Reading Response: Media Avoidance
March 12, 2013
When I was first presented with the challenge of media avoidance for a day, it seemed like a relatively simple and feasible task. However, it soon became clear that it was far more difficult than I had anticipated. For twenty-four hours I lived in the “black out world” that McLuhan discusses in his work and I did not enjoy it at all. Throughout the day, I struggled with not being able to log onto Facebook, which left me feeling utterly disconnected from the world I normally indulge in and have come to depend on in many ways. I was overwhelmed with feelings of stress and anxiety that I was being excluded from conversations with my friends, or missing out on something. The time seemed to drag on, as I could not relax or find anything to occupy my free time because I was too consumed with the fact that Facebook was temporarily inaccessible to me. Prior to this exercise, I did not recognize that Facebook was such an integral part of my everyday life. I had completely internalized it and, actually, not given it a second thought until it was gone. McLuhan is completely accurate in his statement claiming, “societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication” (McLuhan, 25). I was still able to connect with people but, without Facebook as an interface, my usual communication patterns were altered. I came to the realization that Facebook is truly an extension of my entire mind as Mcluhan states, “ All Media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical” (Mcluhan, 26). I felt totally lost without it and I was itching for the day to be over so that I could use it once again.
On the other hand, this experiment showed me that there are some forms of media that are not as essential as I previously believed. For example, where I normally would have been on my computer as part of my daily routine, I had no problem getting through the day without checking my emails or watching the latest entertainment gossip. Even once I turned my computer back on, I…