Why I heart Media 

I’m accusing media of theft; media stole my boredom. 

8-year-old me is lying on the couch, embedded in a sea of pillows, looking at the bare ceiling. I’m complaining to my mom how there’s nothing to do and urging her to give me ideas of what to do. She tells me it’s good to be bored sometimes, it helps you be creative. Clearly, every kid has heard this sentence before and clearly, this sentence has caused an annoying grunt for most. However, only now I realize how right she was. Eventually, you would get up and, in my case, I would either start baking (chocolate cupcakes with green frosting usually), I would start building snowmen outside (still one of my favorite activities), or reading books that my mom recommended. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the last time I was bored to the extent that I randomly start baking, probably during the first quarantine. 

            The sheer infinity of content in media has smoothly manipulated me into turning to my phone or laptop as soon as there is a moment without any occupation. I will cover these periods of time by watching tiktoks, checking Instagram, or responding to messages. There is rarely a moment where my life isn’t involving media. 

            Naturally, I cannot make a claim like this without blaming myself as well. It is certainly my dependence that encourages media’s power over me. Simply, its endearing complexity is reason enough to get lost for hours on end. It triggers your memories, it evokes emotion, and it makes time pass by in a worrying speed. 

            One of my favorite elements however, is that media allows me to relive the best moments. Watching my old Instagram stories, especially the close friends or snapchat, not only makes me nostalgic but also makes me feel grateful for the times I’ve been able to experience. For looking back at old photos and videos, I don’t mind wasting my time.

However, when I do look back at my camera roll, the part that is missing from this very detailed depiction of my life, are the moments where I wasn’t doing anything but spending hours online instead of finding distraction or occupation elsewhere. It was boredom that didn’t lead to anything but me having to get up to get a charger as soon as one of my devices was dead. I would be thankful if I could be bored again like I used to be when I didn’t have a phone yet, when I was just a kid who loved green frosting. Those days seemed to be a lot more inspiring than today. Nowadays it takes effort to do something that doesn’t involve media while back then, it was the only option. In rare cases like these, being limited in options is a greater gift than you might realize. 

But don’t you worry media, I forgive you. This is on me too. 

Student ID: 13726722


Published by Life in Media

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

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