On Wednesday, November 23 I successfully went ~24 hours without any form of media, although that wasn’t my first attempt at it. Before the age of 10 I had no access to electronic media and some written media so I figured this challenge would be a cake walk. It took me a total of 4 attempts before I was able to make the entire 24. I would, out of habit, pick up my phone or turn on the television halfway through the day then start over. On my successful attempt, I called a friend prior to starting the challenge and asked them to come over around 4PM as well as informing all of my other friends that I would be “MIA” for a day. Until about 1:30PM I slept, waiting for the clock to strike 4. At around 4:20 my friend arrived and in the silence of the car we went to the river bank until around 7. After arriving home I lied in bed until I could sleep again and instantly upon waking up in the morning I was using my phone. I didn’t care much for losing my ability to text for a day, no I wanted my phone for something much more important. For the entire 24 hours, I yearned for only one thing, music. Going an entire day without music was painful, to say the least. Suppressing impulses to turn on the radio or find music on YouTube was THE most difficult part of this challenge. Overall, the experience of all three Media Journals most likely won’t change how I approach or view media. It has, however, revealed just how dependent I am on my media now [Particularly music]. If I were to rate on a scale of 1-10 the intensity of my dependence 8 would be the most accurate measure. I implore everyone with media savvy bone in their body to attempt abstaining from and/or measuring their media use to become just a bit more media conscious.
Being challenged as an assignment for my Mass Communications class, I kept a record of my media consumption for 3 weeks. After recording 21 days of my media consumption it became incredibly clear to me that I am almost completely reliant on my media. Throughout my 21 recording, I made several attempts at having media-less days to no avail. Being born into a world where media has always readily available and suddenly taking that away really made me appreciate the frequently defamed resource as the commodity I’m privileged to have. I don’t communicate much with my family using media except for the occasional text to my grandmother informing her when I’m returning home. The traditional family values they hold mean that most of the communication we have is face to face. My friends who don’t live on campus, which is most of them, only communicate with me via social media aside from one in particular. Being an unemploying college student, most of my media usage can be attributed to school whether is be studying, essay writing, or club/organization activities. Whenever I’m not using media nine times out of ten it’s because I’m playing music. Music is my one window out of the clutches complete media takeover while I play, however, music does the complete opposite when I listen. Overall, I felt as though this experience has changed how a view myself, despite this I don’t see myself changing habits or altering them.
Interviewing my 42 year-old father yielded results completely different from what I expected. I was surprised by our similarities in media usage and overall view of the media. My father, Sammy Range, is a frequent media user and relies on media for not only entertainment but for mostly information. With him being a freight truck driver it’s not surprising that most of his media usage comes through radio, however, I am quite surprised that YouTube is his favorite source of media much like myself. The internet seems like a centralizing medium that attracts people of most ages and backgrounds with varying motives for it’s use. Unlike my father who uses media primarily for informational use, I and most others of my generation find our entertainment through media. Being born into a world of unlimited information has desensitized us to the fact that we have it. We as a generation have become numb to the “information highway” while older generations are either fascinated or terrified of it, and as a result this drastically changes the how we use media compared to other generations rather than what media we use.