Media Fast, Fast Media – Surviving Media Saturation
The research is flooding in on the effects on a generation and our society of media saturation.
- The Time Paradox
- Media: The Second God
- The Plug in Drug
- Unplugging the Plug-In Drug
- What to Do After You Turn-off the TV
- Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research
- Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18-Year-Olds
- Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention
Many know that my life and career have been focused on the effect of new media on culture, organizations and on the individual human level. I’ve had a growing concern that our media saturation is having a seeping invisible and potentially negative effect on our ability to think in human terms – with empathy toward one another and the level of civility needed to maintain healthy society and even democracy.
As a parent I’m also seeing the strong irresistible pull that on-demand movies, apps for all occasions, Facebook, texting, online games, Podcasts is having on our own kids. Its like they can’t be alone, but in reality that is exactly what is happening in their brains when they are staring into their screens.
In my book, The Millennium Matrix, which came out in 2004 I called this concern “anonymous intimacy.” I ordered a pre-print PDF copy in late December.
In January I enacted a 21 day media fast. During my travels I kept TV and radio off. I did listent to selected Podcasts but for almost the entire time there was no media, no sound. I wasn’t sure if I could maintain it but what I found immediately is that my thinking became clearer and my ability to focus easier. I found I could sustain long periods of thought, reflection and reading. Whereas before I found myself jumping for web hunting, to background music adjustments, to working on a proposal etc., etc.
I feel that Tom is not only raising an important issue for retaining our deeper humanity but also raising a key concern for retaining our vital social dialogue. His suggestions are also practical and straight forward.
If you have ever felt like your day has come and gone in a blur, or find that you turn to media just to have ambient distraction or feel a concern over the loss of civility in our social conversations – please order Tom’s book.
The offical release date is April 1, but you can pre-order a PDF copy (which I’ve downloaded onto my iPad). To find out more about Tom’s book or order the PDF version please link here: Fast Media, Media Fast.
Please let me know what you think – enjoy your media sabbatical.
Here is a presentation by Philip Zimbardo from their research on The Time Paradox some of the effects that new media has on retarding the ability for delayed gratification and the long-term consequences on performance and happiness.
If you take a media fast, let us know what it was like!