Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Taming Media Horses

This magazine assignment, which I finished last week, got me thinking about how much time I waste every week on low return investments online or on TV. The article's  focus was on how to rein in and control the consumption of media within the personal or family structure. How do you deal with the ever present access to information and entertainment that comes with smart phones, ipads, cable or satellite television and the like? Do we even realize how dependent we are on our precious devices? Do we know how corrupting this dependence on media is or worse yet, how damaging the seedy side of the Internet can be if abused? I got to thinking that while I use the Internet each day for my work, I could probably cut back on my consumption and that would be a good thing.

Then my phone froze while enjoying on one of my "favorite" mind numbing time wasters, Temple Run 2. If you are not familiar with the game, it entails leading an Indiana Jones type character on an endless run through jungle obstacles while trying to collect coins and other artifacts. I say endless, because you NEVER win. You rack up as high a score as possible before you die. But wait. You can save yourself and rack up even more points by spending the gems you have collected! Sweet right? OK, I admit I have had some fun with it, but it had gotten out of hand as I racked up over 200 gems and 250,000 coins on my way to level nine. I had spent coins on all the upgrades and had collected most of the bonus objects offered. I had different characters and had earned different hats they could wear. Then BAM! My phone froze while in the game. No problem right, these phones are smart. Just reboot and all is well. Not so fast. I went back into the game with some annoyance and was horrified to find that everything had been reset to ZERO! I threw the phone down on the floor and stomped it to bits. OK, not really, but I did mentally destroy the stupid thing. Then I thought about it and realized this was the perfect opportunity to simply give up the game. So I did. Haven't played it since and I have not missed it. On the contrary, I no longer have to worry about whether or not I completed the daily challenge or wonder what the next one will be. No more frustration when the game buffers and I slide off the end of the bridge and die. No great loss.

So, a small thing you say? Sure, but it was a catalyst and now I am thinking about other ways I waste time and the next obvious time suck is Facebook. Given that I use it quite a bit to promote my work and enjoy keeping up with other artists and friends, I am not intending to give it up completely, but it's time to go on a bit of a Facebook diet I think. Face to face interaction with real people is so much more rewarding anyway. What time suck would you be willing to give up?

1 comment:

Amy said...

Enjoyed your thoughts...and the illustration! It is wonderful how freeing it is to take a break from all of those little time wasters. I have cut back on my media time, and I am enjoying life more. Timely reminder.