Evaluting My Media Detox

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Tareq Mohamed                                   MCS101: Assignment 4                     May 19th, 2014

Putting Down the Devices, and Looking Up

A 1-day media detox


Today, the Internet grants us access to vast amounts of information, whenever we want, wherever we want. However with this access, come constant distractions and interruptions, which may have a bigger negative impact on us than we think. But just the idea of sitting down and contemplating the effects of the Internet on us has become near impossible. Thus by abstaining from all types of mass media, which include:

1) Broadcast Media: film, television, radio, and recorded music

2) Digital Media: computer, mobile, iPad, gaming consoles, and

                                             the Internet

3) Print Media: newspapers, magazines, books, and comics

4) Outdoor Media: billboards and posters,

for 24 hours, and then re-immersing myself back into my media-filled life, I was able to evaluate and understand the extent of impact the Internet has had on my life. This essay will look into how the Internet has changed the way our brains’ function, the fear of missing out, and whether or not there is too much advertisement.


On Saturday 19th of April, I cooked breakfast, walked the dogs, exercised, and went for swim with my friends. This was the first and last time I did any of these activities during my Easter Break. If it weren’t for the media fast, I would have probably just be watching television and eating junk food all day long. And the strange thing is I would be watching TV not for the sake of entertainment but just to pass the time.

         While doing all these activities, I always wanted to use ‘Google’. We as a society have become extremely dependent on it that we no longer commit to storing information nor do we remember the skills we have just learned (Carr, 2010). We started using Google, and the Internet as a whole, as secondary storage for our brains, and anything that we think isn’t essential to our survival gets stored on the World Wide Web. For instance every time I cook an egg, I have to Google it, because my brain doesn’t need to store that information, if I can just look it up in mere seconds.  And because Google is right at our fingertips, we use it to answer every question that comes to our minds.  I later found out that4, I did an average of 76-101 searches each day in the month of April.

Moreover, for the past few years, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing the web consuming terabytes of information and also adding to the database of the Internet. In 1960, media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out that media does not only supply the stuff of thought but also shapes the process of thought (Carr, 2008). It appears that my excessive use of the Internet has actually chipped away my capacity to concentrate and contemplate.

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By being constantly distracted by emails, texts, television, social networks, and notifications, we understand less than those who are able to concentrate (Carr, 2010). I used to go to the library to avoid distractions, but now I have to carry with me my computer, which is also my biggest distraction. It seems like there is no way to avoid distractions, except than turning everything and just locking them in the drawer.

While the Internet has restored reading and writing as central activities in our culture, it has also changed how we read and write completely (Shirky, 2010). Most of the ...

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