A Day Without Media

Cell phone addiction: we’ve all heard about it at some point. With the invention of smart phones, cell phone usage in the United States has gone through the roof.

My professor challenged us to go 12 hours without media. That means no social media, internet, texting, music, or movies.

media-stats

Designed by: Mary Anderson Sources: Pew Research Center, United Nations, Edison Research and TIME

I went into the challenge as most competitive people would: not a worry in sight. “I don’t use media that much anyways,” I told myself.

Now, I’d like to say my lack of dependence on media is because of my own self-confidence and love for the print world. But, truth is, my life is a hot mess. I have a 16GB IPhone with barely any storage so Twitter is the only social media app I have on my phone. I have an old Toshiba laptop so no IMessage right to your Mac for me. The auxiliary cord jack in my car is broken and as a student-athlete I barely have time for my phone anyways. You get the point.

I thus decided to take a unique approach to the challenge. I did it on a Monday, one of my busier days of the week. I challenged myself to focus less on what I was missing from a social aspect and more on how it was affecting the daily functions of my life.

Here is what I learned:
  1. THE INTERNET. As a society, we refer to the Internet more than the bible. Even my professors depended on Internet for notes and other class materials.

  2. Media is more than just seeing what other people are doing. It connects you to a world of inspiration.

  3. Media can enhance the small things. Sure, I could go without watching my friends’ Snapchat stories of whatever new filter came out this week. It was the small things like a quick “I love you” text to my boyfriend or a morning dance party to my favorite song.

  4. We are more dependent on media than we may think. Social Media is a hot topic. Everyone is always saying how “millennials are addicted to Facebook.. blah blah blah.” But for me, it was not being able to listen to my Pop Chillout playlist on Spotify while I did my homework, not Facebook, that was the worst.

  5. Media can have an impact on your life without really noticing. We see these statistics of the crazy number of people on social media and immediately brush it off. They base those numbers off of the type of people you see MTV’s Catfish and insecure teenagers, right? Try a day without media. Your thoughts on this might change.

Ultimately, it is near impossible to completely cut yourself off from all media. I couldn’t even go the full day without accidentally googling something or opening a text when my phone vibrated. It is how you let the media affect you that matters.

Media can be evil; but it doesn’t have to be.

 

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