old ways (“ normal ”) W r i t i n g

old ways (“ normal ”) W r i t i n g

300 words minimum

There is no way I’ll ever know whether you actually did this or not. This is based upon your word and integrity. I would urge you to actually do this. It may be the only time you will ever be asked to do this. You are being rewarded to do it. Give it a try to truly see how much media is enmeshed in your life.

You must stop watching television/videos, stop listening to the radio/subscription music and stop gaming for TWO DAYS (48 hours straight—you cannot divide up the days and do them separately.) This means: No online audio services like Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, etc. No DVDs played on your television. But also, no watching movies or television series online (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) No DVDs on your computer, either. NO AUDIO or TELEVISION/VIDEO CONTENT OF ANY KIND on any screen or smart device EXCEPT, OF COURSE, FOR ASSIGNED CONTENT FOR CLASSES OR WORK. You can still use your computer for email and work, but not for entertainment video/audio/gaming.


Simply changing your routine viewing behavior will not have a lasting impact unless you take some time to reflect upon the meaning of it. This brings us to the second part of the assignment. CUT-AND-PASTE these four questions into a document and submit your answers to CANVAS. You paper shouldn’t be longer than two pages total.

1. Was it easy or difficult for you to break away from radio/television/gaming/media? Why or why not? What did you learn about your consumption habits? Describe the media or radio-listening/television-viewing (addicted) culture in the U.S. How did it feel to be purposely “disconnected” from these the media-focused culture? Why is it that we refrain from over indulging but we rarely consider media consumption an over indulgence?

2. What did you do with the “empty” non-listening-watching-playing? Did you seek out interactions with other people or simply consume different digital content on your computer? Be sure and describe how not consuming media affected your other life habits (eating, socializing with family and friends, news gathering, etc.)

3. Describe your interaction with other people during this assignment. How did people treat you because you were actively removing yourself from the mainstream? What was it like to interact (or not interact) with people based upon viewing/consuming (as opposed to other reasons: race, gender, class, etc.) What did you learn about our mediated culture? Briefly describe the media-using culture and what it is like to attempt to avoid that culture or become a member of a non-consuming culture.

4. Have your consumption habits been altered by the experience? That is, did you (will you) go back to the old ways (“normal”) or will you become more reflective and selective (a loaded question, to be sure)?

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