The idea of this task seemed easy, but executing it was a whole different story. On the first day, I found myself beyond bored. After I got into the groove of avoiding my usual media, I found myself cleaning. I realized that I could still be productive while avoiding mass media at all costs. My room and my bathroom have never looked cleaner.
By the second day I was itching to get on my celebrity gossip sites. I couldn’t stand not knowing the latest 411. So, I hate to admit it, but I cracked. Itwas 2 in the afternoon, everything was clean and I had nothing to do. I felt like I was stealing or something. I waited until my friends weren’t around and I got on Perez Hilton as fast as I could. It entertained me for about 20 minutes, and then I was back to the world where time stands still. You feel kind of lonely in a way, just sitting around trying to find something to do.
I tried hard to stay away from my blackberry; I even turned it off once or twice. Overall, it did get the best of me in certain instances. It was easy for me to tell myself no TV and no internet, but I found myself checking my phone without even thinking. I think my phone use is so involuntary because it keeps me connected. I’m a worry wart most of the time so I like to keep my phone with me in case something happens to a family member or one of my friends has an emergency. I think that plays a big part in why my phone is always stuck to me. Overall, I did cut down on my phone usage over those 2 days but I was unable to cut it out completely.
Involuntary media is a killer. I had classes over those 2 days and I noticed how much media I am exposed to while on my way to class. I see advertisements for Towson apartments, Towson clothing, events, etc. It is literally unavoidable to not be exposed to media while on your way to class. Well, I take that back. If you were blind-folded you could avoid it. This task really made me think about how large of a role involuntary media plays in our lives. We can’t control those around us and what they choose to expose themselves too. Even advertisements today are so creative and bold that it is hard for them to not catch your eye.
I guess you could say that I was somewhat successful in avoiding mass media for 2 days. I tried really hard; I even missed the new episode of Jersey Shore. That should definitely account for something! I also learned a lot about my media habits. I seem to use my blackberry the most, much of it being unconscious. I have to say that it felt weird walking around campus without listening to music or using my cell phone because it is so the norm. Not only does it entertain you, but if you notice most everyone else is doing one of the two as well.
Overall, those 2 days were pretty unpleasant. It brings awareness to myself that I rely too much on the entertainment mass media brings. There are a million other things I could be doing that would be more productive. This really increased my knowledge of the role of mass media plays in our society. It seems infections; new media spreads like a wild fire. We all know a great example of this: Facebook.