My addiction is to the media – I can’t live without my cellphone, my facebook friends and if you don’t hook me up, I’ll “die”.
Could you go 24 hours without any media ? Media being defined as cell phone, internet, TV, radio …………..
The International Centre for Media & Public Agenda at the University of Maryland asked around 1000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all media for 24 hours. Then recorded the experiences of the participants.
Most students from all countries failed to go the full 24 hours without media, and they all used virtually the same words to describe their reactions, including: Fretful, Confused, Anxious, Irritable, Insecure, Nervous, Restless, Crazy, Addicted, Panicked, Jealous, Angry, Lonely, Dependent, Depressed, Jittery and Paranoid.
If you are under 25, it doesn’t matter if you live in the U.S., Chile or China, Slovakia, Mexico or Lebanon: you not only can’t imagine life without your cell phone, laptop and mp3 player, you can’t function without them.
NOTE : The study picked on under 25s but I suspect there are a lot of over 25s in the same boat. Me included !
Comments and thoughts from the “ addicted”……
“I can say without exaggeration, I was almost freaking out.” – China
“Sometimes I felt ‘dead.” – Argentina
“I felt sad, lonely and depressed.” – Slovakia
“I felt like there was a problem with me,” – Uganda
“Because I became so addicted, I have less time for my studies and face-to-face meetings with my friends.” – Hong Kong
“Five hours in and my typically relaxed Sunday has had the adverse effect. Raised heart rate, increased anxiety. I’m panicking not knowing what is going on in not just the outside world but also my world. My friends, my family, my life.” – UK
“I felt like a helpless man on a lonely deserted island in the big ocean.” – China
“After a while I missed holding my cell phone so much that I actually left my battery in my bag and held my phone in my hand. It is almost like a comfort to hold and just know it was there.” — USA
Most of the students participating in the study were a little surprised at just how much the media dominated their lives.
Should you unplug yourself ?
Hell no. But as with most things in life…………… aim for balance. Why not see how you would cope with a 24 hour media fast.
If you’re already sure, 24 hours is way too long, try for a few hours every day or once a week, use the unplugged time to reconnect with yourself.
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..