Under the Influence: How News Media Affects the Notion of Solitude

“Today’s young people seem to feel that they can make themselves fully known to one another. They seem to feel that they can make themselves fully known to one another. They seem to lack a sense of their own depths, and of the value of keeping them hidden. If they didn’t they would understand that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

I agree with Deresiewick’s [SP: Deresiewicz’s] comparision between celebrity and connectivity. Individuals seek to know and to be made known. People view life from the perspective of the sonambulus as McLuhan wrote in the medium is the message. [good insight] The way we communicate with everyone changes our behavior, the way we think, and the way we see the world. Therefore, because we are not fully aware of the impact that media has on us, solitude is perceived as being nonexistent.

When I disconnected myself from the media for 48 hours, I experienced what it was to be an Orthodox Jew who observes the Sabbath.  I am used to being alone at home and focusing on my “checklist”. However, not being able to access all the capabilities of my smartphones, [no comma] was difficult. It seemed as if I lost the notion of being present in reality, which left me in a state of solitude. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] This allowed me to redirect my priorities by focusing on areas in my life that I did not need to use technology or to search for the latest news story. For example, I did not look at the news app when I woke up. I was able to see the significant role we have allowed media to play in our lives and how it affects our nervous system.

The way individuals communicate has altered our culture. Media dictates societal value which affect our emotional and logical reasoning. Being socially connected has given us the confidence and validation to “be someone” by forsaking the notion of loneliness. Peace and quiet is not a part of the routine of the average American. We may not be in the same room with someone but that does not mean we are alone. Technology is the medium we use to be socially active. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Therefore, when I detached myself from seeing media for two days, I valued other avenues of information, entertainment, and connection. News is actionable information yet, it should not be something I can’t live without. A social life is important and with this blackout, I have also seen how solitude is valuable too!

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