Consumption Habits


You must stop watching television and listening to the radio for THREE DAYS (72 hours straight—you cannot divide up the days and do them separately.) This means: No online audio services like Spotify, Pandora, etc. (if you want to play music you own, that’s fine). No DVDs played on your television. No watching television series online. No DVDs on your computer. NO TELEVISION CONTENT OF ANY KIND on any screen or smart device EXCEPT, OF COURSE, FOR ASSIGNED CONTENT/VIDEOS FOR THIS CLASS. You can still game but it has to be on your computer—NOT your television screen with any device. You CANNOT watch television shows online either (no binge-watching back episodes of television programs).


Simply changing your routine viewing behavior will not have a lasting impact unless you take some time to reflect upon the meaning of it. This brings us to the second part of the assignment. CUT-AND-PASTE these four questions into a document and submit your answers to CANVAS. You paper shouldn’t be longer than two pages total.

1. Was it easy or difficult for you to break away from radio/television/media? Why or why not? What did you learn about your consumption habits? Describe the media or radio-listening/television-viewing (addicted) culture in the U.S. How did it feel to be purposely “disconnected” from these the media-focused culture?

2. What did you do with the empty non-listening-watching? Did you seek out interactions with other people or simply consume different media (computer, CDs, etc.) Be sure and describe how not consuming media affected your other life habits (eating, socializing with family and friends, news gathering, etc.)

3. Describe your interaction with other people during this assignment. How did people treat you because you were actively removing yourself from the mainstream? What was it like to interact (or not interact) with people based upon viewing/consuming (as opposed to other reasons: race, gender, class, etc.) What did you learn about our mediated culture? Briefly describe the media-using culture and what it is like to attempt to avoid that culture or become a member of a non-consuming culture.

4. Have your consumption habits been altered by the experience? That is, did you (will you) go back to the old ways (“normal”) or will you become more reflective and selective (a loaded question, to be sure)?

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