I now understand what it would be like to be on a desert island. It would be BORING! For my assignment in Mass Media & Society, I couldn’t consume any media for two days. I decided to choose a Friday and Saturday to suffer it out because Friday was a complete day off from work and school while Saturday was just a full day of work. I realized all too soon that this was going to be a long, two days.
DAY 1: THE BOREDOM BEGINS
It’s a warm, sunny morning of my media fast and I already had to avoid watching television because my girlfriend, whom I live with, was watching it. Once she found out that I was on my fast, she complied with my situation and kept the television shut off. I don’t really watch much television so it didn’t matter to me. What did matter was avoiding Internet. I love surfing the Internet because of all the different information on it. Social media is one of my favorite things to interact with and since it’s a key tool for a Public Relations major, it’s a part of my student life. I also had to avoid my RSS feed, recreational web sites, and more. The only exception was school material, (which I found was similar to a smoker quitting by chewing on a straw.)
It didn’t take long before I was bored as hell. I just sat in my living room with nothing on. So, I had a bright idea… I’ll clean the garage! Yeah, that would totally be an awesome way to take my mind off media. Four hours later, the garage was reorganized, I found a ton of stuff I forgot I had – and I could walk in it. So, my lack of media consumption had already started to be a positive experience but dinner was still to come.
I imagine that many of the people across the United States all watch television while they eat dinner. If they don’t watch television, perhaps there’s some music or background noise that provides mood to the atmosphere. Now imagine having nothing but silence while you eat. Just. Silence. It is so awkward! My girlfriend and I just sat on the couch while eating dinner, trying to make conversation with the silence deadening most of our thoughts. After dinner, I decided to read my textbook and ended up going to bed early mostly because of how bored I really was.
DAY 2: A MUCH DIFFERENT WORK DAY
The next morning was pretty much the same as the day before. I checked my school email because it was the only media I was allowed to take in. Then, I was off to work! I’m employed at an independent music, movie, and video game store in downtown Eugene. Luckily, I didn’t have to package any Amazon items that day or else I would’ve been forced to use a computer and that would’ve been like putting a glass of pure grain alcohol in front of an ex-alcoholic fresh out of rehab. There were only two things I couldn’t do: Pick music and use the Internet. I was still exposed to some media because there’s always music playing on the sound-system but I made sure not to request anything so that it’d basically be like seeing a billboard on the street. By the end of the work, I was so drained that I shuffled home and passed out for the night.
Over the previous two days, I realized how much media I actually use and if I didn’t have it around… I’d probably go crazy. It makes me wonder if that’s the reason why our Government offered coupons for discount digital converter boxes? How many people do you think would go crazy if they didn’t have their television?