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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Unplugged: Social Media and Screen Detox

Over this past weekend, I had to do a “no screen day challenge” for a class. For 24 hours I was not allowed to use social media or any technology for any reason other than phone calls. At first I thought the challenge would be somewhat difficult for most people, but after taking an internet addiction test and realizing I was barely “addicted” to the internet, I figured it should not be too hard for me. Then again, I chose to do it on Cinco de Mayo weekend when I knew I would be extremely busy, and probably would not have been on my phone much anyway. I also had a friend coming to stay with me, who is someone that can leave his phone off for the entire weekend and not care at all about media and communication (which he did!).

I started at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. On this day, I went to a food truck festival and walked around the Seaport District. I suppose it was a bit frustrating knowing I could not take pictures of a gorgeous day (or gorgeous food), but I slightly got around that by having my friend take the pictures instead. At one point we needed to go to an ATM, and our options were to either look up Bank of America on our phones or wander the streets of Boston until we found one. Although there is a Bank of America on every corner basically, it was more efficient to look one up right away (which I also just had my friend do).

That evening, we ended up going to a party. I think the hardest part of the challenge was knowing I could not update my Snapchat story with funny videos of my friends, but when I thought about it more, most of my Snapchat friends were not really “missing out” on a video of someone they do not even know. The second difficulty I had was finding rides to and from the party. I did not call the Uber there, but by the end of the night I ended up having to cheat and call one home. When it came down to it, I knew I probably could have called a taxi, but I did not think this challenge was worth the money it costs for a taxi.

I thought I was addicted to media, but I learned that I am not nearly as addicted as I thought I was. It did not bother me that I could not go on social media or watch TV, but the convenience factor of not being able to use maps or call an Uber were more frustrating. I definitely think that if this were a weekend that I was not spending time with a friend I never see and just sitting doing nothing, I would have been really bored, especially because I enjoy watching YouTube videos.

With the way society is using media, though, it is somewhat disappointing to see a lot of people seriously relying on their phones. I try my best to not use a GPS when I drive because highways give directions just as good, in my opinion. When I really sat and thought about it, no one really cared whether I posted a picture or video or not, so is our society really saturated with media? Then again, I mindlessly scroll through people’s stories and photos just as much as the next person.

Overall, the difficulty of this challenge was a 3/10 for me, with 10 being the most difficult. I realized it would not make a difference whether we had social media or not. But, I appreciate the convenience of being able to order Ubers and using maps if I need to on the go.