Yvonne’s Weblog



A world without media…

“The media and everyday life have become so closely interwoven that they are almost inseperable” (Abercrombie and Longhurst 1998).

 We participate in media every day, whether we listen to the radio as we eat our cereal, read a newspaper at lunchtime or watch Eastenders at teatime.  Don’t forget checking your Facebook account while you’re supposed to be doing work.  The media shapes our day and whether we realise it or not, we are a constant audience for the media.  The internet provides us with access to anything we could need, from news to chat rooms and online shopping, everything is accessible online now.  This theory was tested to it’s limits when Mitch Maddox decided to become DotComGuy in 2000, electing to spend a year of his life without leaving the house, instead relying on the internet for everything he needed.  He quit his job and cut himself off from the outside world, except for communicating through his webcam and online messaging services, and spent a whole year at his computer.  As DotComGuy says himself, “E-commerce can provide anything you could ask for, and you’d never have to leave the house” (DotComGuy.com, 2000).   His experiment worked and he managed to prove that “a lifestyle that corresponded to a new way of consuming” was possible (Andrejevic 2004). 

 This idea of a life centred solely around media got me wondering if it would be possible to reverse DotComGuy’s experiment and instead live for a set amount of time without any access to media.  Obviously I don’t have a year to kill, but instead have challenged myself (and roped my flatmate in too) to go for 3 days without media.  No television, no text messaging, no Heat magazine and definitely no internet.  The only loophole is that we are allowing ourselves to read textbooks, but that is all.  I expect that we will find it difficult at first, with absolutely no access to media, but I think that I can prove that, on the small scale at least, we can go against the tide and refuse to be part of the audience for a few days.

Sources used:

Andrejevic, M. (2004) cited in Cauldry, N. (2005) ‘The extended Audience: Scanning The Horizon’ in M. Gillespie (ed) Media Audiences: Open University.

Cauldry, N. (2005) ‘The Extended Audience: Scanning The Horizon’ in M. Gillespie (ed) Media Audiences: Open University.

 http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2001/01/40940 accessed 3.1.08.

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Comments

  1. * fran06 says:

    Really pleased to here you have given up reading heat magazine for at least 3 days yvonne its a start I guess hehe!

    I am interested to know whether your experiment worked, Sorry to be sceptical but im assuming it probably didnt if you left the realms of your house within those few days. I beleive it is totally impossible to escape the media in contempoary cities or any built up area really, assuming of course you werent blindfolded. To walk through the streets of york being uninfluenced by media, im sure is quite improbable due to the issue that the media really does seem to have us surrounded, swamping our island via signs, advertisments and paraphernalia, the media really does seem to have all angles of our existance covered.
    Its a great experiment though i’d be interested to know how you got on.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  2. * fran06 says:

    Dot com guys experiment, reminds me of E.M.Forster’s short story ‘The machine stops’.
    Whereby Forster envisaged a time in which humanbeings would become totally controlled by the invention of the machine, ultimately eradicating any need for human contact, everything within the controls of the machine could be accessed via the click of a button. It would seem dot com guys experiment has proven such a time is nearly upon us.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago


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