Media Journal iii: Life Without Media

            Introspection. That is what my day without media could be summed up to. I slept in later than I normally so I could kill time, but after that, it was just me, myself, and I. The first thing I did was drive around for almost two and half hours in North East Arkansas. I didn’t really have a plan going into this assignment and that was the first thing I thought of. I viewed the landscape and nature of the towns outside of Jonesboro and further all the while just thinking about where I was at in my life. I then went to the park and took a nap in my Eno under the trees by the water. I ate dinner with my family with no media and then went back to the dorm and slept. It was not an eventful day.

            I would say it was somewhat difficult because I didn’t really have anything else to do. After the fact, I thought of some things that would have been good to do but I didn’t plan my day well. This is because I did this on a Saturday which is the highest day for my media consumption. So, the most difficult part was the boredom. I just felt bored all day because I didn’t have any distractions or entertainment that I am used to. However, this brought about some good inner thinking time. I was able to, especially while I was driving, to question my choices and what I was doing and what I want to be doing.

            I missed my entertainment the most. As I said, Saturdays are my highest media use days, so I was not able to use any of these things I normally do for fun on my most free day. I missed watching YouTube, listening to my music, and especially watching movies. I have a long list of movies I plan to watch and this really stifled that and Saturdays are usually when I watch a lot of them. When I was driving, I really missed my music because that is when I listen to it the most. I think this why I was so bored because these forms of media keep me happy and distracted from my boring life. This really made me face that and see how boring my life is.

            The effect of this deprivation on me was that I was, again, bored, but it also made me cherish my media use and almost kind of hold back on it. It kind of taught me to savor it when I had it. Like the kind of mindset that I wouldn’t have it after this time I consumed it. However, it had little to no effect on my social contacts because I only really talk to my mom and no else talked to me on that day besides some people I saw at dinner in person.

            Overall I felt that the assignment is an important one to do. The aspect of being free from the world for a certain amount of time really makes you think and can be helpful for some people. I would suggest the time be shortened a little. Make it a day but not exactly 24 hours. It seemed kind of pointless after 8:00 P.M. But I guess if you have something you could do maybe not. That’s just my opinion. Honestly, the outcome was kind of predictable for me. After doing the previous media journal I knew my media habits and could tell that I would probably be bored all day. I wouldn’t say it was life changing for me, but it was a nice experiment and was fun at times.

            So, after completing these three media journals I’ve learned I use media almost constantly, but I don’t feel addicted to it. I’ve noticed that a lot my consumption is not just throw away entertainment but things that I am using to better myself and my thinking. There are fun things that I watch that don’t have much of an impact on me, but most of it has a purpose behind it. On a scale of 1 to 10 for my control of my media, I would have to rate myself at a 3. I feel that I control my media to a good degree, but I don’t have any alternatives to it. It’s like I know how much I’m using and it may be too much for some people, but I am able to handle it. In the future, I will cherish and savor my media use more and will always make sure it is not controlling me and my life. Regarding recommending this to others, I’m not sure. If they would actually do it, I think some people could really benefit from this. However, I think there are some people who already have a good idea about this stuff and don’t exactly need to do this. So, it depends on the person, but overall I would recommend it. It is an interesting experience and can be helpful. I know I found it interesting. So, am I being used? I don’t think so. I think growing up the way I did, I have learned to control myself and use media for my best interests so I can get busy living.

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MJii: My Media Use

The first thing I noticed about my media use is that I am on my computer a lot. This is where I would say 90% of my media use comes from. Which after further thought is how it has been for me ever since I got my first desktop. I basically use it as my entertainment center. I go to YouTube for my daily videos, I listen to most of my music through it, I go to Netflix and HBO GO to watch shows or movies, and it is where I see basically all the other media I consume besides when I read my books. However, I don’t feel controlled by it. It’s just a means to an end and how I have adapted to this environment.

I noticed that there isn’t really a peak media day for me. It seems that I consume the same amounts just through different sources every day. Like if I have a class that will count for my media but if I don’t I would just be on my computer which would count for my media use. Although I did have some changes in my media use when I only had my phone. Because of the tediousness of recording it, I found myself avoiding using it in situations where I would have just used it to use it.

I think this is mainly because of my residence. Because I live on campus in Kays Hall I don’t have access to satellite television like I do at home which knocks off most of the channels I watch. Also, because only a few channels have HD and I mainly watch AMC or HBO so watching a movie in non-HD is not something I want to do. But when I’m on campus I can get almost all my entertainment from my computer so I don’t have a reason to watch cable TV. I think it is also because it is more personal and private or at least feels that way. I can just put my headphones on and my roommate doesn’t have to see or hear what I’m watching. It’s mainly just an access reason for me because I’m accessing the same things, I’m just using different means for it.

As for what this says about my family, I’m not sure. My parents have adapted to the new media world easily. They have their computers and use Netflix and streaming but most of the time they watch what is on TV at the time. Which is probably a habit from their media use over the years. So, the main difference is that I use YouTube as my TV. Which means I probably carried over their media habits to my “new media” platform. However, they both use about the same amount as me, but I will admit I use more.

Honestly, I don’t think that being a student has affected my use that much. It has just made it to where I would be focused on other things on my computer other than entertainment because most of my schoolwork is done through my computer. The only time I don’t is when I need to read my textbook which I get done quickly. I think that is the main thing behind my media use. I get my work done quickly. Nothing really takes me multiple days to do depending on the assignment. I sort of reward myself with my entertainment after I finish an assignment and I usually refrain from my entertainment until I am done with my assignments. But as a student, I use my computer for almost everything.

This also shows my hobbies are media related. My hobbies consist of movies, music, and books so I don’t usually “get away” as some would say. However, I strongly feel that it does not control me. I can stop using it anytime I want and whenever I want or have something else to do. It is easy for me to stop using it when I have a reason to (this probably sounds like an addict). So, a lot of my media use stems from not wanting to be bored because I am an introvert and feel more comfortable on my own. I don’t hang out and go to parties all the time to find my enjoyment. I find my enjoyment through the media I consume and that just happens to be when I am alone. I just feel like myself and can think about the world around me when I am in these situations of personal media use because I don’t see it as wasting time. Especially when I’m watching my shows or movies on Netflix and HBO GO. I’m taking mental notes for what I want to do as a Writer/Director seeing what works and what doesn’t. Even the things I watch on YouTube have, for me, an educational aspect to them. So, am I being controlled? I don’t think so. I think if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be able to go a day without it, which I’m 99% sure I can. But we’ll see about that.

MJi: Generational Media Differences

tammy-new-photo
Tammy Fowler

Generation Gap

Feb. 12, 2017

644 words

Mass Comm. In Modern Society

Jack Fowler

Aspiring Writer

JONESBORO, Arkansas- For my Media Journal I assignment about the generational gap and its relation to media usage I interviewed Tammy Fowler. She was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1965. Fowler is my mother and currently the Assistant Dean for Student Administration at NYITCOM in Jonesboro. The interview took place at her home on Feb. 11, 2017.

Fowler’s favorite form of media are books and the media she accesses on a typical day include her desktop computer, IPad, Cellphone, TV, CDS and the Newspaper. Her favorite media memories are when she saw “Inception,” “Interstellar” and “Arrival” in theaters. She said “Inception” showed her, “The power of our minds is something we do not harness and love is the strongest force to do so. We must build memories that are positive and hold on to/meditate on the goods in our hearts, minds and past.” “Interstellar” showed her that, “Love transcends time and memory. It gives us purpose and energy to be. The connections we have with each other through love are permanent and will remain. Also, time is not linear; our futures are not determined, nor is our past. We are not constrained to what we see or think at this moment. It can change.” Lastly, she said “Arrival” showed her, “Another non-linear time theme. Also, we must be ready to think differently, be open to new ideas and concepts, even when we may be the only one seeing it. Don’t give up, you will find a way.”

She remembers many historical events she witnessed via media such as 9/11, the Space Shuttle Challenger crash, Ronald Reagan being shot, the San Francisco Earthquakes and the 2016 Election Night. She feels that her life without media would be quieter, peaceful and boring. Also, she feels that without media she would be lost and on the outside of society, and she feels that it may give her more time to the things she wants.

Fowler and mine’s media use is not that different. We both use the same tools, but what we access on those tools is different. So, technically, we are not going different places to get the same information, but the information we get is different. I think this is because of the way media is set up these days. Instead of having to see information that you don’t care about, you can program your mobile media to what you want to see. That can play into one’s knowledge of local and national issues. If an issue is big enough it will show up on almost all media, but if an issue is not as big some media users won’t see that issue because of how their personal media use is set up. The different media use makes me somewhat more in know over a broader range of topics before she knows about some of those topics, mainly movies and entertainment.

Since she is my mother, our values are not that different. However, she does interact with other media, like books, that broadens her thoughts on her values while I tend to do that with different media, like movies. These shape our values into similar forms but do so in different ways.

I feel that this assignment has shown me how much my mother has transitioned throughout her life to the new media that has come out. She always tells me about how they had a TV with no remote when she was growing up and that they had a rotary phone. Now, she uses almost all the media that is out today. I think this shows her capability to adapt and how we should also be able to adapt not just in regards to media but life as well. What surprised me the most was how much history she has witnessed and then makes me think of which events I will look back on like her.