Unplugged!

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.

True Story: I’m a Media Junky!

Have you ever logged into Facebook or Twitter because you were bored, just to find out there’s nothing exciting going on on either of your news feeds? So what do you do? You log out. Then, in a matter of minutes maybe even seconds, you find yourself logging right back in, thinking maybe, just  maybe something new has been posted.

Well, even if you don’t want to admit to such addictive behaviors, I know I do. I’m guilty of doing this about 20 times a day.

Thanks to my MCOM professor, I actually paid attention to my media usage for 2 days. It scared me to see how much media I actually use because most of it is voluntary .

After paying close attention to my patterns, I came to the conclusion that…….

I’M A MEDIA JUNKY!!! 

Out of all of my observed habits, however, the one that surprised me the most was my cell phone usage.

Being that I have an iPhone, I find that I have no need for other forms of media because my phone delivers it all to the palm of my hand – emails, music, entertainment, news, social networks, everything!

I spend at least 16 waking hours on my phone ALONE (which means the only time I’m off my phone is when I’m sleep)!

Yet, even then, I  sleep with my phone charging right underneath of my pillow…just in case I do happen to feel it vibrate in the middle of the night. You never know! 😉

When I hit the gym, my phone has a first class seat in the water holder on the treadmill. The gym even does me a favor by placing a nice 24″ plasma TV right in front of my treadmill with closed captions, for my convenience of course.

When I’m at work, my phone is strategically placed between the cash register and my paper work, where my boss can’t see it of course. During class, well……just know that its never too far out of sight.

During those 16 hours I still  find time to complete other tasks such as homework, office hours, and extra curricular activities. However, I noticed that my phone is never too far.

I play Temple Run at least 20 times a day. I also check in on my virtual businesses at Restaurant City and Cafe World multiple times a day. Instagram is my go to place when I want to share what I’m eating for dinner or where I’m heading out for fun. Not to mention the series of emails, text messages and notifications I send and/or receive from my friends, family and other apps, such as Groupon and EBay.

Yet, contrary to popular believe, my phone, and most other forms of media, do not have negative impacts on my school performance or the way I learn and communicate. In fact, I find that I study better and get more household chores done with Pandora radio playing through my head phones.

Upon coming to Towson University I noticed a tremendous decrease in the amount of time I spend watching TV, being that I don’t have one in my dorm room. But, I’m sure if I could afford one, I would not think twice about purchasing one.

As of right now, my iPhone is my greatest asset. It goes every where with me. If I could take one thing with me to a deserted island, it would definitely be my cell phone. In this wired world, I personally believe that cell phones have become more of an asset than an accessory and far from a luxury.

Time away from my cellphone means time away from the world. I feel secluded…in a bad way. I feel like I’m missing out on important things.

Although I don’t think my symptoms are quite conclusive of being a cellphone addict, I don’t believe I am far from it, honestly, which makes me wonder, exactly how long can I last WITHOUT media, particularly my self.

Stay tuned for updates 😉

A Classic “Game” Gone Wild

How many of you remember how to play the classic game of telephone?

You know the rules: Everyone stands in a circle and a message begins to circulate from one person to the next. The ultimate goal is to have the last person of the chain relay the initial message aloud. Everybody then gets a kick out of how screwed up the message is, as the last person typically never says the original message.

In fact, this game should have been called “The Oral Game” or “Word of Mouth”.

As a child, never did we consider the literal meaning of this game. Instead, we played it merrily, anxiously awaiting the final saying and ultimately taking the original message for granted.

However, since then, the media has drastically changed…and so have the social aspects of many societies. Word of mouth has gone out of the window!

I shook my head in awe as I watched a film of Mass Communications history in my MCOM class. I felt so unappreciative. The media pathway was paved by many innovative people, and now I can’t help but think that the path has come to a repetitive, yet stagnant halt!

Have you ever wondered how the world would be without the many forms of media? Do you ever consider some channels and convergences of media to be too much?

I mean really, how much more media convergence will we possibly come up with before all remaining forms of social interaction are diminished?

The media is literally replacing all forms of face-to-face communication. More and more people are lacking basic conversational skills because of the many other ways to communicate. People are more obsessed with the apps of a phone, rather than the initial purpose of a phone – to make phone calls.

Social butterflies are no longer the people that love to communicate verbally. They are now the people that posts the most statuses on Facebook or Twitter.

And don’t get me started on the many wonders of television. Seriously, the number of channels offered on cable packages alone is just ridiculous! I can literally sit in my room all day and be satisfied with my remote, my laptop and my cell phone…that’s a problem.

Social communication among people today is much more narrower than ever before. My mom always compares her generation to my generation. Her reasoning for not wanting to upgrade from a PC to a laptop or from a flip phone to an iPhone is, and I quote, “don’t reinvent the wheel.” And she has a valid point.

The original purpose of media was to provide a source of communication, and while it has accomplished that goal, look at what else it has done. Statistics indicate that the literacy rates among people are being effected by the digital era.

Childhood obesity rates have also increased – “children obesity rates has doubled in the last thirty years.”  The youth of today are more interested in surfing the internet or playing the Xbox than receiving the proper exercise via recess and outdoor sports.

Basic communication skills are being left in the pre-revolutionary eras, which leaves me questioning the fate of our tomorrow.

While I may be guilty of upgrading my cellphone every time a new phone hits the market, I am still very social – the true definition of a social butterfly!

The excitement and bonding time that comes with story telling is no longer. Self-images are being distorted and social habits are vanishing. I’m nothing more but scared for the future of all societies during this digital rise!

Greetings!

Hi! I’m Tifphany Cantey (theMUAcosmo). I am currently enrolled at Towson University of as a Mass Communication, Strategic Public Relations major, with a minor in Business Administration. I am still intensely pursuing a career in the beauty industry. Last semester I took my first step into this field when I applied to be a weekly columnist for The Towerlight, my school newspaper, for my personal column entitled “Shear Perfection” where I cover similar topics as the ones you will find on my blogs. Not to mention, I still maintain a small clientele base which consist of my fellow peers and family members.

Why media? Why mass communications? Simple! The world we live in is steadily progressing! Technology is steadily changing and different people receive the same information in so many varying ways! Mass Media only makes sense! I consider it the root of all transactions and the first step of any major! Where would nursing, education, business, SPORTS be without mass media? My point exactly! ^_^

Im looking forward to a fun semester! Yay MCOM! *woo-hoo*

You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, theMUAcosmo <—- See! Advertisements! LOL gotta love them!

Cheers!