Media Deprivation & the Importance of New Media
For this first weekday of summer, I went without any form of media for about twelve hours just to see how it would go. It was a very difficult process that had high contrast in its high points and its low points.
On the one hand, I had experiences mass productivity. I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders which allowed me to do more things in a more productive manner. For this, I actually left my house and drove to Michael’s in Clarksville, Indiana to buy some new Micron pens for use in my sketchbook. Using those new pens, a Micron 08 Black, Micron 03 Black, and Micron 005 Black, I made some abstract illustrations that I would later repurpose and recolor said artwork in the near future.
In addition to this, I got to visit family members and relatives who had come over to the house and enjoy their company. To hear what is happening in other peoples’ lives and to understand and gain empathy from said person is truly something special.
On the other hand, this experience was really depriving on a physical and psychological level. Without being connected to digital wires, I was open to all of my surroundings which meant that I started to get body aches and neck pains and so forth. Other symptoms that I had experienced were fatigue, dry throat, sinus congestion, and the aforementioned body aches. As for the mental deprivation, I experienced lack of concentration, high levels of anxiety, and panic attacks.
I could draw a comparison between internet/media addiction and drug addiction as both forms of addiction are very numbing to users and when a user is deprived of said substance, loads of physical and mental symptoms arise from said action.
Overall, the experience was very difficult; especially when dealing with maintaining a presence on social media such as Instagram and Twitter. After dealing with constant highs and lows, I feel as if the hardest part about dealing with this exercise was having to deal with social interaction outside of the internet. During the time, I felt very socially awkward and isolated because of my lack of social skills outside of media sources. It was an eye-opening experience for me because since there was no screen in between me and another person, I felt very out in the open and exposed to new ideas and perspectives that I would have never come into contact with otherwise.
This ties back to the whole point of this exercise which was to understand and shed light to how big of a role the media plays in our daily lives in the modern world. This gives users loads of convenience and high levels of user experience at the cost of lack of privacy and a breach of the users’ 4th Amendment rights to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures from outside sources. If such the case that media companies and the government is breaching said rights through targeted ads and unlawful spying, then they are overstepping their power and have gained too much said power over its citizens. Such power lies in the individuals running or working for media companies to provide the technicalities and whatever media type that they choose to specialize in an objective and honest way without any partisan bias and with individuals at their TVs or their computers to pick and choose what type of media that they want to consume.
Overall, I think that media plays a large role in the modern world through use of keeping people onto systems like the internet and through systems like Netflix and by some extent cable TV so that users become desensitized to the world around them. Media and tech companies have the potential to overstep its power if consumers allow them to do so.
Being without any form of print or digital media allows the user to be free from the shackles of someone else’s creation at the cost of physical and mental problems and at the cost of convenience. After the initial, short-term side effects wear off however, then the user no longer becomes a user but instead becomes human again.