Unplugging

Workingfakerain3pink copy

Photo Credit

So a month or so ago, I had to embark on “media diet” for my communications class. It was a pretty interesting experience, so I decided to write a post about it. We were free to set our own guidelines: I decided to ban myself from using my computer, iTouch, cellphone, or television for a day.

One of the first things that became clear to me is that although “technology” and “media” are often used interchangeably, there’s is a difference. For example, we can use our cell phones as clocks or alarms and we can use them to communicate with our friends and family. In today’s society, it is unrealistic to  completely purge ourselves of technology. During the day my classes did go by quickly, because I also had forgotten my watch, so I really had no concept of how quickly (or slowly) time was passing. Two of my professors used powerpoints during their lectures and a third screened a film in class. Only so much was in my control, media-wise.After class, I preoccupied myself by painting my nails, writing letters (yes, real hand-written letters), and doing some reading for a class. However, the silence became deafening at a point, and I decided to put on some classical music. Turns out, I need white noise, otherwise my mind wanders and it’s impossible to focus on other tasks.

Overall, my media diet wasn’t too terrible. Even though I had my phone on me most of the day, I rarely checked it or used it. I didn’t turn on my tv or computer until nearly midnight. I only wanted to check my Facebook and the weather quickly, but when I opened my e-mail, I had 43 messages!! Most weren’t on pressing matters, and that was reassuring. I guess the internet doesn’t miss me too much when I’m gone. Two things helped me manage this little experiment. One, I put away most of my tech devices for the day. “Out of sight, out of mind” really applied here for me. Also, I kept myself very busy. I feel that our generation dislikes boredom so much, we would rather sit there looking at a screen than stare at an empty room. We need to be doing something constantly to satisfy our energy and short attention spans. Still, I think it was a positive thing to for me to do a media diet, and I should make an effort to unplug more often. I think that’s one of the reasons my blogging break was longer than I had planned: I was burned out. All this technology can’t always be healthy for us. Plus, it’s always nice to get back in touch with reality. Need more proof?

What do you think? Have you gone on a media diet? Do you think it’s healthy for us to unplug now and then?

~ Sarah

Sarah Goes to Washington

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting friends from home in Washington, D.C. It may not be a metropolis in the way New York or London may be, but I still think D.C. makes for a lovely capital in its own right. I was there for little more than a day, but it was still a great trip. On Friday evening, I took a bus from New York and arrived in Washington kind of late. My friends and I just ended up grabbing burgers and hanging out around the American University area.

Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous fall day, perfect for exploring the city. Our first stop was Eastern Market, which includes a farmers’ market and a flea market. Not too many things in my budget caught my eye, but I did buy some pretty black pearl studs.

After spending a couple hours there, we grabbed a quick lunch at Seventh Hill. I admit, I did decide to eat there because they were playing the UMiami-Clemson game, but luckily our sandwiches were delicious!

Yummy!

Then we headed out towards the Capitol, because I had never seen many of the buildings in that area. I love the architecture in D.C.

The Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress.
At the Capitol.
The Supreme Court
"Equal Justice Under Law"
Washington Monument
Promise my shirt didn't look this strange in real life.

After our busy afternoon, we headed back to the AU campus (where my friends go to school and I was staying) until dinner. Then we hit up the Cheesecake Factory for some four cheese pasta and red velvet cake. Then we continued our touristy adventures by going to see some more monuments at night.

Is D.C. gorgeous or what? I think it’s a wonderful city. Have you guys ever been there? What’s your favorite thing about it?

~ Sarah

“Mischief Managed”

Hey everyone, I’m back from vacation and back in the blogosphere! Before we catch up though, I’d just like to thank you guys for reading my blog! This is actually my 50th blog post and I don’t know if I would’ve stuck with this if it wasn’t for all your support. So thank you again. 🙂

My vacation was really great. I got back Monday night, but it was utterly exhausting so it’s taken me awhile to get back to my daily routine. You know how it is after a trip. My friend Daniela and I took a train from Ft. Lauderdale up to Orlando, where we stayed with our friend Brittany, who’s a student at the University of Central Florida. I hadn’t been to Central Florida in a couple years (which is a long time for a Floridian!) so it was great going back. I let my inner-tourist out, especially during our trips to Downtown Disney and the beach.

Sunday was the main event. As some of you may have already guessed from this post’s title, our trip to Orlando wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a new section at the Islands of Adventure theme park. And it was an absolute blast! It may have been over-crowded and as hot as the surface of the sun (read: heat index of 104° F) but it was so worth it. The rides and the food were great, and all the detailed attention put into the park really show. It was like walking right onto the movie set- maybe even better!

Below are a few of my snapshots from the trip:

First sighting of Hogsmeade!
Hogwarts Express
Entrance to Hogwarts Castle
Because Harry Potter obviously took place in a tropical climate.
Foreboding British Clouds
The Three Broomsticks
Butterbeer!
The Castle at Dusk

If you’re going to be in Central Florida anytime soon, I definitely recommend stopping by Islands of Adventures and seeing the new Harry Potter attractions. I tend to favor Disney when it comes to theme parks, just because I feel a stronger connection to the stories and characters behind the rides, but this just blew me away. Have any of you guys been to the park? And what has everyone been up to? I’d love to catch up with my readers!

~ Sarah