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If you were to bet someone they could not go a few days without media, they would probably laugh. They would either say it is impossible or claim that they do not depend on any form of media; that in fact it would simply not be a problem. However, I admit I would normally be that person stating, “Going without media would be a piece of cake.” That my friend is called denial.

For starters, I willingly deactivated my Facebook to accept the challenge of media avoidance. Waking up and not immediately checking social networks was an odd enough start to my day. I found myself looking around, wondering what to do with myself while I had my morning coffee. I ignored my dilemma and went about my media free day.

For me, going without music is by far the hardest challenge. It is my way of blocking stress out and it gets me through any day. However, walking to class I noticed more about my surroundings. I heard the sound of the wind and not just Adele’s voice blasting in my ear. Although time seemed to go slower, I was no longer oblivious or in my own world. Instead of paying attention to what everyone on twitter was doing, I was focused on what I was actually doing.

After my classes I went about my daily routine or at least I tried to. Having assignments to complete and errands to run, I should be focused. I decided not to stop in my dorm to browse the web, but to go straight to the library. Honestly, I felt good..well at first. I had barely texted that day or listened to music. I was only on my computer for school purposes and I had not even glanced at my twitter once.As I was looking for a seat, I thought about how “free” I should be feeling and how much work I can now complete because I agreed to take a break from all of these distractions. I soon realized “free” was not such a positive term in this case. “Free” soon turned into a feeling of isolation.

As I sat down to be responsible and start my work, I automatically typed Facebook into my search engine. This action was not what I had intended, but it was simply just a habit I have gotten so used to. I quickly clicked out, remembering I had deactivated my account. During that afternoon I anticipated getting a lot accomplished due to the fact I was avoiding media, but to my surprise that did not happen. I had the constant urge to check my phone and I felt uneasy not knowing if anyone was trying to get in contact with me. I suddenly felt out of touch with the world around me and merely out of the loop. So yes, unfortunately I caved.

From that point on I realized it seems everything I do or see is in someway involved with media. Aside from studying or face-to-face conversations, I am consumed with mass media. I have noticed I am accustomed to turning to my laptop for everything. Music, television, social networks, and the answers to all of my questions are all bundled into my laptop and smartphone. Without it.. I am lost. Nobody wants to be the last to know something and without media that would undoubtedly happen. After so much dependency and yes even a bit of addiction, I admit, I cannot fully go without media. It has certainly gotten to the point where our generation has gotten maybe too connected, but that beats not being connected at all any day. There is a medium between being too consumed and not at all; a medium in which we all have to find.

 

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The average person supposedly sleeps six to eight hours a night. I for one do not sleep as much as I should. I simply have trouble sleeping at any normal time and find myself getting a few hours each night. However, the question often crosses my mind; what am I doing? With all of those long nights and spare time; what am I possibly doing? Through analyzing my every move, it is evident that I go to sleep with media and wake up to it. It is a cycle that you go through and experience everyday that is on repeat.

Waking up to the alarm on my phone, the first thing that I do is head towards my laptop. I open it up and check my Facebook and email, which has certainly become the same thing. I turn on my music to get ready for the day that is ahead of me. Everyone knows there is not a good day without some good music. The walk to class today, yesterday, or the day before only differentiate in terms of what song I am listening to and what is on my twitter timeline (my morning newspaper). With my iPod and phone, my walk to class is so relaxing that it is over before I know it. After my classes, the rest of my day consists of whatever I want it to. I grab some food and watch a missed episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Hulu. That obviously will not go without the advertisements every five minutes and the usual pop up saying “Would you be interested in blah, blah, blah?”

After my down time I usually convince myself to go to the library. I am motivated and ready to work….for about fifteen minutes. I will usually tell myself I deserve a small break and find myself checking my Facebook. It seems that small break turns into a good thirty minutes. I get back to my homework, but just like any other day it is a habit to check and answer texts before making any commitment. Although, when it comes to my phone there is no such thing as a “quick check”. It is more like constant glancing whenever I think I hear it vibrating. A post, tweet, or text easily grabs my attention, especially when the task at hand is burying my head in some textbook. When it gets really bad I usually have to put it away, but then again that does not often last long.

The rest of my day consists of small errands and responsibilities. All of which including intervals in between consisting of texting, social networking, and online entertainment. No matter the day or schedule, it seems there is always time made for media, media that has undoubtedly become a necessity. I am aware this cycle of nonstop media should not be a priority, but it continues without me even noticing. It is a huge part of my day-to-day life that is possibly overlapping the more important aspects of life at times. Being oblivious to everything going on around me is posing a negative impact and may be taking the reality out of what is in front of me. I have realized being in “my own world’, consumed with media, may in fact just be me being too concerned with everyone else’s world.

So just think, there are twenty-four hours in a day, 365 days in a year, and the unfortunate fact that time is sometimes not used wisely. It seems the most common question these days is, “What are you doing?” Whether is from Facebook, Twitter, or from the various text messages received per day; everyone wants to know. The world has changed to the point where friends, family, and strangers are all connected, but sometimes you also need to ask yourself; what am I doing?

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