A.S.A.P. I’m your mother! Not a d*** bill collector!” *click*
And there I was, hitting the ‘Call Back’ button and explaining myself to my mom at 7 a.m., which abruptly brought an end to my media avoidance experiment.
During those two days of observation, I felt a sense of detachment but peace. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as media crazed as I thought I was; not once did I feel a sense of withdraw. A part of me yearned for Instagram and Twitter, but another part of me felt more compelled to get some work done, such as the drafting of this post (which was done with paper and pen).
A lot of my down time, which I would have deemed as “boredom” if I had media, was used doing more productive tasks such as cleaning out my closet, drafting homework assignments and actually reading the $200, $300 textbooks I purchased for my business classes.
I tried to think of how my life would be if I were actually growing up in another generation during these two days, which made me feel a tad bit unappreciative. At some point in time, none of these luxuries were available. However, since they have become available, they’ve grown into necessities; perfect example being how I was unable to complete my homework assignments because they were all online.
Interesting observation though – I noticed that I am only compelled to use my cell phone and laptop when I am “bored”. In order to avoid being “bored”, I simply made it my business to keep myself occupied, particularly with tasks I know needed to get done.
Overall, this experience was very eye-opening yet nerve wrecking one.
I now know that my use of media does have an impact on me, because without it, I am more focused and productive. However, with it, I am more in tune with my surroundings. Kind of like a win-win situation….you think!
Modern societies have grown so accustomed to mass media, to the point of living without it is damn near impossible. Unless you want to be completely unplugged from the world, I think that everyone needs to have access to the mass media in some way shape or form at all times. Whether it be via cell phone, lap top, television, newspaper, or radio.
With the world we live in today, media controls everything! Try living without it if you dare.