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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Media Log: The Rumination

Twice a week I shuffle between classes to edify myself. Seven days a week, I am a media junkie. Each morning I graze on the singsong tones of NPR’s Morning Edition that flutter down into my dreams. Some mornings I listen intently to Steve and Renée, others are marked by a poignant sensation of déjà vu. Cartoons augment Saturday mornings with siblings; days beginning with ‘T’ will feature a silent commute and television in the evening. I’ll listen to the Rick Emerson Show, if time allows, or watch an odd episode of The Office on DVD, but the majority of media devotion belongs to the Internet. The twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth were no exception to this habitude.

I come from a religious family that uses a special brand of DVD player that skips scenes deemed inappropriate. I can count the number of rated R movies I’ve seen on my hands. I received a rather awkward assignment in the past week that involved watching media coverage from a 24-hour news outlet; I don’t have cable. I only have twenty-two MySpace friends, perhaps because I am a late adopter (although I have failed to adopt a trendy iPod at all). I haven’t set my radio to a commercial music station since my family made the leap to country music formats, although I will still listen to my extensive jazz collection when I have work to attend to. I would consider myself a media anomaly.

I have not found the college environment to be a significant variable in my media consumption nearly as much as other factors such as work and social schedules. Even as I write this reflection, I continue to check my RSS feeds for updates and browse Wikipedia between paragraphs. While some assignments provide me with excuses to listen to music, which I would not make otherwise, I would not consider classes to be the most substantial affect on my media consumption. I have noticed that my movie intake has decreased dramatically since I became single again and the corresponding free time has been relegated to other forms of media, primarily electronic entertainments with a slight increase in television engagements (possibly due to a new fall schedule).

I am very much entertainment oriented. Whatever medium, I hate the feeling stagnation that accompanies boredom. There is always some information conduit that can be tapped. Fortunately, most of the entertainment I desire can be procured through a series of tubes if I happen to miss the original broadcast. This applies to my favorite television and radio productions, as well as music, movies, and games if I sought them over peer-to-peer networks. I subscribe to a multitude of feeds through my customized Mozilla Firefox browser so I can be certain to check the latest updates of my favorite sites or avoid looking at outdated sites. I constantly reference various online encyclopedias and dictionaries as references when writing both assignments and weblog postings.

One of the most amazing applications of media is the ability to unite people in a common experience, whether watching a college student get tased, a presidential debate, an anticipated book release, or musical event. With so many diversifying venues to choose from, it becomes more difficult to choose which to invest in. Ultimately it comes down to content, but the medium greatly affects the freshness, which I value. Due to my distractible nature, I find both novels and movies difficult to appreciate without an invested interest. I enjoy the Internet and radio because of their flexibility and rapid responsive to a dynamic world at a pace television and print cannot match. I also find the static nature of most popular music to be restrictive. Reading and television require more resources to process to the fullest extent than both the Internet and radio that better facilitate multitasking and can be enjoyed both passive and actively. The Internet, and the radio to a much smaller extent, can be enjoyed both as an audience member and active participant. I would also afford music some of this comfort, but because I listen to it so infrequently and the prohibitive costs involved in consuming and producing music much less so. I must disclose that my favorite entertainment comes from the television as The Office, which I enjoy enough to schedule my week around. But the episodes are only new once (though always awesome), however, the Internet is almost always accessible and new. I also dislike commercials. And The Office is available online, with deleted scenes. Delicious.

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