In today's society almost everyone is connected to some type of media whether they realize it or not. Media goes far beyond the typical computers, television, radio, or newspapers. In fact, media spans from photography and video gaming to cars, planes, busses and washing machines and vacuums. When challenged to deprive myself from media for 8 straight hours, my first thought was that it was going to be impossible. Although it was hard at first to completely cut myself off of what was so predominant in my life, it was in fact possible.
My first hour of the deprivation started around one o'clock in the afternoon. To start things off my boyfriend, Chris, and I made ourselves a delicious lunch. We made ham and turkey sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes on a toasted whole wheat bread with honey mustard to add a little bit of a tang to it all. Chris also made me caramel dark hot chocolate in his fancy Keurig coffee maker. After we had sat down and finished our lunch we walked to a nearby park, or at least I thought it was nearby when I was able to drive my car. It turns out that what usually takes only about ten minutes driving ends up being about a half an hour walking.
During our walk to Perinton Park, we played a game called yellow car. The objective if this game is to call out "yellow car" whenever you see one passing in the street, parked in a driveway or parking lot or wherever one may be. The rules to this game are that you cannot call the car if it is a company car, if the car is a yellow punch buggy then it counts as two cars, and if you call a car that is not yellow, is a company car, or the car has been called by someone else, you lose a point. At the end of the day whoever has the most points wins! Although it is rather hard to learn all the rules and to pick up all the yellow cars, it is a fun way to entertain yourself and to pass the time while walking.
Within my first hour of the media deprivation my emotions were not any different than they were before I stared. Although my phone had been turned off for nearly an hour, I really had no feeling to check it or to turn it on to see what was happening with my friends or family. I had no feelings of anxiety or boredom like I predicted that I would. I as actually feeling pretty good and was having a fun time.
When we finally got to the park we sat down on one of my favorite yellow swinging benches and Chris drew a really amazing design. For about forty-five minutes I sat in awe and watched him make swirling, elegant lines. He made nearly perfect circles in orange and green that were transformed into multiple peace signs. Zig-zags of blues and purples, random shapes that poured onto the paper from his mind had me mesmerized. We talked of course while he was drawing, but mostly of little things like what my work schedule was or what days he had to work. We talked about school and our parents, about the crap that people deal with when they are friends with certain people. I would look up from his paper filled with color and inspiration and see an old married couple walking down the canal path holding hands and walking their little old dog. I would see a little boy of maybe 8 or 9 riding his bike with confidence, right behind him was his father on his own bicycle. What i saw reminded me of those old commercials for Kodak where it the announcer said it was a "Kodak moment." To me, the scene that was playing out in the park was my very own Kodak moment with all types of people brought together though one common interest, this park.
For those forty-five minutes I was still not feeling deprived from the media that always surrounds me. I did not care that my phone was off and in my pocket instead of being in my hand with Facebook constantly up. I did not feel like I was missing out on what was going on in the world around me. When I was sitting on that swinging bench observing the people around me and watching Chris draw, I can honestly say that I was...
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