I have an addiction. It’s not obvious to everyone, just those who know me best. Lucky for me, this addiction is neither illegal nor disouraged. In fact, billions of dollars every year are spent on helping people like me stay hooked. The addiction has gotten so bad, that it’s hard for me to even imagine life without this substance. What is this substance? Media.
Every day, the average American will consume over 10 hours of media, 7.5 of which is uninterrupted (meaning no multi-tasking) according to a recent Kasier Family Foundation Study. This includes things like TV, movies, music, print stuff, internet surfing, and video games. Isn’t that crazy?! Almost 1/3rd of our day is devoted to media consumption.
My personal weakness resides in a little square touch screen in my pocket. My iPhone gives me immediate access to the latest fantasy football updates, my email, Youtube videos, Angry Birds, and all of my music. With the literal touch of my finger, I can spend hours flipping through different apps or surfing the web. My addiction can be so bad, that when I visit relatives in another state who I haven’t seen in several months, I will still spend most of my time on my phone.
So 10 Days Without Media is a personal detox as I attempt to free myself from media’s strangle hold on my life. It’s also an opportunity to talk about all of the ideas we come across in every movie, TV show, song, advertisement, or video game that we consume. These ideas have consequences, and by taking a step back we can equip ourselves to interact with them wisely.
During the next 10 days I will not consume or participate in any movies, TV (yes, even sports), music, video games, social media sites, web browsing, magazines, or advertisements (that I can help). I will only use my phone for work-related phone calls, and will only use email during work hours. I will not even post blogs this week, my wife will be doing that for me. For the next 10 days I’m going dark, and I’d love it if you would join me.
Featured organization for 10 Days Without Media: CPYU is an organization that helps bridge the gap between parents and teenagers in regards to culture. They exist to help people like me think through the ideas that we see in the media we consume. Check out their website and consider signing up for their eNewsletter. Also, if you want to support them financially you may click here.
The 10 Days Without Media Challenge: consider joining me by turning off the TV or your iPod for a couple of days. What if you replaced one of the 7.5 hours you spend consuming media with writing, learning an instrument, or mastering another language? What is a dream of yours that always seems to be just out of your reach because you don’t have enough time? Consider spending one hour a day focussing on making that dream a goal, and that goal a reality.
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