For some reason, the past has always been so fascinating to me. One aspect about media that I love is their ability to capture moments and freeze them in time. Whether it’s looking at photos of my grandmother when she was my age, browsing through old newspapers from 50 years ago, or checking my “Stories Archive” section on Instagram and seeing pictures of my friends from last year, media make me nostalgic and they remind me that I should enjoy “the now” more.
Apart from nostalgia, media make me feel a wide range of emotions. I vividly remember the first time a piece of media made me cry uncontrollably. I was 12 and I had just seen “Forrest Gump”. I was sad and frustrated because I was used to movies always having a “happily ever after” ending. I remember not knowing how to cope with this mix of emotions and my mom trying to console me saying it was just a movie. I was so confused as to why (spoiler alert) Jenny had to die. Although in the end this movie made me feel negative emotions, it immediately became my favorite film. So for me, it’s sometimes not really about what media make me feel, but the intensity of these feelings.
There are few things that compare to finding out your favorite movie is also your best friend’s favorite movie or making your whole friend group laugh by referencing a line from “The Office”. Media not only help me keep in touch with my friends when we’re apart, but they also keep us connected every time we see each other in person. We bond over memes, TV shows and our favorite thing to do together is watching bad movies and cringey reality TV shows (yes, I am a Media & Culture student).
Media are extraordinary tools when it comes to self-expression. Although writing is my main creative outlet, I have to admit that in some cases the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is quite accurate. Photography has been an incredible way for me to turn my imagination into something visible. Sometimes even tangible. It has helped me discover new things about the way I think, about my personality and it’s even influenced the way I dress. My wardrobe has become much more colorful since I got into photography.
Media also give me a sense of control and have helped me build and preserve boundaries, especially recently. My friends and family were used to knowing everything about me, I was expected to be available at any time, for anyone. But since moving to Amsterdam, I’ve had the chance to choose when to respond to text messages and calls. I’ve also been able to bond with my mom on FaceTime better than I have ever done it in person. Moving here and mediating all my relationships with my loved ones back home has even increased my love for them. Media do make the heart grow fonder after all. Or was it absence?
So if I were to summarize all of this, I guess I would have to say that I love media because they make me feel, while also giving me the tools to express what I feel.
Student number: 13645749