Digital Media Blackout

Our present day lives are constantly consumed with digital media and the technology around us. We begin to lose track of all the little things, like going to the park, hanging out and having actual conversations or even just watching snow fall. At Molloy College, within the Communications courses, there is always one assignment that most students dread.

That assignment is a 24 hour DIGITAL MEDIA BLACKOUT. For 24 hours, students must attempt to not use any technology or digital media. This means no phone, TV, computer, radio or anything digital. 

I have done it in the past- and I've failed- after 14 hours because (I slept for 8 of those hours.) I attempted again this semester only to find that it was very relaxing to not use your phone. During class discussion, it was found that most people garner anxiety from not having access to any type of media. Their FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) built up. They were afraid of missing out on what was going on with their friends and family; they were afraid of missing something big. However, to no surprise, they missed nothing. Nothing important happened: it was all in their heads. 

Studies have shown that there is now a real addiction to the internet. Kids, teenagers and adults have become addicted to being connected to media and the internet. Without it, they actually go through withdrawal and it can become a problem for many people.

On average, we now spend 35 hours a day on different forms of media. How, you may ask? Well the time is taken by how many screens are used during the day and you multiply the time used by the number of screens. So if you watch a 4 minute video but also use your phone at the same time then it's actually 8 minutes. 

The advice I'm giving is to turn off your phones for a little. Look at the world. Enjoy nature and go for a walk. Try not to miss out on all the small things. Life is too short not to focus on everything outside of your phone and technology.