I won’t lie, logging all the different types of media I consume on a day to day basis was a little bit of a downer.
That’s assuming that consuming media is a bad thing. Or maybe that just too much media is a bad thing.
From the moment I wake up in the morning, I am consuming media. My phone, my music, my email. Then I go to class and hear other people’s music, see other people’s laptop screens, view random advertisements. I go to the gym and hear music playing over the speakers before I turn on my own music and watch a TV screen as I work out. I go to eat dinner and there’s music playing in the dining halls and advertisements plastered all over the place. It’s everywhere.
The way I see it, media is something of a progressive machine. It’s like a car that is constantly being remodeled. In some instances, the media may retain certain methods; like continuing to sell newspapers while the internet provides the same information, arguably in a more efficient manner.
Other times, media methods are dropped completely. You don’t really kids running around like in “Newsies” anymore, shouting out the articles of the front page to passersby.
Though I have one the most ancient Ipods out there, produced way back in 2004 or 2005, it is still a method of media much more advanced than say, the gramophone, or the record player. It doesn’t even have a color screen! Alas, the things we young people must grapple with.
But not everything was a sad reality check. Music, for instance, is something I do not see as something you can “overdo”. I might feel better when I go out and do something rather than sit and stare at Facebook, but listening to music is something I do every day, all the time. I love finding new music and new artists and listening to my Ipod like it’s the soundtrack to my life. I know I’m not the only one who feels kind of cool when they’re walking to class and the song you’re listening to just seems to fit everything. Your mood, your day — even something as simple as a roaring chorus that comes blasting through your ears right as you push (or kick) open the doors to a building.
You think, “I can handle anything. Bring it, day.” Awesome, right?
You can get a text that brightens your day even when you’re feeling at your worst. A few simple words on that small screen can make you think some variety of, “Goodness, I’m just so happy to be living my life right now.”
Or you get that one text that makes your stomach drop, pulse throb or eyes sting with tears. It’s such a little message on such a little screen. Yet its effect is enormous.
In some ways, being surrounded by media can be superb. But in others, at their worst, you feel almost controlled by your own consumption.
So it was that I was most affected by music and my cell phone. Yet involuntarily, I was exposed to just as much: posters as I walked down hallways, ads and music videos on TVs across campus, magazines I caught glimpses of on my way past machines at the gym. I was most surprised by this amount of involuntary exposure to media. That was what was most alarming to me; not the choices I made with how much time I spent listening to music or going on the internet, but the sheer volume of media that seemed to follow me everywhere.
I think we all may be slightly addicted.