Thursday, January 18, 2007

School has started again and it is alread kicking my butt. I had my first paper due today. It only took me two hours to do it. I'm very proud of myself for that. Here is a copy(not like anybody is reading this):

When Media Sneaks Up On You

I have gone over my life with a fine-toothed-comb, and I have found that I am constantly bombarded by media. All kinds of media, and even when I had no idea it was happening. I have carefully and meticulously logged my waking hours to find the sources of this ever-present onslaught, and it was not what I had expected.
I started my fact-finding mission on a cold Friday morning. My alarm went off at 6:30, and I hit the snooze. It went off three more times before I reluctantly rolled out of bed and into a dark shower. While lathering up I remembered that I needed to log the radio that had so rudely woken me from my blissful slumber. My expedition had begun. Every time I turned around, there was something that was trying to engage my attention. My wife was watching Good Morning America and making a glass of Carnation instant breakfast, while I slipped on a U of U hoodie and tied my New Balance sneakers. I limped out to my frozen Civic, turned on NPR, and headed off into the sunrise. By the time I reached the freeway, I could no longer keep track of the barrage of media coming in at me.
Product placement was the largest form of media that I found during my survey. I simply labeled it as “ambient media.” Basically, all that hidden stuff that is so perfectly hidden in plain sight. As I looked around, there was hardly an object that did not have a logo or advertisement on itself. Everywhere I looked, and everybody I talked to.* Even though it is highly unlikely that I would run out and buy a new widget just because I saw John Doe with one on the back of his shirt, that image has been engrained into my brain, ready to be recalled when I see that widget again. Genius! And John probably had to pay through the nose just to get a shirt with the widget on it. In essence, he is paying the widget company to advertise for them. I think I’m in the wrong business.
Another point of revelation came when I reviewed the amount of time I spend in front of a computer. This occurs mainly while I am at work. I use both the Internet and a company Intranet to gather and disseminate information as part of my employment responsibilities. While surfing the World Wide Web, there was rarely a moment when I was not inundated by ads or news of some sort. That was not all to new, but what was interesting was the number of unsolicited ads and company news that came up on our Intranet. I mean, come on; this is a secure location, free from all that junk right? Nope. Just as much electronic garbage as the WWW.
One observation on the other side of the spectrum was my time spent watching the TV. This great altar at which so many people place themselves in front of, looking for entertainment and insight into their world around them. I can’t think of anything worthwhile that I saw in the three and half-hours at the altar over the weekend. I wonder if I have lost faith in the God that I once worshiped to no end. I remember the days when I would spend ten hours watching cartoons, playing video games, and taking in movies. Those days are gone and I think that I am a better person for it. But interestingly enough, my time was still being spent in the pursuit of media, it has only changed forms. Now I spend my free time not at the TV but rather in a newspaper or magazine. I have not distanced myself from a Sprint Mobil ad just because I turned off the TV. I am now imagining the announcer’s voice in my head instead of hearing it over the airwaves.
My life is merely a journey of one media outlet to another. Constant as is the sun raising in the east, I will wake up to an ad for McDonald’s coffee.

Figure 1

Date Media Type
Radio Internet TV Billboard Ambient Print

Friday 1/12/2007 4.5 13 0 2.5 15 2
Saturday 1/13/2007 1 3 1 1 16 6
Sunday 1/14/2007 0 0.25 2.5 0 15 8

Totals 5.5 16.25 3.5 3.5 46 16 90.75

Radio- Pre-Recorded or live audio only.
Internet- Online at the WWW or company intranet.
TV- TV shows watched.
Billboard- Driving time.
Ambient- Media that is going on around me that I am not actively participating in.
Print- Newspapers, Magazines, Junk Mail, etc…