prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

So How’s that Media Fast Thing Working Out?

Posted by prof e on October 27, 2015

Fasting, abstaining, cleansing, detoxing, going Walden, Amish month…whatever you call it, dialing back the media technology for a period of time may just help you get your head on a little straighter. I know it’s not comfortable, or fun. Shoot, it’s barely tolerable at times. You’ll get bored (but that’s not necessarily a bad thing) and fidgety. You’ll probably do more homework and cleaning, or working out and sleeping, than usual. You may even spend more time having real interaction with real people…you know, the face-to-face variety of interaction.

In a recent blog post on AdAge’s website, Jamie Barrett described their attempt at the ad agency BarrettSF to make meetings tech-free for all but the presenter. They called it “Amish month”, and the rules were pretty simple…

When you’re in a meeting, and you’re not presenting, you can’t look at your laptop. Or your tablet. Or your smartphone. Or your Apple Watch. Or your discontinued Google Glasses. Or your contact lenses if they receive a wi-fi signal.

According to Barrett,

There is some wild stuff that happens. With no keyboards to pound or screens to stare at, heads tilt up and start to look around the room. There’s eye contact. Facial-expression recognition. People speak words and others hear them, and can perceive whether those words are serious or funny, sincere or sarcastic, angry or glad.

Like I said, it’s wild stuff. We’ve decided to extend Amish Month into October.

Maybe the Amish are on to something.

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2 Responses to “So How’s that Media Fast Thing Working Out?”

  1. Michaela Garcia said

    The Internet can be a valuable resource for education and fun, but how much is too much? Why can’t people stop? Today, not only adults are on electronics but kids as young as two years old know how to work tablets/ phones just as well as some adults do. Being on electronics robs us of real world experiences and may result in lower grades, increase risk for depression, cut into the time needed for sleep, and more. Whether it’s a quick text or a social media post, it can be difficult put the electronics down. I’m guilty of it, and most adults/kids are guilty of it. But in reality, our email and Facebook can wait. When parents increase their screen time whether it be smart phones, TV, computers, video games, their children do the same. Children are constantly learning from us and following in our footsteps. When parents focus on a screen instead of their children, they are sending a message that says, “My phone or the TV is more interesting than you.” By taking a break from social media, etc, you may become more focused and less needy of constant interaction or attention. Everything is a lot more peaceful, a bit softer and simply quieter. This post relates to class because we have talked about children using electronics at a young age.

  2. Brooke Hess said

    People take advantage of what they have for the fear of “what if they lose their source of internet?” More and more, people are becoming afraid of the unknown because all they know is what they have in front of them including; iPads, tablets, smartphones, TV, laptops, you name it. Without these electronics the majority of people, families, kids out there do not know what to do. They lounge around on the couch and when stepping outside, teenagers fail to remember the sun is bright. What has changed over time? Why do people act like this? The evolution of time can only tell what the future has in store for us. Will eye contact with one another even be something we value, or face to face interaction? Psychologists used to be able to study how we interact with a boy or a girl or a group of people and because how much technology has impacted all of our lives, we study how screens affect our eyesight or if addiction can trigger ADD. The biggest question of all is if the new ages of technology is benefitting our society or is it really contributing a negative factor in all of our lives? In class, we’ve had many discussions about how technology has improved over time and everything we can do with it now days. I’m interested to see how may students would prefer not to have it, or at least not as much of it. For me, I catch myself constantly looking at my phone throughout the day or if not that, I’m falling asleep to the t.v. on. I wish days could be involved with less technology but because I have it, I utilize it.

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