The Media Deprivation Assignment


Taylor Ewald, Reporter

Could you stay away from all media for 24 hours? Yes, all media in all its forms- internet, phone, email, book, you name it, and you cannot have it. What would I do for that 24 hour time period living life unconnected from the world? I have no clue whatsoever. On the surface, it seems like a difficult task.

What do most of us do while we wait for class to begin? Go on our phone. What do most of us do when we wake up in the morning? Go on our phone. What do most of us do while we’re in the bathroom? Go on our phone. (Admit it, you’ve done it too). This media deprivation experience may not be fun, but it will be eye-opening.

Now I’m not just doing this to deprive myself of joy for the fun of it. Going 24 hours without any media is an assignment for my Public Relations class taught by Instructor Melissa Lemke-Elznic at Northeast Community College. When asked why she gives this assignment to students each spring in her class, Lemke-Elznic says “We are attached to our phones, they have literally become appendages. So, what if we took them away?”

A public relations class is the perfect opportunity to reset from media and all it’s evil habits you acquire while using it.  According to Lemke-Elznic, “Public Relations is media… media is technology… to be successful in public relations you need media and vice versa. Imagine no commercials, no ads, no news reports, no PSA’s. How would you get your information, how long would it take, would it be too late?”

That’s what is so extraordinary about media. We know what’s happening in this huge world of ours. We can connect with anyone, anywhere we are. I’ve learned so much from just simple Google searches and could bore you for days with all the random facts I’ve acquired through the search engine. However, everyone knows that technology and the media in all its forms have taken over our daily lives. Our society is obsessed and it really is a bigger problem than most of us probably realize.

Would we survive without media? Lemke-Elznic thinks, “Yes, but we don’t think so at the time. I think this assignment, if taken seriously, could really allow a person to “reset.” Don’t we all wish we could have a “reset” button in life?

Think about this for a moment: when was the last time you drove to school in complete silence? Have you ever tried talking to that guy that sits next to you in history class all semester and you STILL don’t know his name? When was the last time you asked your dad how his day was?

It is about time we start living in this world and not the virtual one. Who knows what experiences you’ll have or people you’ll meet once you start. The media is great, but I’m looking forward to experiencing my life without all of technology’s distractions.

Even if you’re not in Public Relations class with Melissa Lemke-Elznic, I encourage you to go without media for 24 hours and just enjoy life’s simple pleasures for once.