A Silent Apocalypse

A day without my cell phone you say?! No way. Look around you, everyone is in the midst of being controlled by social media and they are oblivious to it. When you think about your day, most people would say that their phone or television is interconnected with it.

No Social Media imageI would like to think that I am not controlled by the media but unfortunately I am just like everyone I surround myself with. It is an epidemic for all generations today, between the toddlers I babysit and my 90 year old great grandfather. Social media consists of websites used for social networking and connecting that millions are using everyday for various reasons. We are captivated by electronics and other people’s lives that we can barely focus on our own.

For Mass Communication class I didn’t touch any electronics or media for 24 hours including not listening to music at all. I am not going to lie…this definitely was not easy for me. I am a person that tries to rarely be on their phone because I would rather engage in conversation and show people how interested I am in learning about what they have to say. I started off my day with no alarm because I usually use my phone for an alarm and that was out of the question. It was nice just using the sunlight and my roommate as an alarm opposed to a loud obnoxious beeping. Normally I get ready in the morning with music playing in the background yet this day was different; my roommate and I got ready in silence. I then realized how awkward silence is between my roommate and I, so that kind of put a damper on my day. When I did this experiment on Tuesday, I had four classes so that was distracting me from wanting to use my phone. I usually eat lunch after my mass communications class but I didn’t have my phone to contact any of my friends and ask if they would join me for lunch. So guess what I did for lunch?! (rhetorical) I didn’t eat that day unfortunately until after a few more classes. When I was back in the room my roommate was playing music and it was involuntary on my behalf so I enjoyed as much as I could of it. Walking to my classes I noticed how much longer it seemed to take now that I had nothing to play with or listen to, also realizing how many people around me are distracted by their little cellular devices. Nature goes unnoticed so often and not being able to distract myself I found the beauty in Towson’s environment. More people should pay attention to their surroundings instead of staring down at a rectangular screen. During dinner with some friends I felt out of the loop when they were all texting and scrolling through their news feeds as I just sat there in silence. This was a disadvantage of not having my cellphone, it made me miss the idea and concept of sending texts by the second as they flew up to a satellite in space and back in no time at all. We take that whole process for granted and it made me grateful to be accessible to this technology. It made me sad and uneasy to see that conversation is somewhat destroyed through social media and our generation is losing the abilities

social media takeoverand skills to interact with one another. I called my friends out and asked if it was more important to them to look at their Facebook feed of random people and celebrities than to talk to their good friend with a sarcastic tone. We are all corrupted by the worlds of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and now new apps such as WhatsApp? and Pinterest. The internet is now ubiquitous and you cannot avoid it no matter how hard you try. Even all my classes are focused around using email or online textbooks where a computer is required. I could not escape the media world even if I wanted to, it is omnipresent and inevitable that our society is engulfed by it. By Tuesday night, I didn’t even want to turn my phone back on. I was so disgusted by the idea of everyone and myself being captivated by electronics and online entertainment  that I wanted this day to last longer. This was my advantage, I understood modern society better than my peers at that moment. At times of that day I got bored and did not know what to do with myself besides twiddle my thumbs but it made me do more work, start reading a new book, and notice my surroundings more. I imagined if this was an everyday occurrence, I would be so productive and observant!

I dare you to go a day without any form of mass media and then see how you react to it. Maybe this will help more to figure out if all mass media is good or bad or maybe that is an answer we will never know.

The Media Is Hungry

Feed the media with the people. We are all consumed by the media, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you say because we are all part of this media eat people world. It has taken over and there is no going back; we are accustomed to the idea of electronics being our friends and helping us with every problem we come across. “When is too much simply too much??” Soon everything will be through media or digital electronics and we won’t know how to hold a conversation anymore. For 2 days I

Digital-media-by-2020-will-be-80-percentrecorded all the media I was exposed to and kept track of all the patterns that were created. I found this interesting because it would give me an idea of my digital footprint and figure out the amount of hours i actually spend engulfed by media. Both days combined I spent an average of 7 hours watching Netflix movies or shows; I didn’t even care if I was losing hours of sleep by watching a show because somehow I thought in the long run it would be worth it. Unfortunately I always learn the next day that I am wrong when I start to complain about being tired from my 5-6 hours of constant sleep. I noticed that I did not read any books or magazines like I used to if I was bored, now I go straight to my laptop or cell-phone. This was a disappointing surprise because if I am not reading then I am not really learning and using my mind daily as much as I should be exercising it. I was in my car and was blasting the music like I usually do, and looked at the next sign realizing that I just missed the Towson exit and had to turn around at the next exit. That really made me conclude that being so engrossed in my music had me lose focus on where I was and what I was doing. Not only can that cause someone to miss their exit, but can cause an accident. I roughly calculated how many times I used my cellphone over the 2 days and came to: 225 text messages sent and 45 minutes of talking on the phone with family members. The amount of texts I had sent was shocking! I had no idea just holding a conversation with some friends could add up to that many instant messages. Apparently I use my cell phone more than I though I did and that is not what I wanted to hear. I used Facebook for about 2 hours over these two days, which is significantly less than most people I know. I noticed when there was ads on an app or Facebook or music that my mind kind of just mentally blocked it out to the point where I had to try to notice them if I wanted to. Advertisements are literally everywhere our eyes can see and they are unavoidable. I was probably exposed to advertisements on everything I clicked on or everywhere I went. I listened to music walking to class and being in my room or car for a total of 9 hours during the 2 days. All of my homework I had encountered was through websites and therefore spent 4 more hours on my computer just doing homework while using the internet and being attacked by social media.

People contact networkI noticed that I was getting a headaches at points and it was clearly related to the amount of time spent looking at a screen or listening to music too loud. Everything our generation is doing on electronics does not benefit our health and can actually have an effect on us that we never would have thought of. I also observed that a pattern I had was that every time I would be waiting somewhere by myself I would resort to pulling out my phone and pretending something interesting was on it even if there was nothing. (I am not the only person that does that!)

The use of media consumed by our population is increasing rapidly every year and soon it is predicted that we will be spending over 15 hours a day through the world of media. This can’t be stopped but it can be accepted and used more wisely than it is today. After those 2 days I have been using electronics a lot less to the extent that my roommate asked “Is everything okay? You haven’t been on your phone lately.” I thought it was so funny that she thought it was abnormal to not always be attached to a phone. Just by reading my blog you are using social media and probably have more tabs open with Facebook, Twitter, Email, or Pinterest; don’t be ashamed because the whole population can be accused of this. Maybe you should think about how your media habits change daily and how you can improve them because mine made me look at the world differently. 

Reaction to Media History Film

In class the other day we watched a film called Media History and it really got me thinking. When I changed my major to mass communication last semester I never realized how much media plays a part of it. It really interests me how media has changed over the years and how well the film depicted how media used to be. I couldn’t fathom how they predicted the future of the communication world to become. The film was created in 1998 and now, 16 years later we are sending texts and video chatting on our phones instead of writing letters across the state or country.

I really was fascinated by how narrowcasting works in the media world. The people that work with the media industry really think about what age bracket and gender they are trying to reach. That is a really good reference to learn about how each station and show actually reaches out to a specific group of people. Narrowcasting is a really important aspect of the media and will always be used to focus on certain audiences. Today there is an obnoxious amount of television channels we have available to us that we can choose from. Literally everyone in the world has to find a channel or show that can be a perfect fit to their liking. Everything is through media now, whether it is learning about the news or learning about celebrity drama and gossip. This film really just opened up my eyes to see the reality of the inside in media history and the future of media. I wonder where media will go next..