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?