I planned to do my Media Blackouton Saturday, January 20. I woke up at 10 am and I saw my phone on my nightstand,unconsciously I picked it up and started to check my massages. However,instantly I realized it was my Media Blackout day! So I turned my phone off.
Iwas planning to start my Media Blackout day by cleaning my kitchen first, but Iwas so hungry so I went to Giant Eagle to buy some eggs and milk. When I gothome, I cooked my breakfast and cleaned the kitchen. At 2 pm, I had plans withtwo of my friends to play Indoor soccer at the Gym. I finished probably at 4pm. After I went back home, I saw my roommate in the living room watching TV,so I went straight to my room and locked the door. Then he came knocking mydoor telling me why my phone is off! I totally forgot to tell him about myMedia Blackout day.
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I opened the door and explained to him my assignment. I wassurprised when he told me that he will help me and turn off the TV. We sat inthe living room and had an extensive discussion about varieties of subjects.
Wetalked about God, religions, philosophy and the meaning of life. It was longyet very interesting chat. After we had finished, I decided to cook dinner as afirst time try. But it went terribly bad! So we just went out to eat atChick-fil-A. When we got back I went to clean my room and did my laundry.
Finally, my roommate and I played Chess for almost two hours before I went tosleep. I think my experience had bothpositive and negative aspects. Let me start with the positives. For a start,more free time.
I felt like I had more free time in my day. I could cook,clean, and do laundry in the same day, and that something I would never havedone if I am using media during my day. Second, long discussion in a real life. I really enjoyed talking with my roommateabout our different ideas and perspectives in life; it has been a while since Ihad a two-hours discussion with a person in reality.
I normally discuss suchtopics in the internet, with totally random people, so it was a great change. However, I cannot deny the MediaBlackout day had a negative aspect as well. First, feeling lost. When I went toplay Indoor soccer at the gym, my friends and I were all in the changing roomwhen they started talking about a soccer news from Twitter. I had no idea whatthey were talking about, I felt like I was disconnected and lost from the realworld and living inside my own bubble.
It was really a strange situation forme, I did not like it, and I felt like I am being cut off from information. Iwas so uncomfortable. The second negative thing is going without music. I realizedI was so addicted to music, and I cannot function well in my day withoutfulfilling this need. It was so stressful when I drove my car without listeningto any music. Actually I guess that was the hardest thing I have done on myMedia Blackout day. I think the most media technology Imissed were Twitter and Spotify. Twitter is the app where I can know what ishappening in the world, especially in my country Saudi Arabia.
Since mygovernment is controlling a bunch of social media in the country such as TV andnewspapers, people tend to use different sources to get the “correct” news.Twitter is the most popular app in Saudi Arabia, people trust it more than theytrust national channels, so I got used to check Twitter every day. In fact, Iprobably use Twitter more than 4 hours per day, so it was so annoying andstressful not using it on Saturday. I felt like my only source to know what ishappening in my country is gone.
In addition to Twitter, I missed listening tomusic (Spotify) so bad. I usually sleep while I am listening to Metallica, PinkFloyd and led zeppelin. As I mentioned before, I have an addiction to music; Iwork out, study, drive, cook and sleep while using Spotify. On my MediaBlackout day, I felt empty! It sounds like there is something missing from myday, and nothing could fill that void.
Not a conversation with my roommate normaking food. Thus, I realized how music was a huge part of my life and how itcan affect my daily mood. I have not produce any media duringmy Media Blackout day.
Actually I tried to go back and write in my journal likeI used to do three years ago, yet I did not write anything significant. Finally, I would describe myrelationship to modern media after this experience as “strongly addicted” tomedia. I feel like modern media has made my life so much easier andcomfortable.
Thus, I am not ashamed to describe myself as a person who has anaddiction to media. I do not think I can handle another 24 hours withouttechnology. In my opinion, consuming more media in daily basis has changed mylife significantly. It helped me to develop my English language really fastsince I watch lots of movies and listen continuously to music.
This experiencemade me appreciate media more than I did before, and now I am certain thatmodern media is not only a teaching tool for me, but it also can fill a hugevoid inside me.