This weekend I attempted the unthinkable, going without media for the ENTIRE TWO DAYS. Rest assured, I’m still alive, and able to post about it. I thought it would be relatively easy. I mean, c’mon! People have done it for thousands of years, how hard could it be?
The above article states that the average American teenager, with multitasking factored in, spends almost 11 hours per day interacting with some form of media. How could I fight it?
Day one was spent easing into things. I woke up and remembered the forum post I had made the night before asking for suggestions for books I should read. Eagerly, I snatched up my iPhone and flicked my way into my Safari App. But wait… I shouldn’t be using my phone. I then battled myself for about 30 seconds in an intense inner monologue:
“Reading a forum post is going to take a minute at the most. Aren’t you excited to read what books people are going to recommend you?”
“Absolutely, but this assignment is about commitment to resistance. You can do better! The internet doesn’t have that big a draw.”
“But I don’t want to do better. I want instant access to the internet at all times.”
“Then you are a weak and feeble minded excuse for a human.”
“Whoa, back off subconscious. Don’t make me come in there.”
I checked the forum post really quick (and got some awesome recommendations, by the way), and then became adamant about not interacting with media. So… now what? I could read… right? Wait, no, the written word is a form of media; we talked about this in class. But, I have to read for my English class; Professor Nichols wouldn’t want me to avoid doing my homework!
My girlfriend was working on an art assignment all day, so I figured I would keep her company. However, I informed her of my predicament and she said she wouldn’t have any of it. She was going to watch her Netflix Instant queue while she worked and that was final. I spent the rest of my weekend trying to ignore the beautiful allure of the television, instead reading a dense translation of Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. I like the book, as far as books for school go, but it’s definitely no Mad Men.
I can’t claim I did it successfully, because I may have sneaked a few more peeks at my iPhone and the TV, but I did cut out a large amount of those 11 hours. How else would I survive? This day and age isn’t suited for quite, contemplative time in nature. Ideally, I would have gotten lost in the woods all weekend in order to avoid media, but that’s unrealistic.
It’s getting cold outside.