Hello my name is Ayana and I’m addicted to media.

24 Feb

My 48 hours without media can be summed up in one word: miserable. I knew media was a proven addiction, but I never thought that I would crave it so much. I should’ve foreseen the troubles I would face when I woke up late for class on the first day. Of course I blame this on not being able to wake up to my usual Michael Jackson tunes. Instead I set an alarm on my phone which wasn’t nearly powerful enough to wake me. To ensure that I avoided the temptation to use any media forms, I left my computer in my room. I didn’t leave my phone because I didn’t feel comfortable (addiction sign #1), but I switched it to “airplane mode” so there was no network service. I couldn’t receive texts, calls, check Facebook, Twitter, or get news updates, nothing.

I warned everyone that I would be disconnected from the media world for two days to avoid any concerns of me not answering. Maybe it’s seen as cheating that I couldn’t bare missing anything and thereby eliminating that worry but telling everyone. But again, I wasn’t comfortable knowing what I was missing (addiction sign #2). But again, I didn’t want anyone to worry if I ignored calls. For these two days I refrained from not only my phone, laptop, music, and television. It was easily one of the most difficult tasks I’ve undertaken and yes, it was torture. This is how my media-less days went:

Having three out of five classes be lectures did not help my situation. These classes entailed intense notes that seemed only possible to take with a computer. Obviously, I’ve been spoiled with technology if I considered actually writing notes down demanding (addiction sign #3). I got through my classes with scribbled but legible notes. Whenever the professor would begin the lecture, I still found myself reaching for my laptop in my bag. Imagine the disappointment when I remembered that it wasn’t there. Study hall was even more painful. As an athlete, I am required to complete two hours of strictly homework, three times a week. Music normally gets me through those boring hours of the week. Not this time. Armed with a pen and notebook, I used my printed syllabi to find the work I had to do instead of logging onto Blackboard. I wrote out every assignment and was exhausted by the end of study hall.

Without my phone, I felt alienated from society. Twitter kept me informed of everything with the touch of a button. I had no idea what was going on and it made me paranoid. So paranoid that I even suffered what is sometimes called “ringxiety”. My phone wasn’t ringing but I constantly felt like it was. Even if my phone had no network connection, I still hoped by some miracle that it would ring (addiction sign #4). I was definitely experiencing some symptoms of media withdrawel.

Of course there were some media that was unavoidable. Posters are everywhere, I can’t prevent my roommate from watching the TV, and my practices are driven by music to “pump up the team”. Media is all around us and therefore, unavoidable. I’ve come to realize that the majority of people feel the need to utilize some type of media daily.

I think I was fairly successful in avoiding personal media usage. Naturally, there were a few mishaps. My phone had to be used for a quick conversation but as we are humans, we can’t completely give up media. We need it.

But, here are some helpful hints that can help us get over our dependence on media.

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