Life with & Without Media
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Salman JaberiSeptember, 26, 2017Communication, Media & SocietyMedia Insights #2 AssignmentLife with & without Media“We are being silenced by our technologies, in a way. These silences – often in the presence of our children – have a led a crisis of empathy that has diminished us at home, at work, and in public life. I’ve said that the remedy, most simply, is a talking cure. This book is my case for conversation.” This quote by Sherry Turkle really hit the spot for me in our lecture on Monday. It’s really led me to project and think about my actions and our society as a whole and the way we are reacting to this alternative virtual world that we all seem to be more engaged in than actual reality. I took it upon myself, as a part of the class assignment, to go a whole day without media; or at least attempted to. Initially I believed that this would be an easy task as I am not that so into the virtual world as my peers are; but found it as a whole that media surrounds us everywhere we go and it’s almost impossible to avoid running into something that does not trigger my emotions or behavior. In the book “The Shallows”, Nicolas Carr quotes that “we become, neurologically, what we think”. This statement really opened my eyes while having my time without media and observing all my friends without the distraction of our phones and our online personalities. It really took me on a deep dive of the fears, aspirations and the real root of the people I interact with everyday – in a sense I’m comforted to come to the conclusion that my circle of friends are as close to what they present themselves to be online but it also scares me to know that not everyone I am acquainted with is who they say they are.
My experiences doing this assignment took a few attempts – for my 12 hours without media, I had originally planned to go to a rave without my phone and enjoy the silence of the world; other than the music of course but only realized after that even though the music has no lyrics and has no actual words to toy with your emotions; it still did simply with the beat and the tunes of the music. So for my other attempt, I planned a “no media” day with 5 of my closest friends where we all left our phones at home and cut out all sort of media from our day. We planned a whole day out on Tuesday to do things we always say we love doing but never do due this day & age’s typical everyday distractions. We started our day with a home-cooked lunch at my friends place – we also all contributed to helping her with her gardening that she never gets to. It was really hard to manage planting lavender and lilacs without going through the internet without instructions but we had a successful attempt by asking her lovely neighbor and through that, she also finally met her neighbor – which was really nice as she had been living in that house for two years now. We then grabbed our mini canvases, headed to Walden Pond for a quick swim and to get in touch with our not so artistic side – it was a great laugh to see how everyone got so competitive over who is the best at painting. We all miserably failed as all our paintings looked like a piece of Picasso work that had gone through a Titanic shipwreck. I could say this was probably my favorite day to be around the people I love throughout this whole year; the beautiful weather also contributed to this.