Unplugging Your Life
Living without the Media
Are you a media addict who would go mad after two hours without TV, friend requests, exciting online games and your mobile— or would you easily survive?
Recently, university students around the world were asked to volunteer in a global experiment called Unplugged. It was designed to see how young people would react if they were asked to observe a total media ban by unplugging all forms of media devices for 24 hours.
Unplugged is being run by Dr Roman Gerodimos, a lecturer in Communication and Journalism at Bournemouth University. The experiment is now over but he doesn't yet know the full findings.
However, during the experiment, Dr Gerodimos said there were already signs of how much the exercise affected volunteers. He said: "They're reporting withdrawal symptoms, overeating, feeling nervous, isolated and disconnected."
During their 24-hour ordeal, three of the experiment's guinea pigs had to endure one intrusion from the media: a BBC reporter plus cameraman who followed them around for the day. They were asked to write down 100 lines about their day offline, but of course, they all waited until the next day when they had access to their laptops.
Elliot Day wrote: "Today, my whole morning routine was thrown up into the air. Despite being aware of the social importance of the media, I was surprised by how empty my life felt without the radio or newspapers."
From Caroline Scott, we read: "I didn't expect it, but being deprived of the media for 24 hours resulted in my day-to-day activities becoming so much harder to carry out than usual… I didn't break out in a cold sweat like our lecturer expected us all to, but it's not something I would like to do again!"
And Charlotte Gay wrote: "I have to say the most difficult item for me to be without has been my mobile; not only is it a social gadget, it's my main access point of communication."
Earlier in the year, a UK government study found that in the UK we spend about half our waking hours using the media, often plugged into several things at once. And a recent study by Nielson found that on average, US teenagers send and receive over 3,000 texts per month – that's about six texts per waking hour.
So, with technology continuing to develop at an alarming rate, how much time will you set aside for sleep in the future?
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