It’s a thin line between love and hate

It’s not new when I say I have a love and hate relationship with my media. Everyone does, right? It tests your self-discipline and self-control every day, and when you failed to be productive in real life, when you surfed through social media for hours, when you finished season 3 of Sex Education in two days or when you were focusing too much on taking a picture of your dinner and your outfit rather than enjoying the actual moment, you feel like the worst version of yourself that you didn’t even know existed in the first place. As we learned in class, media is an amplifier. So when it enhances my worst traits to the point that I don’t even recognise myself, not gonna lie it scares me. I get caught up in organising my instagram feed for hours, consuming meaningless tiktoks after youtube videos after pinterest ideas and after that I get into an existential crisis of “Is this what my life has become? I am not living my days to the fullest, instead I consume hours of screen time. Instead I organise my feed and my stories so that I am cooler than this girl and that girl”. And then after each existential meltdowns, I decide to be productive, detox for a while, not use my phone, but then I do it again the next day, and the cycle continues. It’s like binge eating. You deprive yourself from food all day just to binge at night on your guilty pleasures, but then you feel like crap the next day, and so you restrict again, and then binge, and then the guilt follows. Endless mean cycle.

Okay, I promise there is a love part to this post, despite my rant above about how much I hate it at the same time. But I do love it. It’s essentially a creative outlet for me, a space for inspiration besides just connecting with my friends. For example, I am a big foodie. I love cooking and baking. I love getting inspirations from pinterest, from chefs on their instagrams, from college students who share their every day eats like me. I love following aesthetically pleasing people – as weird as this sentence sounds – and looking at their pictures, and how they transform the most mundane moments into essentially an aesthetic piece of photography/art. I also love Facetime and Whatsapp, two very underpraised platforms of media in my opinion, when they let you be as close to your loved ones as one can imagine even if thousands of miles away. It’s brilliant!

In conclusion, I think my hate towards media comes from me being a control freak, so when I lose control over my media consumption, and feel like it takes control over me, I hate it. I feel weak and defeated. But when I think about the creativity and connection aspect of it, I love it. It’s a love and hate relationship with media and there is a thin line…

UvA ID: 12848409

Published by Media Love

Website dedicated to the Media Love project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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