Media is Taking Over!

One of the best parts about attending class for me, aside from learning of course, is the walk back to my dorm. I like this so much because I get to listen to my iPod. I am not trying to quote Kid Cudi, but the music provides a soundtrack to my life. It makes the walk more entertaining to have music going along with the actions of the people I pass, since I can’t actually hear their conversations. It also allows me to be part of my own world by focusing on my toughts and avoid the chaos going on around campus, especially with the recent construction projects going on at Towson.

Since the night before I had a lot of homework that I left for the last minute, I missed one of my favorite shows, Modern Family. Since I’ve got a short break in between my classes why not snuggle up on my bed with my laptop and check out the latest episode on Hulu. Since I do not feel like watching the advertisement that comes on before the episode starts, I pull up Facebook in a new tab and wait the minute ad out by checking out what’s new on my newsfeed. In just a few short seconds there is already so much going on on my small 12 inch screen.

Today I stumble across a video done by some students from the University of Michigan called the “Pursuit of Jappiness.” Yes that’s correct, “jappiness.” The video is a remake of the Kid Cudi song “Pursuit of Happiness” adding a twist to the song with lyrics that stereotype the Jewish students of Michigan, meaning to be funny and not offensive. I watched the video and later that day while at dinner, a friend mentioned she had just seen that video. The next day I noticed she has posted it on the “wall” of two of her friends on Facebook. Over the next day or so the video popped up on several of my friends Facebooks. It’s amazing how fast the video traveled on the website.

Along with several other Youtube videos, Facebook is also flooded with ads. Websites like Hulu have a fair share of advertisements as well. As annoying as they are the companies need to get paid somehow. You don’t only see the mass amounts of ads online. Any regular cable television show has several minutes of ads per episode. Magazines and newspapers also contribute to the competing market of advertising. The Superbowl is a great example of how important the advertising part of media has become to us.

I monitored the media I was exposed to in two days, and it just seemed ridiculous not only how much was involved in my life, but how much it dictated what I did. The days of activities with limited media are long gone. Media has become the oxygen that keeps our world running. A lot of it shows progress in the world’s communication skills, but there are those annoying ads that start playing without warning when we go to a website on the internet. That type of media, I’m sure a lot of us could of without.

How Can Anyone Live Without a Computer?!

Do you think you could survive two days without running into any media? I am going to guess you can’t. In fact, I am going to guess most people wouldn’t even try to take the media out of their lives that they can avoid. I tried my best to go two days without media, butI definitely cheated. I was not willing to give up my phone. I tried to only use it for what I considered “necessary” things like talking to my parents or talking to my friends at school in order to make dinner and gym plans. Ironically, during these two days I dropped my phone in the grass about 100 yards from my dorm. It didn’t take to long for me to realize it was missing, the challenge was figuring where it had gone.

I forced my friends to come along with me and retrace my steps to look for it. Sure enough it was in the grass we had come through in order to get to my dorm, right next to an electronic sign that was flashing some of Towson’s important dates. After feeling relieved about finding my phone, I then realized there was media right in front of me that I really cannot avoid.

For me the hardest part of trying to avoid the media I could was Facebook. I am sure like many college students including myself, some people automatically type in facebook.com as soon as they get onto a computer. Or while doing homework on the computer it only takes about 5 minutes of boring school work before I find myself checking out new pictures my friends put up or seeing if anyone has commented on my status about how I hate microeconomics work.

The realization and admission of an addiction is not easy for anyone, even if talking about a simple website or phone. However, I am beginning to see just how addicted I am. I know I am not alone, so curiosity drove me to the New York Times. According to Katie Hafner’s article, To Deal With Obsession, Some Defriend Facebook, some high school students have started support groups to help each other stay clear of this addiction. They are also doing things like deactivating accounts and having their friends control passwords in order to break the Facebook habit.

Although, Facebook still has so much to offer. It gives people the ability to share an opinion they have with all their friends or “friends”. Internet videos including those on YouTube can become more popular if someone posts it to their profile whether it’s a new song, clip from a show or movie, or news related. And of course it gives everyone the ability to communicate with their friends. These are only a few of the perks of Facebook, but as a freshman in college communicating with my friends is very important. This website allows to me interact with my friends from high school every day, making the college transition somewhat easier. This raised another question to me, which was what the heck did my parents do while they were in college?

No internet, no Facebook, no YouTube, so what is there to do? Don’t worry there is actually a lot. Without being wrapped up in all these gadgets all the time, any person will have more time communicating face to face with other people. Staying in your dorm room attached to the computer is no way to experience college. Somehow our parents survived without these things, and I survived my two days trying to avoid media. So we have to ask ourselves if we really need all this to get through our daily lives. Anyone my age will think it is hard to live without these things since they have grown and matured with us. As the future promises more impressive gadgets, there is no way we will be able to communicate with the world while avoiding these. However, I am sure every college kid could cut back on the Facebook hours.