Assignment No. 1: Media diary and 24-hour blackout

Due: 10 a.m. January 22 | 15% of overall course grade

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This two-part assignment will give you a gut-level awareness of the pervasiveness of new media in your life.

Part 1: 24-hour media diary

For Part 1, you must track all of your new-media use within a 24-hour period. To give you an idea of what I’m looking for, your 24-hour new-media diary might look something like this:

January 15, 2016
8 a.m. Woke up to smartphone alarm, checked email and Facebook, listened to radio on smartphone while getting ready.
8–10 a.m. Texted, Snapchat, listened to iPod on way to class.
10–11 a.m. Tweeted during #ucbj100. Secretly Snapchatted while Steve wasn’t looking. #jk
11 a.m. — noon. Twitter, Instagram, browsed web, checked Connect on phone.
Noon — 1 p.m. Watched YouTube videos in class.
1–2 p.m. Texted, iPod, took photos with phone-camera.
2–3 p.m. Played video games.
And so on…

If you went to bed watching or listening to new media during the 24 hours, mention that, too.

For purposes of the assignment, “new media” includes media that is digital or delivered via the Internet. A movie on Netflix is new media, while a movie on cable TV is old media. A song on your iPod is new media, while a song on your car radio is old media (unless you have an Internet radio). A novel in paperback is old media, while the same novel on a Kindle is new media.

Part 2: 24-hour media blackout

For Part 2 of the assignment, you must deprive yourself of all new-media use for 24 hours, except for any new media that is required for other classes, such as email, web-based readings, etc.

When you have completed Parts 1 and 2, write an essay of no more than 750 words, answering the following five questions. Paste the diary to the end of the essay. Turn in the essay and the diary as a single document on Connect. Be sure your name is on your paper.

  1. Identify the new media that you gave up during the 24-hour blackout.
  2. Describe the activities you substituted in place of new-media use during the blackout.
  3. Describe any psychological, mental or physical changes you experienced as a result of depriving yourself of new media.
  4. Did you forget or backslide or inadvertently use new media during the blackout?
  5. How has this exercise changed the way you look at the world, if at all?

Grading will be based on the following rubric:

  • 70% — Depth and quality of insights in essay.
  • 15% — Quality of the 24-hour diary.
  • 15% — Quality of writing (i.e., clarity, grammar, spelling).
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