Archive | September, 2011

Time Out from Mass Media

28 Sep

The word mass means many. Solitary means one. Without the use of mass media, I lived in a world of solitude. Okay, this might be a little dramatic, but without mass media I did feel the effects of being cut off from the world for a short time.

After living two days without mass media I realized a few every interesting observations. One being my life is much more dependent on mass media than I had thought it was.

I took so many different things for granted that even losing these medias, for a period as short as two days, was a little bit of a shell shock.

Another observation was that after taking away mass media my reliance on others for information increased exponentially. Most surprisingly I found that I get sick of my own thoughts quite fast. Solitary confinement is not for me.    

With all the time I had recently accumulated from not being on Facebook or tweeting my every move, I took the time to think about myself. The thoughts that I had come up with related right back to mass media. A viscous circle, huh?

Throughout this time, I found myself very comparable to the baby in this E*Trade commercial.


The baby is in time out, which I am too kind of, from mass media anyways. He has an iPad to do his E*Trading, but after that is taken away he is left with his smart phone and his thoughts. Just like me!

Without using mass media, I still had all the technology I am accustomed to, but they are much less useful without the mass media aspect.

A computer without Facebook is not a useful computer at all. Yes, you can type on it or make a PowerPoint, but I don’t really care for those things. I want to see who is in a relationship or the pictures from the tailgate.

Being without facebook or twitter I took for granted the information I could easily acquire. Twitter is my primary news source for celebrity gossip, breaking news and even events on campus.

There were multiple times where I had taken out my phone to check twitter and had to restrain myself from the urge. It is such an ingrained automatic response to the need for information.

Even mundane things were made more difficult without mass media. The first thing I do before I get out of bed is check my phone for the daily weather email.

This mass email of the forecast is what I base my getting ready for the day off of. If I do not know the weather, what will I wear? Pants, shorts, sweater, dress? I would have to physically go outside and check the temperature and use my best meteorologist skills to predict what will happen the rest of the day. Not having access to the weather like I always do actually threw me off.

When I was deprived of information like the weather, I found myself looking to friends to fill me in. I had to ask friends things like what had happen on a TV show from the previous night or what the tweet I was tagged in said. I did not like that I had to rely on others so greatly. It made me feel out of the know and quite frankly a little bit lost.

Every time I went for a form of entertainment I was shot down. Magazines were a no, watching TV is mass media plus hundreds of commercials so a huge no, Facebook and twitter are obviously not allowed and basically opening my eyes was not allowed.

Looking around campus it was hard to not catch a glimpse of mass media. Walls are covered in posters and flyers. Students walk around in clothing with brand names all over them. There is music playing in some hall ways. Mass media is so prevalent everywhere and so hard to fully avoid, that staying away seemed to be more work that using it.

Wandering around lost in my own head, deprived of information, I did not have much to think about. I did a lot of complaining to myself for two days, that’s for sure. I was getting annoyed even with myself.

So for two whole days, 48 hours, 2880 minutes I was left alone to my thoughts. I was in time out from mass media, just a girl alone with her smart phone, minus twitter, facebook, mass emails and the internet apps.


It’s All About Me #MassCommunicationsProbz

28 Sep

Is it necessary to check your twitter 27 times in one day? To tweet 8 times? To check your Facebook 15 times or go through 2 full pages of the blog Bad Advice From My Brother? When forced to keep track of my mass media consumption I was surprised to how much I use mass media to talk about me!

I have never really thought of myself as a conceded person. I’ll give myself a pat on the back every now and then, but recording my mass media usage for two days made me realize how I use mass media selfishly. 

I broke down that media into two different groups, the kind of mass communication that involves an exchange (hopefully about me) and the kind that is collecting information (hopefully interesting to me).

In my log of mass media usage, I used several types of media in which I collected information from. My texts books, magazines, advertisements on walls or signs, The Towerlight, blogs, ads on food or clothes and TV were all mass medias I repeatedly used.

When using these media, I found myself skimming through information or only giving half my attention. Only really listening in when it related to my life or interests.

Finding information relevant to your own wants and needs makes scene. A person could not possibly retain all the information there is to collect. Making personal interest a way to weed through media helps the user find the information that will best fit their needs.


-Sorry, you won’t find me in there Towerlight readers.


I opened a Towerlight to look at pictures from an event; I was not in any of them so I stopped reading the paper. The magazine I was looking through did not have any tips for blondes, so I was over it.

Both cases I put on own interests to the prioritize the information I wanted. It just seems a tad vein to truly not care what else there might be happening besides my interests. So I would suggest brunettes not asking me for hair advice, because I didn’t read it.

Mass communications which involved an exchange of information held my attention for much longer than just informative communication.

For example, I read People Magazine once for 35 minutes but I spent a total of three and a half hours on Facebook in two days. There is a thrill about checking Facebook to see if you have any notifications.

Basically, I enjoy other people paying attention to me. While posting a status might be a nice way to inform friends of your thoughts or activities, it’s secretly a way to get as many people to like it as possible.someone does have to be the one leaving me these notifications!

I may not be the only one getting a thrill out of social networking though, according to the website, Social Media Examiner , 22% of time spend on the internet is on social networking sites. Proving my point that people, myself included, want the back and forth exchange of attention social media provides.

Twitter is a very similar effect. I do enjoy catching up on 140 characters worth of friends or celebrities lives, but the main reason I tweet is to try and get more people to follow me. I love checking my followers (follow me @molllybabcock).

It is a rush when signing on and seeing that the followers number has gone up by two. Is like a win, in life. People want to read about me!

Getting retweeted is even better. It’s always a goal of my tweets to be retweeted by a faithful admirer…. I mean follower.

In a sence, media is all about the feelings it gives you. If Facebook notifications get you excited, you are more apt to stay on Facebook over reading a textbook of facts that don’t make you feel any better than not reading the textbook. I want to make myself happy and I am going to use the media that does that for me.

Focusing in on how different forms of mass media effected how I used them was interesting. I really saw that when media gives a user the opportunity to participate, how much more inclined someone like me or society in general could be more intrigued by that mass media.

And as a disclaimer, I am really not that conceded, I just like to exaggerate.

The Evolution of Media History: From Writing on Walls to Writing on Walls?

8 Sep



Sometimes I am really puzzled as to how people survived without their cell phones or facebook. Is it even possible to coordinate meeting with someone without a device that instantly contacts the person? While I am not ignorant to the fact that people did survive and people did communicate, I truly do not comprehend how different that communication must have been.

    The film “Media History: The story of film, TV and media” really made me think about how media has evolved into what it is today. Lets starts at the beginning. Since civilization started people have communicated verbally. Ok, understandable. These early civilization people’s only difference was that their conversation had to occur within ear shot of each other. Still, understandable. Around the house, or in a room this would be the acceptable method of communication even today. There was definitely no texting across the room to tell a friend how ugly a classmate’s skirt is or how you could really go for a latte right now, but society could really do without that anyways.

Another aspect that helps me to understand how these early civilizations managed without their blackberry instant messengers is that everyone lived close together. The people did not have to worry about family members across the country or a friend living forty five minutes away. People knew they would see each other soon, if not already always with each other. All in all, early civilizations stuck in the writing and oral period is something I can fathom surviving under and as time goes on things start to get even trickier.

As people moved apart from each other and become more advanced societies, communication must have become so much more difficult. I would image without better communication, people would not be able to expand. Somehow the human race did with only their oral and written communication methods.

Moving right along through the film and history, the world of media moved into the wired period. Not until the mid 15th century was there any change in communication methods. During the 15th century was where the telegraph was invented. The film describes this period a quick crucial change and “almost magic”! I believe this was magic for the time. The world went from having to wait weeks or months of back and forth letters to explain how your new shoes fit, to have instant ability to relay messages. Maybe at first messages not as medial as the sizing of footwear, but none the less, people at a distance from each could communicate and instantly at that.

With communication becoming more efficient, the relay of information becomes more trivial in my eyes. The radio allows for mass communication. Regional audiences can now tune off the breaking news station and tune into soap operas to find out if William’s fictionally sick fictional son with make it through the night. It is hard to imagine life without these entertainment sources.

Before radio or TV shows, how did people really have to entertain themselves? How many times can you really sit around and hear about what your father did at work today? It’s the same job every day; there is no action or drama involved there.  I know my dad has never once came home to tell me that single Ronnie got wasted in the club and had a three way kiss.

For me, growing up with access to a hundred different shows has desensitized me to the entertainment value of pure conversation. I just do not see how people could possibly not be bored all the time without the thrill of a good drama to spice up daily life.

As time continues people’s lives are starting to be comparable to lives now, but a few curial points make me wonder HOW DID THEY LIVE LIKE THAT??? In order for people to converse, they had to use a phone, one that plugs into a wall and has a cord keeping you close to that wall. So if I were to tell a friend meet myself at the mall at 4, that friend would than meet me at the mall at 4.

A number of things come to mind now. That friend who is meeting me would have to find me in the mall. In order to find each other we would have to discuss numerous details in our phone conversation that takes place in a two foot radius of our separate phones attached to our separate walls prior to leaving for the mall. If something changed in plans after one of us has left, do we just wonder aimlessly around a mall in search of each other? I just cannot imagine the amount of work it must have taken to organize a rendezvous.

As for this phone business, did people really always have to call each other? If this were the case now, I would be a hermit. Calling someone on the phone can be scary. Before texting, people actually had to use their voice to talk to each other and there was no 5 minute window to discuss and debate with friends about best, most witty response back to each statement. It was all on the spot. People years ago must have had some serious courage because most people I  today would not go around calling each other.

The task of having to call all of your friends to keep in contact with them even seems like a hassle. Facebook has made it so that in order to keep tabs on all your friends all you have to do is clicks and scroll around. Actually having to visit your friends individually sounds like a full time job. Before facebook people must have had a lot fewer friends.

When thinking about the past, I never really processed how a normal person would have to communicate. The movie made me seriously think about how communication has changed and how people had to communicate with each other. I still can’t imagine living in a time without a cell phone, email, facebook or anything I have now. I have much more respect now for the ancient civilizations that actually had to take a rock and carve on a friend’s cave wall to say happy birthday.