Monday, March 24, 2014

Media Freeze: Disavoiding the Void

     It's no surprise that there is such a cult of zombie events, literature, personal styling--what else have we become but our droids' droids?  When I walk around my university, I find so many people just lost to me--talking into their phones (or more scarily, into the air, as they have Star Trek devices in their ears to pick up conversation), thumbing texts, stroking tiny screens. Everywhere, heads bent, backs rounded, hands scrunched into soft fists. In the past, people around campus and I made eye contact, at least mumbled a greeting, held doors open for each other, or had to learn something about the need to avoid contact. I was able to ambush people (especially strangers) with compliments--brighten our day. But I can't go up to a speed-texter and say: "Excuse me.  I need a bit of human contact.  I like your phone case."  That would be icky.
    Smart (hm) phones, television, video games, even the microwave (my student Graig taught me this)--make us dependent on mediated experiences.  There's much more to say on this.  For now, I'd like to report on three things we're doing about it.

     CLASS AS SACRED SPACE:  First, obviously, no live phones during class.  But, further, no live phones in the classroom, either before or after class--and none during breaks. This freaks some students out.  I have actually had someone drop a class because of this--and this wasn't a mother with primary care for six children and three aging parents and in-laws.  It's a measure of the addiction, that someone can't take an hour or three off from the need to be absent.  What happens?  Our class becomes (take this in a non-sectarian spirit) a sacred--a safe space.  Even before class starts--without the opportunity to la-la into the ether--students get to know each other--they talk, work on the projects, check in about readings, make plans to share books.  They might actually pay attention to their hunger and eat. They come home to themselves and each other!

     FAVOR PAPER:  Screens make us, ironically, absent to each other. It's not the only thing--yesterday, a lovely student, who surely was listening, trailed off into doodling.  We talked about it in class-that we felt that he wasn't fully present. In any case, I don't allow students to use any but paper media for in-class readings. I read my Shakespeare plays on my Kindle, but lug my completed to class.  It's just a different experience to thumb paper. And there is something very moving about seeing students read from the same page. (Another blog.)
     MEDIA FREEZE:  I make a throwdown to conduct a media freeze: Identify your media addiction--anything that you use to avoid the voids in life (more on that in another blog).  The usual ones, these days, include texting, Tweeting, Facebooking, Emailing, television, ear-bud traffic, video games. We know what makes us users--what keeps us from doing or being what we truly want--the thing without which we don't think we could survive.  As I mentioned above, Graig, an avid culinary artist, realized that he uses the microwave instead of taking the time to cook.  And ah, the difference between a nuked and a slow-baked potato!  I hope Graig responds to this blog as to how he extended his media freeze.
     Then set a duration of time to shutdown on that medium.  Take notes on what happens.  Keep your commitment.

       It's years now, that my husband and I shut off the internet between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday. I read a lot on Sundays, cook special meals, we have long schmoozy conversations and actually notice if one of us had some hair work.

     But I'm a droid to my droid. I have spent hours on my phone playing Words With Friends--actually sitting on the couch with someone while we play each other.  No eye contact there, although at least we can pass the pistachio bowl to each other.  So I wrote to my WWF buddies--I'm taking a sabbatical.  That was 4:00 AM.

     It's 5:20 AM. Surprise! Surprise! I have made a commitment NOT to check out my games, NOT anticipate my next moves as I wait for my friends to make theirs, NOT to check out on myself.

     What's filling the void?  I started this blog. Hope you'll respond with your story.

© 2014 Susanna Rich


  1. Since I am mostly media-deprived—I don't have a Smart phone (my current cell phone has fallen into a black hole somewhere) , or TV reception, or any Nintendo-like games, and my Internet usage is limited to school work, or the occasional e-mail for one need or another, and I’m not a slave to any of the new media--the only thing I can really put a freeze on is the radio while driving in the car.
    My drive home from Kean (usually about an hour)--without the radio turned on--wasn't as quiet a ride as I would have thought. At first the squeaks and whirring noises of the car were distinct and noticeable...maybe the car needs to go in the shop for a checkup? Even the blinker had a metallic sound to it—like metal being tapped and not just a clicking noise, which is usually what it sounds like. After coming to terms with the car noises, my thoughts rambled on to what the rest of my day would bring and needed to be done and when. It will all get done, and if it doesn’t, then there is always the next day to finish any unfinished tasks, and I will have another go at whatever I need to do.
    While all of the traffic was going around me, and my thoughts were also going around in my head, I thought of the assignments given and the formation of a few lines of a poem came to me, along with a title. Of course, I couldn't just write those words down while driving and pulling over on the snow-covered shoulders of the road was out of the question...writing the poem could wait until I got home.
    So, I'm tooling along the road and all of a sudden an old favorite song popped into my head--Make New Friends--which I learned when I was a Girl Scout. The song is usually sung in a round, which is difficult to do when I'm alone, but I sang it through a few times, just for the fun of it. That took all of about 3 or 4 minutes (because there are several verses), and even though I didn't sing any more songs, I thought about the lines of the song, the story it tells, and the poetry in it. It's a rhyming song/poem set to music, so it made me think about other songs and how most of the ones I could think of had a rhyming scheme.
    Then I was thinking of the word orange, and how it’s not supposed to have anything rhyme with it. I wanted to make something rhyme with orange. You know, it’s really hard trying to make something rhyme with orange! I pronounce orange “are’-inj.” What rhymes with the ARE part of the word—car, star, mar, bar, far. What rhymes with INJ—binge, hinge, fringe, cringe? How about “bar binge”—it doesn’t work for me. Then I thought of the different pronunciations of orange—I only know of two. I think I figured out something, but it’s not the way I pronounce orange; it’s the way my friend pronounces orange, “or’-inj”. There are more words which rhyme with OR—core, store, door, for/four/fore, lore, more/moor, bore/boor, nor, roar, wore/war, tore, yore/you’re/your, poor/pour, swore, score. So the best thing I could come up with that rhymes with orange is “door hinge” or “more fringe.” There may be other possibilities, but this is the best I could do while driving in the car.
    I smiled to myself and even laughed a little about the whole process of trying to make something rhyme with orange. Then I found myself laughing harder about another funny thought, and I guess I was laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes and needed a tissue, which is when I realized that I had run out of tissues and hadn’t yet been to the store to buy more, so I just wiped my eyes with the back of my hand and found my way home off of the good old Garden State Parkway, and headed for the grocery store to buy more tissues for the car.
    From Seussical the Musical: “Oh, the thinks you can think!”

  2. Ah, Mary Ellen! Great idea to turn the car radio off. I do most of my long rides--sometimes even the six hour drive to a meditation center in Barre, MA--with no media on. It truly is a time to reacquaint myself with myself. And that is one of the gifts of meditation--as opposed to mediation. Thank you for this delicious entry. LOVE the breakthrough with rhyming orange. We MUST sing "Make New Friends" in class--I learned it in French.

  3. First, I love the idea of no cell phones in class, especially during the break. Last semester I had the opportunity to observe in an undergraduate class and then teach one evening. One major difference that I discovered between my graduate courses and the undergraduates was the level of comfort the students have with themselves. One of my professors joked about how in all of her graduate classes she is delighted to see that her students continue to gab about the material even during break, and it's true (and one of the things I love about class - that everyone is just as into books and learning as I am). On the flip side, I watched the undergrads last semester go right for their phone during break, or awkwardly talk about how hard a grader their teacher is. I think our phones make it easy to retreat within ourselves, and at that age, I don't believe many students are fully aware of who they are, their intellectual needs, and how to connect with other people via literature. What you're doing is a great way to foster real connections between students (and teacher and students) even if it lasts no longer than a semester. Your students may gain more a new level of comfort in turning to the student next to them and striking up a conversation (real conversation is something else sorely lacking today, I find).

    I also very much like the idea of a media blackout for one day a week, and am going to give it a try. I have already begun to make a conscious effort to not go on email or social media once I get home in the evening, so I can focus on school work, reading, writing, watching a move - my OWN time, without interruptions. And I find that I get more done and feel more relaxed. To become absorbed in a book without any distractions, especially those which I create for myself, is wonderful. I've also found it interesting to realize that if I do pop on facebook for a few minutes to clear my head I find that it becomes 20 minutes, and then I kick myself for turning it on at all. Rhetorically, what does this say about our need to stay connected?

    A few weeks ago I walked a block downtown from my home to get takeout for dinner. It had just started snowing, and was expected to continue over night. It was already dark out, and the falling snow shined beautifully in the street lights. Usually, when I walk downtown I am playing a turn in words with friends, or checking my email, but because it was snowing, my phone stayed in my pocket. And I realized that had I had my phone in my hand and been looking down, I would have missed the beauty around me! It's important to remember to keep the phone in our pockets sometimes and look around us for a few moments; one never knows what we might otherwise be missing.

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    1. Thank you, Jess, for your generous and validating observations. I am so glad that you are already creating healthy boundaries for yourself. We need to take care of each other in all this. And how very poetic you are in describing your walk. I feel as though I was there, next to you. What did we take out? Was it yummy? Twinkle. Twinkle.

  5. As my attraction to little screens has grown, my devotion to the computer screen has diminished--not a good trade-off. Now the bigger screen is for work, the phone screen for hope--that someone will write to me. So sabbath-sans-internet screens is a gift, an invitation to be more at home. The most important messages are in our own home, coming from each other. That's why we're married.
    In classrooms, I become agitated if a student tries to conceal a phone in order to look at it during class, so a phone ban is essential. I once ejected a student for texting a third time during a class. I'm intolerant of disrespectful actions.
    I'm of the pre-television generation, so I formed many images listening to radio stories and reading. Since telephone use was expensive, I had scant experience of that and still find myself reluctant to answer calls at times.
    There's much more to be said about all this, so I welcome this excellent new blog and thank the author, who just walked past my study door toward the kitchen, where a sweet potato is baking and sending olfactory messages!

  6. Eileen McGrath sent me a great poem, perfectly performed, on this subject:

  7. I absolutely agree, just a couple months ago, I did not have a phone that could use the internet or use apps, it was a basic phone were you just called or text. Half of the time I did not even know where the phone was, everyone that knew me complained that I never picked up. Now I have up graded my phone and I can not put it down, I can still be with out my phone for an hour or two, but when I have it I am on it for a long period of time. My new phone is not an IPhone, is a no name phone that you can go on the internet and play apps on, but I am afraid that if I do buy a phone that is like an IPhone then I would be "a droid to my droid."

  8. Hi Susanna,

    I enjoyed your blog immensely! I worry about my grand nieces and nephews growing up in a perpetually 'connected' and therefore disconnected world. Strangely, your blog immediately reminded me of the movie Denise and I viewed yesterday with Dorothy titled 'Her,' which in some way addresses your discussion. The background shots in this film are constantly of people having conversations with the air, so to speak, and you start to realize at some point that more is going on than the main character realizes (in part because he is so immersed in what he himself is doing).

    1. Thank you, Paul, for your thoughtful reply and encouragement! We're ordering HER from Netflix! Hope you both are staying warm and cozy with the kitties.

  9. The Media Freeze

    If I recall correctly, I opened the email requesting our thoughts on the Media Freeze while getting ready to go out with some friends. At the time, I figured the "Media Freeze" wouldn't be too difficult to do while I was out with friends. I figured it wouldn't be hard to keep my phone away, because my friends would provide me with entertainment. And so, my friends and I went to the cafe that we frequent. While out with my nearest and dearest, I realized that the majority of the time that we spend together consists of us sitting, in a circle, staring at our phones. I didn't realize how consumed we were by our technology, and found myself completely underwhelmed by the conversation. Haha! I also realized that I am pretty addicted to my phone, myself. The whole time we were together, I felt incredibly anxious, and as though I was missing something (Be it a text, a work email, a status update..). Honestly, my first attempt at a "Media Freeze" was relatively unsuccessful. I compulsively checked my phone because I told myself that I wasn't allowed to do so. However, I do want to, in the future, put my phone away while with my friends, so that I could better enjoy their company. I had quite the realization about myself, my friends, my generation, and my world, in that short period of time in the cafe.


    1. Brianna, Your first attempt to Media Freeze was VERY SUCCESSFUL, indeed. The first step in transformation is AWARENESS!!! You have already "stepped away from" your phone. I look forward to your journey.

  10. After reading Dr. Rich's blog the wheels in my head began to turn. Individuals are completely dependent on technology. Why must every aspect of this world become "instant"? Deciding whether to eat a microwaved potato to a slow-cooked potato should be no contest. Why would anyone chose second best?
    I created a Twitter last spring where I could connect with my friends or voice my opinions publicly. I found myself engulfed in everyone's Tweet, keeping up with the lives of strangers in which I began circling my opinion and judgement. I caught myself neglecting the people in my home. All of us sitting on couches, within arms reach, being fixated on the cyber-lives of strangers. In late November, I deleted it completely with a sense of liberation. I don't want to allow myself to fall into creating judgments or opinions based on 160 characters in a Tweet. I did not want to see any more negativity on my news feed. I refused to let myself form attachments to everyone else's life but my own. In disconnecting from even one social media I start building a connection with myself.
    I focus more of my time taking an extra class (American Sign Language). It is a better use of my time and energy and I open myself to an entirely new group of people to have different HUMAN interaction with.

    Although I have not had an attempt of Media Freeze thus far I feel that resisting the urge to plummet into Twitter is a tremendous step.

    Julie Luksa

    1. Good for you, Julianna, for resisting the "urge to plummet" (LOVE that word) into Twitter. Listen to the spring song of birds, starting now, full of plaintive yearning for love and beauty.

  11. After listening to your idea in class about not using our phones during class time or breaks made me think is this lady crazy, but after reading your blog it made complete sense. Technology is taking over the world but enables us from the true meaning of life. This blog takes me back to a english class that I had took and read a book called Feed. Feed was about the different social media's we come in contact with and can't live with out the Feed. I truly feel this is an a great idea. Since texting has been a new way to avoid verbal conversation it made everything easy to say then it will be talking directly to a person. So my boyfriend and I are on a media freeze. If either one of us has a question we must call directly and if we need to talk we must wait until we are in each other presents. After doing this media freeze it enhanced our communication skills and helped I relatioship for the better. Without using texting to communicate improved our relationship. Texts is just a way to get out of taking which is terrible. I really enjoyed your blog and it is a wonderful experience.

    Nyesha Little

    1. Nyesha, What a creative way you have managed to Media Freeze! Bravo to you! Please tell us who wrote FEED. There are several authors listed: Anderson, Grant, Grotepas. I can't wait to read it! THANK YOU!

    2. Feed was written by M.T Anderson he was really ahead of his time with this one.

  12. With most of my classes basically telling and forcing me to use the computer and internet, I knew that trying to give up the "world-wide web" would only be me pulling a fast one over on myself so after much thought and contemplation, I decided to give up the use of my car. It may not seem much to some but to go without driving for 28 years into driving everyday for over two years, it has become a crutch. I thought heavy about this because it has been majorly cold so I had to think whether this was going to work and I am actually glad I gave it up. I walked for the entire weekend, through cold, snow and ice. this allowed me to spend quality time in nature, taking in all the worls around me. I purposely found places to go so I could walk and take advantage of this time to freeze (literally) my dependency on my car. There is something very tranquil about walking and breathing the brisk winter's air. I braved the cold and my own comfort and I conquered the freeze.

  13. A well-spent week

    A week without a cell phone won’t make me weak,
    One hour without the radio lets me think
    Without distraction, it’s awareness I seek.
    I can be longer deprived of the media stink,
    When I know that I’ll be cognizant of the meek,
    While all around me will be the familiar wink
    Of friends not distracted, deprived of the reek
    Like me, testing selves, staying strong, don’t shrink
    To the media hype, don’t do it, don’t peek
    At your cell phone, hold on, face goes pink
    As the moment passes and a new dawn sneaks
    Out, and I cheer myself and others with a clink
    Of glasses in commemoration of a well-spent week.

  14. The Media Freeze Day: 1/26/2014

    I woke up this morning. I washed up and I started talking on the phone to my family. My Aunt Carrie and my cousin Benjamin, who I have not spoken to in months. But before I went onto the phone, I helped my mom and dad with the breakfast dishes. Then after I ate lunch a little later in the day, I slept on my sister's bed, and then I typed my stories. But early this morning I went onto Twitter after years of not being on it, and I mass texted of twit a link of my story The Johnson Files Case 1: The Strange Kidnapping. Now I am typing and writing my stories.

  15. For a media free sense of life I have given up my video game systems for almost two weeks now and also deleted my Facebook account. All I can say is that it was one of the greatest eye-opening moments I have ever had; I may not ever go back to playing them ever again. At first my reactions felt like that of a human being with insanity or addiction. I didn’t know what to do with myself for a while. I would become depress at times because I felt disconnected to the outside world. After a while I started reverting to my old habits back when I was a high school student with little to no friends in school and having an infamous reputation. Not like I wasn’t used to being alone anyway. I started drawing again and sketching new tattoo designs, as well as started writing short story boards and doing character designs. Even started reading more and had forgotten how much I actually did enjoy it and writing as well. What was also funny was that I even started listening to older styles of music that I had thought to give up such as Pop Punk, Punk Rock and Nightcore.
    Facebook back then did nothing for me anyway, but I realized why I had become somewhat attached to it. It helped me feel like people in school would actually pay attention to me. I could say the same for video games, because it was the only form of communication I would have with others. Some players would actually wait for me to come online just to play and talk with me; they made me feel wanted. I also concluded that it was actually one of my “walls” or “barriers” that I would use to block out people, especially my parents. However, I have actually talked my folks at least three to four times since then which is more than I ever had; I’m used to going months too nearly half a year without really talking to them about anything. I’m just glad to have finally taken down one of my walls just a shame it took me this long.

  16. Hello everyone,
    Well my media freeze was well, overly done; due to I miss understood a lot of the information given in class. See O' little Ms. Deanna thought we were suppose to give up some type of technology we use a lot, and to give it up for a week. But what had happen was, and in reality we only needed to give it up for 24 or a weekend. So, in the end I ended up giving up the use of a computer, phone, and I-pod for a week. Killing my inner self I found that I, yes I Deanna R Hailstork spent to much of my time being busy and not enough time with family and friends. I thank you Dr. Rich for this assignment, Because it have bought me and my family also my friends closer and help me realize to give my love ones their flowers and love while they are still alive and not wait till they are gone. I have grown spritely as well because of this because I decided to spend a little more time with Jesus and family and I feel so alive. so much so that my mistake turn out to be a freeing state for me despite my moments of fear and withdraw. I decided to do this media freeze every Tuesday, and weekend to spend a little more time with God and my family. Thanks Dr, Rich.

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  18. The Media Freeze

    Snow falls gently near and far
    The sound of my friend starting her car
    She begins to talk, no radio, or sound but her own.
    I locked away my phone.
    Just the sound of her voice is soothing in itself.
    We talked about life.
    We talked about love.
    We talked about school.
    We talked about booze.
    We spoke with words and not on a screen.
    Oh, how I missed this activity
    The facial expressions, the hand gestures, the high pitches and the low pitches of voice.
    The spoons cling against the glass bowl, and the sound of slurping out of a simple cup.
    The chatter spills a crossed the room.
    We point at the road, and it looks with such gloom.
    We never picked up our phones to see what was new.
    No tweets, no instagram, no facebook, and even no hashtags.
    We were human for once.
    No technology came between us
    And what I learned from this media freeze?
    I made a new best friend, and already she is dear to me.

    1. Thank you, Megan, for your poem--"snow falls gently near and far," "I locked away my phone," "we talked about booze," glass bowl, simple cup, "chatter spills a crossed the room"--I feel, as I read your poem, as if I am that friend! I could keep quoting more...

  19. I did do a media freeze. I again did not watch television on Saturday for the whole day. All I did was watch my computer all day. But during that time, I felt like a kid because I watch shows that I saw when I was growing up. I saw different anime shows like magical girl shows and martial arts shows. It felt like my mind was empty and clear. It was also fun walking down memory lane. I had so much fun on Saturday. I hope I can do it again another time.

    1. Generra, You were in charge of what you wanted to see--without commercial breaks!

  20. Dr. Rich, this is Jeanne Woerner, from years past. I am now a 6th grade teacher again after teaching 8th for 3 years. In our school there is a ban on active cell phone use so even though I just upgraded to an iphone, I don't really use it for more than speaking on the phone and text messages and that is only before or after school. Although, as you may recall, I love to talk and when school is out, boy do I hate not talking to someone on my phone. I guess without talking on the phone I feel alone and I miss the interaction with friends and family. I have gotten into such a pattern with my phone use that if I don't call my mom, husband, or best friend by a certain time every week day, they call me to make sure I am alright.

    As far as computer usage, I mostly use it for work. I even forget to check my home email everyday so no real addiction there. But, oh the TV! I do love the background noise of the TV.

    I'm afraid I am raising a 4 year old who is dependent upon video games, movies, computer games, Leapsters, ipads, and ipods. Danny goes from one machine to the next. Now he plays with other toys as well but the video/screen related devises are his absolute favorites. I have been putting away his machines and bringing out the scissors to have him work on his cutting techniques... we have been cutting out shapes. Well, he disappeared into the bathroom on Thursday and cut his hair (to the scalp). So now he has a buzz cut. I don't know, I think I prefer the screens, at least he would still have his hair.

    My hubby is so much worse than me with the devices. We too sit on the same couch doing our own thing and do not communicate with each other. I'm alright with it if we are both doing work but I gaze over occasionally and Rob is on Facebook not doing work for his graduate class. I have refused thus far to be on Facebook but I have to say, I am tempted.

    So am I a droid to my droid....yes, unfortunately. Especially the phone and TV. But what is worse is that my 4 year old is a droid as well.

  21. Hey Jeanne! So good to hear from you!!! Your students are truly lucky to have you. You are such a bright, warm spirit. One the SUPERSTARS***** We are all being droided by our droids. Just being aware of it is huge empowerment. If you want to free up some, you will find your creative ways to media freeze. Some of the comments here embody some successes. Let me know. I calculated that I was putting in 15 direct hours, and lots of zombie time anticipating playing Words With Friends. All of that time and energy has been freed up for what I truly need--creative expression and love.

  22. I just thought of another rhyme for hinge. That works for me!

  23. Another must-see video:

  24. Dr. Rich,
    When I first read the title of this blog I thought for sure that I was not going to agree with what it entailed. Well, I was completely wrong. When I begin to think about my surroundings as I walk throughout campus everyday, I found myself recalling every detail you have stated. Every person I see has their head down focusing on some sort of electronic device, whether it be a cell phone, laptop, etc. People have become so addicted to electronic devices, more specifically the media; that when an unfamiliar face approaches them it seems completely unusual, maybe even weird. This is not the way society should be. More and more people are becoming unsociable due to the lack of verbal communication, which is why a media freeze would only be beneficial. Students should begin to commit and practice this media freeze while in class, just to see the difference in the amount of information they retain that day. I believe that little by little, students would start to become less dependent or addicted to their electronic devices due to the fact that they have broken an old habit. Even if students simply commit to a media freeze during their class time, a positive change will be made.

    I am really happy I had a chance to read this blog and think about something I have never thought about before. I really do think I am going to be more aware of the amount of time I spend using electronic devices, at school and at home.

  25. Alycia, Thank you for your thoughtful response and for all your attentiveness to how this shows up around us. I really appreciate the details you incorporated into your comment. And you are SO RIGHT! How can you learn most fully when you're half out of the class in cyberspace.
    Also, what a great idea you had: A media freeze for every class that's not computer based!!! Much looking forward to your insights during the semester! SR

  26. I decided that I was going to ignore my instagram and take Dr. Rich's challenge. What did I gain in return? I was not only able to concentrate on my poetry and finish a few ideas, I was able to work on a sketch, and unpack from my trip! All this time I thought I didn't have was in reality stolen from me by instagram! Thank you very much for this challenge Dr. Rich, you reacquainted me with art!

  27. Dr. Rich,

    I agree with many points that you make about implementing a media freeze especially during class. As someone who wants to teach, I have had that opportunity to be both a student and a teacher in a classroom. I never knew how frustrating it was to see a student on their phone until I was in front of the classroom itself and realized how much it impacted me. I will admit that every now and then I do notice how reliant people are on their phones and I will also admit that I have become a victim to the phone as well at times. It also does bother me that everything has become so internet based and there is such a lack of personal communication. I feel like many people fear, or are incapable of, basic interaction and conversations with people around them. I think it is important for people to find a balance in their life of how much media they use, and what they use it for. I think a media freeze would be something beneficial that could help people find that balance.

  28. Dr. Rich,

    This is my second time completing the "Media Freeze", and I am glad that I repeated the exercise. I had completely different results, the second go-around. This time, I chose to do the "Media Freeze" while completing homework. I found that my assignments were more insightful and well-thought-out than usual. I also found that I was able to work a lot faster. I never realized how much social media slows me down. Thank you for recommending the exercise!

    Brianna Oddo~*

  29. Dr. Rich,

    While reading this blog, I begin picturing the students on campus with their heads down, not acknowledging their surroundings and thumbing away on their phones. After reading this I decided to do the media freeze challenge, so I began by setting up a goal. From the moment I wake up Saturday to the moment I wake up Sunday morning I would not text anyone or reply to any text. Honestly, it was a good challenge because I gain a lot of positive things from it. I was able to go out with my boyfriend and we were able to have meaningful conversations, laugh at jokes and I was able to become more aware of my surroundings; which was something I never did. I know that's bad, especially if you're driving somewhere new. It was good because I didn't have anyone bother me, I didn't have the constant worry to always answer or to look at my cell phone to see who texted me. I was able to have a calm Saturday without being glued to my cell. It was an interesting challenge and I think from time to time I'll set myself this goal and do it.

    Thank you, Dr. Rich.

  30. Ever since the first media freeze Dr. Rich assigned I have cut down on using my phone drastically which I am eternally grateful for.Yesterday was my day to take on the challenge of the media freeze. I was on my way to the doctors office thinking to myself how easy it would be to do it. I left my phone in my car and wheezed into the building to find that the entire building was electronic. Instead of checking in and speaking to a front desk girl I was tapping my fingers on a kiosk like I were ordering a sub from quick check. I then took a seat and waited for my name to be called while the young assistant instead of writing notes into a file she was tapping on an ipad and not once making eye contact with me. She asked me questions and tapped out the answers and then the ipad froze. She feverishly tapped the ipad attempting to get it to work. After shaking the technology and turning scarlet with anger the technology cooperated. At this point I thought to myself that we depend so much on technology which cuts off our ability to communicate properly. I felt so bad for her for looking so silly slamming her fingertips on the ipad to try and get it to work. People get frustrated with technology but we forget that we have lived and survived without it. I never want any piece of technology to upset me the way that silly ipad upset her. I never want to feel disconnected from another person. People give more attention to technology than another person. I don't want to ever treat anyone the way I was treated.

  31. Dr. Rich,

    I decided to do my media freeze today. I woke up at 8:30 this morning, put my phone away, and did not look at it until 3:00 this afternoon. I went out to breakfast with my boyfriend and was able to focus on our conversation rather than text messaging or looking at facebook. I even watched part of a football game with him without looking at my phone. Yes, that was difficult. I enjoyed doing this media freeze and I will try to do this on a daily basis because I did not miss much without my phone attached to my hand.

    Thank you,

    Alissa Sullivan

  32. I'm proud to say that ever since I had the pleasure of being in one of Dr. Rich's classes last semester, I do a media freeze for ALL of my classes. I often glance around the room in my other classes to see who is on their cell phone, and I always see at least one person sitting in the back with their head down looking into their lap "finger jamming" (as someone I know calls it). Not only do I feel sad for them because they choose to waste their tuition money and miss valuable class time, but I find it disrespectful to the professor. Aside from doing a media freeze during class time, I had never done one for a six hour period. I did that yesterday without checking my Instagram, which is the most time-consuming phone-related activity for me. I was able to organize my entire closet, which is something I had been putting off for over a week, and I also did some grocery shopping a lot fast than I normally would. I will be doing a media freeze a lot more now throughout my weekends, especially to utilize the time for homework. Thank you, Dr. Rich, for this insightful blog entry.

    Vanessa Cruz

  33. Dr. Rich,

    I completely agree with your views on people overusing media. We see it everyday, everywhere we go. I think it is awful that we can not have a conversation with another person without someone looking at their phones. The media freeze is a great way to reconnect with the people in our lives without this needless distraction. I look forward to doing the media freeze and also encouraging others to do so as well.

    Thank you,
    Alyssa Eckhardt

  34. I am so proud of you all and grateful for the opportunity to do these life experiments together. I learn SO MUCH! Superstars, thank you for your comments! I bask in your glow~

  35. Dr. Rich

    Since I started the Media Freeze challenge I have noticed change in the need to use my cellphone or computer. I have taken the 6 hours sometimes even longer to catch up on reading. I have also been able to physically hang out with friends rather than text all the time. I can also go running without media consuming my running time. Going into the media challenge I wonder what exactly what i going to do for 6 hours? Little did i know i can now enjoy books, friends, running and most of all Life!

  36. Yesse, I love how powerful you are and how the Media Freeze is helping you to more fully realize that! I often wonder why people wear ear buds when they run or walk. I enjoy the scenery, ideas pop into my mind for projects and relationships, I learn what's really troubling me, and I can hear when there's a car coming up!!! Thank you for posting.

  37. I tried something new my mate and I will not be using instagram two days straight. The reason is because we notice that we will be next to each other without interacting for thirty minutes before we realize what is actually going on which is horrible.

  38. I decided to stay off my phone the entire day this past Sunday. This meant no texting, no calls, no instagram, etc. I enjoyed a nice quiet brunch with a friend that I have not seen in a year. Afterwards, I was also able to interact with my sister and spent the rest of the evening shopping with her. Not only did I feel relaxed, but I also had the opportunity to bond with my friends and family.

  39. After reading this blog I sat down with my boyfriend and made him read it for himself. I then decided to talk about it with him to see what his reaction towards it would be, since he is constantly on his personal phone, his phone for work, and his laptop for working purposes. Shockingly enough, he told me that he totally agrees with the fact that all these gadgets are making all of us detached from each other. Actually, we have been putting our phones away and today we actually cooked together and made an unbelievable lasagna with tofu, tomatoes,spinach,cottage cheese, and mozerella cheese. As we were cooking, I mentioned to my boyfriend that I can see why many people in the United States are depressed. People in the states stay indoors on their gadgets without any human contact whereas in other countries people are always surrounded by family and friends talking laughing and enjoying each other's company. Personally, I'm a person who suffers from depression and I have noticed that when I'm not using my gadgets and actually decide to go out and join friends for lunch or any other leisurely activity I feel better and my mood elevates to an almost euphoric state of happiness. So I say, why not give ourselves the opportunity to engage in wonderful conversation face to face and not behind the veil of a phone or computer screen.

  40. Watch "Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?" on YouTube
    Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?:

    You should check this video out Dr.Rich it's amazing and so true

  41. Dr. Rich,

    For my media freeze experiment, I decided to give up TV on Sunday, which is the day I usually stay home, relax, and start chipping away at my homework. At first it was very uncomfortable because I’m used to having the TV on as a constant source of background noise almost 24-7 (yikes). Once I got past the initial discomfort, I found I was able to work more effectively without always having such a big distraction at the ready. Even when I was finished doing homework, I found that I was able to focus more on whatever activity I was engaged in, especially when it came to reading. While I was reading my book, I found that I was able to absorb more of the details than I usually would if I had a constant buzzing noise filling the silence, which, thanks to your experiment, I now have a bigger appreciation for. I also found that I was able to be more attentive in the interactions I had with my family. This media freeze experiment was so successful that I’m seriously considering implementing a no TV rule in our house every Sunday. Thanks!

    Amanda S (Shakespeare Survey)

  42. Dr. Rich,

    After reading "media freeze" I agree that social media and our smart devices are taking up too much of our time. Students stop communicating with each other as well as with our families. I also like knowing that old school teaching is still alive today ... too many teachers rely on our computers and forget that the paper, pencil and chalk board helps devil conversations and ideas.

    I use instagram and pinterest like crazy, expecially when im bored. On the weekends me and my fiancé are on our phones, playing video games and watching tv at the same time. For my "media freeze" experiment, me and my fiancé agreed to put our phones away, leave our games alone and turn off our tv for an hour on Saturday. After the month of September we will increase it by a half hour. I hope this will make a change of not feeling the urge to be on our phones

    Nicole P. (Shakespeare Survey)

  43. Dr. Rich,

    After reading your wonderfully written blog, all I can say is... WOW! Not only did your words have an inspiration to my knowledge and to my personal being, but also to my lovely, media obsessed family (who read along with me, especially my mother who spends her days on Facebook). Your words are 100% factual, especially for the people of today's day and age. With that being said, we decided to do a media freeze of our own. Our media freeze was mainly the freeze of cell phones, being that it's what we use most.

    Last week, my family and I planned to go to Atlantic City for a nice, last day vacation on the day before Labor Day, which was yesterday, Sunday, September 6. What better day to do a media freeze than on the day of going to Atlantic City? With that being said, we left all our phones behind at home. That meant no internet, no texts, no phone applications or games, and no phone calls.

    Was our family time better without the use of cell phones? Most definitely! First, our drive there was great and filled with extensive conversations. Our time at the casinos, the boardwalk, and the beach was even better! And the drive back? The best. There was no distractions nor interruptions of any kind. We all interacted with each other and finally, had one of the best days of summer.

    The only problem we ended up having without our phones was the absence of the GPS. We wanted to dine at a fine restaurant away from the casinos and unfortunately for us, we got lost. But don't worry, we found our way in the end! If anything, it gave us an extra experience to share and laugh about. :)

    Imagine if the world held one day, every week to do a media freeze? If all source of media were to be shut down? How great would that be?!

    Thank you media freeze, and thank you, Dr. Rich!

    Jennifer Vasquez (Shakespeare Survey)

  44. As an adult who is so guilty of being in their phone, this blog was so intriguing, its so true and annoying, how deeply lost we are as a generation, and the cause is our phones. My friends tend to be more into social media, Instagam, Snap Chat, etc…, which causes me to make a cameo on these social networks, every time I’m with them. I don’t have social media because I am a private person and I don’t feel like I need to inform a universe of people I don’t speak to on a daily basis “how I’m doing”. But I am guilty of constantly picking up my phone to take a picture. On Sunday my mom decided to have a BBQ, she invited the entire family, so I made a commitment to myself and made sure that I wasn’t in anyone’s picture, I made sure that I left my phone inside so that I wouldn’t be tempted to take a picture or text someone, or see what new things arrived at my favorite stores. It felt good to be able to enjoy my hot dog, my family, and most importantly my day off. I made a decision to do a media freeze every Saturday, Saturdays will be family day, and relax day, without the extra distractions.

    Cheleste Paige (Shakespeare Survey)

  45. I personally don't believe or totally agree with electronic devices being completely removed out of the classroom. I do understand that we has students should have nothing but the upmost respect for the instructor and the material being presented within the instructional period. However this is not the 19 century where Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau preach about naturalism and going to nature for one to find his true calling and being excommunicated from society. Phone shouldn't be used the classroom but they should be allowed to be used on breaks. Laptops,Mac books,e-books,e-readers etc should have a place within the classroom setting because we are a culture that continues to move forward and we have to adjust the times. Having these device allow convenience and also a connection with society and what is going on in the world such as stock markets such as Worldly events. From this blog I get a sense of nationalism was presented by Emerson and Thoreau. These devices can also be implemented within the classes and having students understand the material more than not having it. We need to stop looking at technology as a negative within the classroom and use it as a catalyst to push ones agenda on a particular topic such as Shakespeare. Make it more enjoyable for the students through technology which is a form of accommodations and modifications. The traditional way it's not always the best way.

    1. I have tried the media freeze and it hasn't worked to well for me lol. I Feel so disconnected my phone feels like I'm naked. I've tried the media freeze on several different occasions but the one I most remember was when my significant other wanted to spend the whole day together without using phones because she felt she was being disrespected this might've been 10 months ago. We went from one location to another location from the zoo to lunch to stores in Manhattan and in between those times I would go into the bathroom and text or check my Twitter or Instagram page. It's became like second nature to me. For the first 3 and a half hours I was clean but not for long because once I saw or felt a text I needed to see my phone. I understood why she did it. At times she felt I gave my phone more attention then I did her and little did I realize I did. I didn't realize that cell phones can hurt your relationship and human interaction with others.

  46. Media Freeze
    Dr. Rich,
    I took on the media freeze challenge this morning and my family joined me! We started off our day at 7 am since we had planned to go to the beach. My family and I left our phones at home and packed up to go to the beach. On the way over there usually my sister and I would check our Instagram or post update statuses on Facebook. This car ride was different my sister and I chatted the whole way to the beach. When we arrived no one took pictures of the sand or the water. We enjoyed the views through our own eyes and not the lens of our smartphones. After eating, and tanning a bit we made our way to the water. We then all sat and talked for about an hour and just said what was on our mind. I know this is going to sound crazy but my mother showed me a scar on her hand when she fell off a bike at the age of 8. My mother had a scar on her hand and I never even noticed..never even knew. That to me was the eye opener in this media freeze. My family and I have agreed that each Sunday from now on we will do a media freeze. Even if it is only for a couple of hours it will give us enough time to communicate and bond as a family.
    -Stephanie Tejeda

  47. Dr. Rich,
    When you first spoke of your media freeze in class I did not question it at all for the simple fact that I completely agree! I as a student hate seeing my other classmates on their phone while the teacher is teaching is completely disrespectful. I'm not going to say I don't ever use my phone in class because I do! But it's only to respond to a text here and there from my boyfriend or mom or so one. I have ADD so I especially make sure I'm not being disrupted by my phone in class because I know with my disability it will absolutely distract me! Not only that but this past summer I've been to my boyfriends house in upstate New York for a couple days or a week a few times. And guess what .... no service! Which means no cell phone! At first I was absolutely horrified of not having my phone but I soon came to realize I was having so much fun hiking and going on the quads that I was not for a second thinking about instagram or twitter. It's a wonderful experience to just take in the scenery and be with my boyfriend without having a constant buzz in my pocket from a text or twitter notification. So this past Saturday me and my boyfriend decided to not use our phones all day, and we had absolutely no problem! We talked, we cooked, we even went on a bike ride in the afternoon. I love the idea of a media freeze in the classroom especially. You are so right when it comes to walking around campus and seeing everyone on their phone. It brings me back to my last fall semester I was walking to my 8 am morning class and a complete stranger walking by actually said Good Morning to me. I was so shocked, and it's sad to think I was so shocked that someone actually said Good Morning to me. Usually in the morning no one usually acknowledges each other on campus we just stay on our phone and go about our ways. It was so nice to actually hear a Good Morning especially from a complete stranger! I'm excited to experience this class room media freeze with you this semester!
    -Sonya Wahid

  48. Dr. Rich,

    I like the idea of the media freeze, not necessarily for myself because I'm not THAT addicted to my phone, but more for my loved ones. My wife takes full advantage of the smart phone; if she's not googling something she's on instagram, and if not instagram then it's pinterest. We decided we weren't going to use our phones while the sun was out unless it was to receive an incoming call. Upon doing this we were able to truly enjoy the day together without distractions and will be doing this every now and then when we feel it's necessary.

    -Joe Dwyer (Shakespeare Survey)

  49. Dr. Rich,

    I may be one of the few, but a media freeze was exciting to me. I completely understand the freedom of being liberated by letting go of addiction. I am definitely addicted to my phone, social media to be specific. Sunday was a beautiful day and since I knew I would be going outside to explore nature with a friend, I thought, what better time to freeze my addiction. We went on a bike ride down the toe path near my house and alongside the road on our way there we passed some beautiful flowers. I absolutely love taking pictures and as I was about to stop and take one, I remembered that I did not have my phone. I felt a little bit empty, but I know that is normal. It was a similar feeling to when I forget my phone somewhere before going out. At the same time, it was a relief. The entire time, I took in each moment, instead of glancing at my phone. I did not need to know what time it was or who was trying to reach me. I absolutely knew that there would not be an emergency. We rode to a park and as we got there we stopped to ask two guys for directions to a place to kayak. We knew where it was across from the toe path, but did not know the fastest way from our current location. The one man said that he was not sure and suggested we look it up on our cell phones. How ironic. My friend did not have a working cell phone for months now, and I did not bring mine. But, we did not die. I would just like to add that although it was not planned for this media freeze, I meal prepped tonight only using the stove/oven. No use of the microwave, and what a meal! I had to stop myself before eating it all. Media freezes are liberating and empowering. Thank you for being one of the few to encourage it.
    Cassie Nerger

  50. I, periodically, like to take breaks from social media because it can be distracting especially if you procrastinate completely one thing or another.

    Your class gave me the perfect opportunity to shut-down my phone this past weekend (on Sunday) while my Fiancé, our three-year old son, and I attended a fairly large family BBQ that my Fiancé’s uncle hosts just about every Labor Day weekend.

    My Fiancé and I have been together for ten years so I am more than acclimated with his family. Not having my phone made the party more enjoyable. I carried longer conversations with people and played typical BBQ (i.e. corn-hole, bocce ball) longer than I normally would.

    I was able to observe from afar my son play with all of his little cousins and watching their interactions with one another made me reminisce of my childhood with my cousins. I truly was able to enjoy the party fully.

    For a moment, I stepped away from the party to (unfortunately) go smoke. I was standing alone under a mid-sized tree with small, deep red leaves on it. Since it was sunny out, I looked up through the leaves and noticed how pretty the sun shining through the different sized and shaped red leaves was. It was so pretty that I wish I was able to sit down and write, I felt like it was a tree that would appear written about in a book and on the front cover would be a picture of this tree.

    All-in-all, without my phone and social media at my fingertips I was able to notice and observe the smaller things in life that are taken for granted and how beautiful some of them really are.

    -Sheri Polewski

  51. Dr. Rich

    I do feel society is taken over by technology. When out with friends we do try to put our phones away and enjoy the time we are together. I do live in an apartment while attending school and the nights we all have dinner together we put our phones away and have full conversations about our days and what we are planning to do for the week.
    For my experiment I chose to not use the television or Netflix for a night. My roommates all joined me in this challenge and it was interesting to see how much of an impact they both have on our lives. We will usually watch a show or a movie after dinner and it was weird not having that part of our routine. It was sort of nice to not have that distraction. We all were able to spend time together, talk a bit more than usual.
    I do enjoy going to your class because it is different from the others. The strict phone policy gives us time as a class to get to know one another a little bit more than normal and I feel I will be able to make some new friends and learn more about people on campus due to this class!

    Tiffany Varriello

  52. Dr. Rich,

    When I first heard you mention trying the media freeze in class I had to think twice about it. The longer I thought about it, the better I understood where you were coming from especially by reading your blog. It is so difficult in today's society and generation to let go of media or technology and be able to function as a human. I, myself have a really difficult time sometimes simply being without my phone. I have a bad habit of constantly checking my phone even if it is for no good reason at all. It's hard at times but I thought that trying this media freeze would actually be of benefit to me...

    This Monday on Labor Day I decided to leave my phone in the car while my entire family and I decided to head up to the Poconos on our day off. It was about 40 of us all together and we all had the same thing in mind- to be able to enjoy ourselves. I mentioned to my sister snd my cousins that I planned on keeping my cell phone in the car the whole entire day since it is my biggest distraction, and so I did. I also encouraged them to do the same. We went about our day and actually held intellectual conversations instead of referring pictures on social media for gossip and time-pass. We usually constantly check our social media accounts and tune each other out. It was difficult for sure and I definitely felt the urge to run back to the car and check my phone but I stood strong. The one drawback of not having our phones with us was when my cousins and I rented a motor boat to take out to the lake and the motor boats battery died on us. We were stranded for a while just drifting around and couldn't call for help. Luckily, once it was closing time for the boat house, the owner got on his own boat to check on us and brought us back to land. The media freeze was a difficult task but I feel that it was definitely a unique experience and worth a try!

  53. Dr Rich,

    For my media freeze I choose to leave my cellphone at home for an entire day (11 a.m to 5 p.m). I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn't really that upset about not having my phone; except for the times I wanted to take pictures. I went out for the day with friends and found that I was significantly more aware of what was going on around me instead of constantly checking my phone. It was nice to get to interact with others without having cell phones in the room (I asked my friends to leave their phones in their cars). I think it was a really good experience for all of us because we were actually having conversation instead of sitting it the room together on our phones. I think its really important for people to take a step back from technology and be able to see the world around them.

  54. Dr. Rich,

    I tried the Media Freeze this weekend in regard to television. I decided that on Saturday, for the entire day, I wouldn't succumb to the desire to vegetate in front of the television. This was complicated by the fact that I was hanging out with friends that day, and we usually do watch television or Netflix together. Instead, we spent a majority of the day antiquing, followed by dinner at Wendy's. It was definitely more fun and stimulating than just watching TV; it got us out into the community and talking to people who share our interests. It did, however, come with a different pitfall. I spent far too much money, money I wouldn't have spent if I had stayed inside in front of the "boob tube." The experience taught me something important about self-discipline: I have an extremely finite amount of it. If I am being disciplined in one area of my life, another area is bound to suffer from excess or impulse. That's not a good thing! I must learn why I'm that way and how to fix it!

  55. Dr. Rich,
    I decided to do a freeze on my coffee pot. That was a big thing for me, I usually have about 5 cups a day. I decided to do that this past Monday, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I went out to a friends house and it honestly didn't even cross my mind, at least till I decided to go home. I figured I got this far in the day with out making coffee, and I stuck it out.

  56. Dr. Rich,

    I decided to do a freeze on Grey's Anatomy. As you know this month I have to buckle down and study for the LSAT every day if I am going to get the high score that I want. However, every time I sit in front of the computer what I really want to do is open up Netflix, not my Kaplan test prep class. I didn't set a strict schedule for myself but rather I decided to see how long I could go without watching it and resist the urge every time I sat down to study. Surprisingly I didn't watch a single episode until last night after I was finished studying. I was so stressed that I said to myself "I NEED to watch Grey's!". I missed it so much, I stayed up until 3:30 am watching, never mind my 9:30AM class. Talk about addiction.

  57. Good Evening!

    It has been 2days since being on my computer…This evening I finally checked my emails and….I had 68 emails! While I didn't miss much in terms of importance,I was forced to spend more time than I would have liked poring through junk! Let me not even begin to mention that while I was going through said e-mails, I had my 13 year old son shoving his cell phone into my face to show me the latest "vine"….this did not go over well…he is currently in his room brooding and whining about how "no one" cares about his interests..bla bla bla!!! Needless to say, this challenge honestly is not working out the way that I had hoped! I read the previous posts, and I had hoped that I would be in the majority as far as this "challenge" was concerned! While I realize that technology is far too important in our lives,mI do believe that it does has its place. Maybe I will go check out this one vine and make the kid happy before turning off the phones for the night?!

  58. Dr. Rich,

    For the media freeze, I decided to cut out YouTube from Saturday through Wednesday. At first, I found myself opening the app for YouTube without realizing it. I would remind myself of my YouTube freeze and close out of it. It was great to be free of the need to go online and lose time on senseless videos. Taking a media freeze on YouTube really helped me focus on things that I was pushing to the side. If I was too stressed on an assignment or if I was procrastinating, I would just open up the app and lose track of time. To add my media freeze I was accidentally locked out of my house on Saturday night for a couple of hours, and my phone was left inside. It was great to go out and not feel like I had to look at my phone and check on social media. This media freeze was liberating and I am going to try to leave my phone at home when I know I do not need it. Try to break out of my small screen addiction.


  59. Ashley Henrich
    The Media Freeze

    I can not believe how many people I know who are addicted to their cell phones. I know I am one of them. This past weekend I went out to dinner and to the movies with my friends. I said to my friends " Lets try not to look at our cell phones until tonight when we all go home. Lets all try to interact and socialize with one another." Do you know that within the first half hour everyone was looking at their cell phones? I was included in one of them. I am obsessed with just checking to see if I got a email or did someone text me. I feel as though if I do not look at my phone something could have happened. I feel as though when I was out with my friends that I was scared or nervous if I did not look at my phone. I come to realize that this is not just me but everyone in htis generation who lives and breeds on their cell phones. It is part of society today. Although there are some advantages to it, there are also some disadvantages. People need to learn how to socialize with one another and not just on their cell phones.

  60. Dr Rich,

    As I was reading this blog I couldn't help but marvel at the picture you painted of people on campus. After thinking about it however, I came to the realization that, that was true. Everyone walking around campus is connected to a phone or some other form of technology. Even I am constantly connected to my phone. As I'm walking from my car to class I hold on to my phone and often look down at it. Most times I don't have an email or a text message waiting. I know this yet I always constantly look down at it. I often go through old text messages or just swipe between screens. I do anything to keep me occupied.When it comes down to it, that is why I am constantly on my phone.I like to keep myself occupied in order to avoid communication with strangers (I find that odd, considering, I'm also majoring in communication studies). I will be the first to admit that I have a certain level of anxiety when it comes to talking to other people. But this blog made me wonder how different things would be if I put that shield down. So I did. I left my phone at home today, and it was an anxiety-ridden experience but it was an enjoyable one as well. As I walked to class at first I looked down at the ground. I almost reached for my phone but soon remembered i didn't have it. Upon remembering that I also remembered the purpose of having no phone. So I stood up straight and kept walking. It was an enlightening experience to say the least. I made eye contact with quite a few people people and all of them offered me a smile which I quickly returned. I don't know about you, but smiles always make me happy. As I walked into class I was feeling refreshed and ready for the next hour and fifteen minutes of discussing Whitman. My day did not end there however. I still had to more classes. I was to be on campus till 10:15 today. Its my longest day of classes and that is why I chose this day to have my media freeze. After class I sat outside waiting for my next class. As I sat in the hallway a girl from my first class approached me. As mentioned before, I tend to avoid communication. However, at that moment I was prepared and maybe even looking forward to it. She sat down next to me and we talked. I ended up learning her name, where she is from, where she works, and even learned her future plans. We simply kept talking and before we knew it, it was time for our next class. Had I had my phone with me, I would never have willingly talked to her. I would have been using it as a shield to keep people away. Through the media freeze I was able to break myself out of my comfort zone and actually enjoy myself. The media freeze thought me to enjoy socializing just a bit more.

    Zulema Dominguez

  61. Dr. Rich,

    I realized now, why you covered my phone with my purse. It has been a big help to take pictures of things that are important when I don't want to loose a word of what is being said. I have the syndrome of not wanting to waste time. Cell phones are very helpful but they are addictive too, I agree. Sometimes I wish I can turn it off ,but then come the what ifs????
    I will give myself a time out of my phone when I know my daughter is at school or safe at home . I will be brave jaja! and mute it while I make my readings to avoid distraction.
    It will be nice to make it a habit and be able to take time off every day and become more human. This is something to reflect on. I am glad that there is always someone to remind us , that we were happy people even before cell phones came out.

    Maria Calvino

  62. Going into a media freeze wasn't particularly hard for me to do. I am the type of person who would much rather read a book over television or write with a pen and paper over a computer. That isn't to say I don't like technology. I love having my phone with me and using my kindle to read books. With that said I decided to leave my phone behind one day while I went out to experience the world. I noticed I was able to enjoy the little things more. For example, how beautiful the weather was. I was able to "people watch" more which I noticed I wasn't doing as much when I had my phone with me. It was overall a nice experience but I don't think I would apply this type of thing on a regular basis. It's not that I don't enjoy the world as it is, I just appreciate the technology that comes with it and I am not ashamed to admit my generation has grown up to love and be dependent on technology. Just as the generations before us are dependent and loving towards other things of their youth. Music for example is an escape for many now as it was before we had computers. I look at technology as another form of art that helps people express themselves and I wouldn't want to cut that off on a regular basis.---Anna Mangione

  63. I never noticed how much of an effect that technology has on us until I witnessed it firsthand. Sitting across the table from someone at dinner and their eyes being glued to screen of the cell phone makes you feel invisible. I am physically sitting in front of you and am open to conversation and you still wish to talk to someone elsewhere. With technology,we are so focused on talking to people we aren't physically with instead of acknowledging the people we see everyday.
    Not to say that technology does not have its benefits. Facebook has allowed However,we as humans need to learn when to draw the line. When our cell phones become more important than actual conversation,we need to reevaluate ourselves.
    I find myself leaving my phone at home whenever I leave the house. If I am going out to spend time with people,I do not bring my phone. I know I will be tempted to look at it and check it,so why bother? By cutting off the ability to use it excessively,I feel that I appreciate the little things in life a lot more.

    -Victoria Hathaway

  64. Dr. Rich,

    I can really relate with everything you have mentioned in your above post. In high school, there was a period of time where Facebook literally controlled my life. I would be on it 24/7. Instead of doing homework, I was liking statuses, instead of studying, I was commenting on pictures. I ended that Facebook saga when I started college and it has been a LIFE CHANGER. I have been off Facebook for about four years now. Trust me, that is a big accomplishment! I swear I had gotten to the point where if I couldn't go on Facebook it was like the end of the world to me and my eye was probably twitching or something.
    Because of this, I stayed away from almost all media. I have a twitter that I use once in a blue moon (because I don't really understand it anyways). And I have an instagram that is probably my most used form of social media. Which really isn't saying much because I hardly go on that as well (but at least I understand that one).
    Since I don't use social media, I decided to get rid of my headphones for this media freeze. I constantly have my headphones in at the gym and it helps me get in the zone for weight lifting and especially cardio. During the hour I spend on weights, not having headphones has not bothered me so far. It's actually been kind of nice. I find myself more focussed on the muscles I'm working and more concentrated on my workout. People have even been coming up to me and talking to me - asking me if I could spot them and such on certain machines or asking me if I go to Kean (since I wore a Kean shirt the other day). Its amazing how approachable I have become without earbuds in my ears ignoring the world.
    However, on the third day of this media freeze, I have to admit that an hour of cardio has been quite dreadful without headphones. Today I brought a book, and although it was quite hard to reading while bobbing up and down on the elliptical, it worked. I'm going to stick with this though until the next time we meet, so I'll let you know if anything changes!

    Kim Ewanyk

  65. I've actually done something very similar to a media freeze about two months ago. This summer I have caught myself wasting lots of leisure time being glued to my phone. It was so excessive that it was cutting into my sleeping time, because i would just lay there for hours, scrolling away. One day, just for an experiment, I deleted all of my social network applications from my phone. This included: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat. Yes, I know, a whole lot of social sites to keep up with. The first day of the experiment, I kept opening my phone to launch a social network app, forgetting that I deleted all of them. I was indeed, ADDICTED. Whenever I felt tempted to launch a social network, I chose a productive task to work on instead. I ended up working out, reading, talking to my family, and channeling my creative side, waaaayyyyyyyy more than ever. This proves that technology can be a great distraction to everyday human activities. In my opinion, media/technology proves to be unhealthy. I plan to do another media freeze when finals near.

    -Brianna Garrick

  66. Adriane Sf.

    It has been 5 days since the media freeze was explained to us in poetry class. I decided to stop listening to music in my car on my commutes. It's not been too hard so far, even though last night I drove an hour and a half in silence. It's nice to notice things I haven't before- the sunset, the sound of crickets. I have noticed my mind is calmer...before, I would get to school all amped up and stressed but it's helping me relax.
    I also deleted Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr apps from my phone. These have been distracting me from sleeping at night. So far, it's been going well and I'm glad for the incentive.

  67. For my media freeze originally I was going to not text for an hour. But then I thought, what the heck, and decided to make it that I couldn't use my whole cell phone for an hour. It was hard at first because I didn't know what else to do. I use my cell phone almost constantly. I have bad anxiety and so I use to to reach out the my therapist and other people in my support network to figure out how to come back down to earth. It can be very helpful and so I was nervous about giving it up. I even play games to distract myself from otherwise negative thoughts I would be having. Both things are coping skills my therapist suggested I use. So in order to do this I tried to put myself in the least anxiety provoking atmosphere I could think of. But I still wanted it to be a time where I would usually be using my phone. I waited for my parents to leave. I was home alone, with nothing to do. Surely that is primetime for cell phone usage. I saw there was an update ready on my phone, and I never update my phone when I should because that shuts it off and makes it so you can't use it for however long. So, since this is an experiment, I decided to update my phone right before my media freeze. So this way, even if I was tempted to cave in and break my freeze, I couldn't because my phone was now busy, on its own, without me. Constantly I wanted to check the time, but I remembered my phone isn't some time lord that is the only device that can be used to tell the time. Also I had all this free time on my hands. Talking to know one. Not having games to play. Being all alone. What was I to do? To my surprise… and I really mean to my surprise, I decided to do some homework. I did some worksheets and made notecards for my Structures and Origins of the English Language class. The worksheets I probably would've saved until the night before they were due. The notecards, however, I never ever ever, not in a million years, would have done. For the past three weeks now the professor has been strongly suggesting we make notecards for this class. I took this class because I love grammar. The first few lessons were so easy I thought making notecards would be a joke. But sure enough, slowly the lessons are getting a little harder and harder. The first quiz came and I of course expected nothing less than 100. Well when you don't remember what an imperative sentence is and you write a statement instead, you don't get 100. That was something so easy and was really a simple mistake, but imagine when the work actually gets hard? I asked my mom to get me some notecards but even then I was putting off making them because I still didn't think I needed them. But now that I have made some, I'm so glad I have. I can look at these when the big exam comes and I have too much grammar jammed into my head that I'm trying to remember. And I can use them for the quizzes so that instead of worrying about making silly mistakes I can be confident that I'll get an A. When else would I have had the time to go ahead and do this? There is always going to be an excuse as to why I can't study or do my homework. But this media freeze really took that away. Even though I only did it for an hour. And you know what? I didn't even notice when an hour had gone by because I was so busy with my homework. I spent more than just that measly hour doing homework all because of this media freeze. At first I thought this was going to be some sort of joke but honestly, its mind blowing what you can get done without having your life cluttered with media.

    Thank you very much for having us do this!

    Mary Ruggiero

  68. Dr. Rich,
    When you proposed the media freeze to us in class I did not see it as a challenge. I am not tied to my cell phone in any emotional way. To me, the constant social connectivity that this device incubates is a burden. I am no lover of Facebook or Instagram. I am not one to text frivolously. I have been known to let my phone go missing for days out of neglect, and regularly spend time camping in places off the grid. So I thought, this will be no problem for a person such as myself! Unbound by the invisible wires that hold down my peers I will relish the experience and emerge effortlessly triumphant!
    I was mistaken.
    I began my media blackout on Friday night. I had decided to stop using my cell phone and computer for the duration of the weekend. First, I went for a run. Normally I run with my phone attached by a strap to my arm... it clocks my time and measures my distance and blares music through my earbuds. On Friday night I did not bring my phone running, and I have to admit that I felt really naked. The first mile was seriously miserable. I realized my disdain for running without music. However, by the end of the second mile I had gotten myself into a kind of trance. I was thinking about the week that had passed and about the things that had to be done in the week to come. It was an interesting experience, and I might do it again.
    I spent the remainder of Friday night with my family... which is unusual. Normally I might have vegetated in front of my computer, playing games or reading news or watching movies. On Friday I watched reruns of America's Got Talent with my mom and sister. It was moderately enjoyable.
    On Saturday I worked all day. When I got home I read and did some homework. I could only do so much without using the computer. I might have gone out with friends, but didn't know how to contact anybody without the cell phone or computer. I hadn't had the foresight to write down numbers that I might call on the land line. How did people contact each other before there were phones? My mind is blown. I felt strangely uncomfortable for most of the night. I played some guitar and found myself more engaged than usual. I went to sleep early.
    I woke up today and continued my blackout until noon. I spent the morning drinking coffee and doing laundry and cleaning my room. I also played with my dogs for about an hour, longer than I would normally.
    All in all, I would say that my experience with the media blackout was a good one. I have realized that I use technology as a tool for isolation. Whereas some may be bound to their phones and computers for the social gratification that these devices offer, I rely on them to block out the world. This is perhaps much worse. This experience has brought me to consider my reliance on technology in a different way, and I would like to see how I might fair if this experiment were stretched out over a longer period of time.

  69. Media Freeze:

    I have to admit, when I first came into class and you said no cellphones at all, my heart did drop a little. Then I told myself to snap out of it and get over it. Three hours without a phone will be good! No distractions and I can stay active in class and participate! For my media freeze, I chose to not listen to the radio while driving (I'm a commuter). On the first day it wasn't much of a challenge because it was something I was anticipating, almost like I had to prove a point to myself. However, as the day went on I noticed me humming to myself. Almost like music had been absent from my life and I was humming and singing through out the day to restore it into myself. I have to admit, not listening the Elvis Duran and the morning show (z100) was very difficult. They provide my mornings with a lot of laughter and company. How sad is that, people talking through my car radio provide me with company. Over the last week I realized that the only real company I need is myself. I can talk to myself, laugh at my own jokes and even give myself advice. Driving to school in the morning without a distraction like a radio was actually pretty nice because I got to enjoy watching the sun fully rise and provide natural light for all of us to use and enjoy. I more also noticed some people driving like idiots, rather it be me driving like an idiot because I'm usually preoccupied by switching the radio station. This was a great challenge for myself and hey, maybe ill even do it again sometime! But for right now, I think I'll stick with my media pals, Elvis Duran and the morning show.


  70. Dr. Rich,
    Originally when we were assigned this media freeze I thought "oh crap I am going to be so bad at this" and I was right. The media that I gave up was music. I tried at first to do it during the week, but every time I got in my car I found myself listening to music. I then decided that I am going to really focus and conquer it for the weekend (Saturday and Sunday.) It drove me CRAZY. I love listening to music because of it's self expression and the ability to use it as an escape. Where I struggled with it most was driving to different places and at the gym. Driving without music was so boring and it just drove me to think about life as I drove, which I hate having to ponder. On a positive note, I was not as distracted when driving so check plus on the safety meter!
    When I was at the gym Sunday night, I decided to bring a book with me instead. It was easy for me when I would be on the bike, but when it came to lifting and other exercises, the book got in the way. Lastly, it was extremely hard for me to feel energized because there was no music to amp me up for my workout.
    The enjoyable part for me of this media freeze was that I was happy to challenge myself and actually stick with it. I feel a lot better knowing that I can succeed without jamming out to some tunes, even though I don't want to. I actually may start blocking out the radio on car rides so I can focus better and appreciate the view as I drive, but I will continue music use at the gym!

    Thanks for the experience!

  71. Hey Dr Rich. I must say that my choice of media freeze was a lot harder than I had realized. I had chosen to avoid social media for the week. I did not thoroughly execute the media freeze it there was an improvement. When it came to Facebook, I had avoided the site for about two days, until someone had tagged me in a picture, which tempted me to look, which I did. Facebook was so tempting that I even took the time to re-download the app so that I could see the picture, even though I had purposely deleted the app so that I would avoid the site. I was more successful with avoiding Instagram. I deleted the app on my phone, as I did with Facebook, and I could not remember my password to log back in. When the temptation came to go on the site I was not able to, or I would have to go out of my way troubleshooting which was not really worth it. The media freeze was difficult to me, especially since I was uncertain of my position in the class, it made me ask myself if it was worth the sacrifice. Also after I had failed originally, I was discouraged and felt I had already failed.

  72. Media Freeze, huh? There's not much I can choose. Social media and I don't get along. Facebook? I forgot that existed. Twitter? I dabbled, but not as much as the many dive into every single tweet. Youtube? That's a big one for me, but I'm still limited to how much I watch on Youtube. I only really watch two particular Youtubers and they post two videos a day that rarely even pass the twenty minute mark. I debated on cutting down on how much I listen to music, but I only listen to music when I'm walking somewhere by myself. I might cut back on playing so many video games, though. That's where all my free time goes to. Playing whatever game I can find, with whomever wishes to join, even if it's just me, myself, and I. I'll just have to worry about what I do when I'm not playing, because I feel I'll just end up doing nothing, which is painfully boring. I'll figure it out.

  73. Never considered doing a media freeze before, mostly because I used to think that I was not addicted to social media. I created a Myspace page once, logged in once, and then I never returned to it because I didn't understand its appeal. I didn't get a Twitter account until 2014 and that was because I needed one for a class, but I still use it every now and again. I really used to think that I was immune to the effects of social media until I realized that I had been addicted to it all along in the form of Youtube.

    I have been watching Youtube since before I started that long-forgotten Myspace and I have used it more consistently than my Twitter. For some reason, I never considered Youtube to be social media before, but I am not too sure why. Maybe I just thought it seemed too different from Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. What matters is that I see Youtube as social media now and that I acknowledge it as a source of my addiction to social media.

    With this in mind, I am considering how I should tackle my media freeze. I know what to cut down on, but by how much and what should I do in place of it? Going cold turkey is not an option to me because it would just drive me insane. Any changes that I make must be gradual. Maybe skip Youtube every other day? Should I limit myself to an hour or two of content or should I go by number of videos? At this point, I will start with watching no more than two hours a day just to test the waters. I can always add or remove time as I see fit, but now I must consider what to do in place of that time. Personally, I thought I might just walk around campus and think. It is nice and cold out courtesy of old man Winter so I can take advantage of the frigid air and lack of people to just think in a comfortable and relatively quiet environment.

  74. Hi, Dr Rich. This Media Freeze project is definitely a difficult assignment for me. As I am new here and don't get familiar with the surroundings and people, the only thing that keeps me in the comfort zone is my Chinese social media-Sina Weibo. It's similar with twitter and I feel like I were still in China and talked about the funny news with my friends. However, before I arrived here, I have already made up my mind to be open-minded and make some American friends. The resolution is fragile, though. And Sina Weibo seems to be an easier way to prevent me from thinking about the resolution, but I always look forward to communicating with others. That's why I have most of my classes on my own in order to encourage myself in stead of relying on my Chinese friends who came here with me. I live in a contradictory life.
    On this Saturday, I left my phone at the dormitory and went for lunch with my Chinese friends in the blizzard. This was our first time to see such a heavy snow since we were born. We were excited absolutely, but then they took out their phones, took pictures and shared them with their parents and friends. If I brought my phone with me, I would do the same thing. Therefore, I threw a snow ball towards one of them to distract them. We started a snow fight then. I must admit I was evil and selfish.
    It was fine when we were having lunch. However, after lunch, they took out their phones again and updated their Sina Weibo. Then I told them this Media Freeze project. They were astonished for a while but put down their phones and said they would support me for the whole day.
    We talked a lot in their dormitory after lunch. Actually, we never expressed how we missed our family and how we felt after the week. Through the conversations, I felt connected and not so solitary any more. It even gave me energy and courage. When I walked back to my dormitory at night and came across an American girl in the elevator, I asked, "how are u?" She replied to me friendly and talked about her day. I felt much much better within a short conversation. I felt like I have the energy to keep walking on the path I desire.

  75. I needed to do this Media Freeze, and God made it possible. I'm stressing less, and I'm not reading comments that make me angry. For some reason though, I still have this urge to go on Facebook. I haven't been on since the time the assignment was assigned and throughout the days I have been thinking more, praying more, and talking with my parents more. I would like to say all of those things are positive, but thinking isn't always a good thing. I've learned keeping myself busy allows me to escape a mind that is constantly worrying or reminiscing. The reality is I need to completely eliminate Facebook but something within me just won't let me. I want to share my excitement and how I feel about God, but I'm battling ignoring certain people and certain comments. I've realized as much as I say I hate drama I invite it into my life.

  76. I have always come up with excuses for why I need to keep my social media accounts. While only one of them are reasonable (keeping communication with family living outside of the country), it does not excuse my constant activity on my accounts, and I certainly don’t need all of these different media accounts, either.
    For my media freeze, I chose to cut out my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it) for 24 hours. I chose Tuesday the 26th thinking it would be a lot easier to keep myself occupied since I would be at work then school. At 11:59, I logged out of all of my social media accounts, and started the media freeze strong.
    Snow day.
    The dreaded snow day. The school I work at had no school, so I was home, then had no reason to be at Kean for the rest of the day. It was just me, the couch, and Netflix all day. The plus side to this day was that I was able to complete all of the work I was pushing off, finish a Netflix show I had been trying to finish, and drove around for a little while to clear out my thoughts.
    I had always been aware of my addiction to social media. I know when to shut it off (mostly), but I still find myself trying to check it whenever I have a free moment. Recently, I realized how bad people’s addictions to social media can get.
    I had visited the Statue of Liberty with my friend recently. Luckily for me, my phone is so terrible that I had no service out on the island, leaving me no choice but to actually enjoy the real reason I was there, which I had no problem doing. I love photography and taking pictures, so the only time my phone was in my hand was when I saw a good photo opportunity. I looked over at my friend, who was constantly recording and taking pictures for Snapchat. It was after watching my friend for a while did I realize that social media was interfering with this trip. They were more concerned about documenting their every move to their followers.
    I will definitely make the effort to do this more often, even if it is at least once a week. Logging out of my accounts definitely helped me because then putting effort into typing my information in will give me time to realize that I am logged out for a reason, and that I need to take control of all of this.

    Megan Collante

  77. So I attempted to challenge the media freeze and I think I did quite well. I removed myself from Instagram and it made me feel a little better about myself, although I missed my source of entertainment. I didn't watch any videos, like anyone's pictures, nor did I scroll through my newsfeed trying to figure out what's new. I did this for an entire week and for the first two days, I didn't know what to do with myself. Then the third day came, and I noticed that I was drowning myself on Snapchat everything minute that I had to myself. So I told myself, no more Snapchat for the rest of the week. My brain was going crazy because I was so bored and I had nothing to replace my "addictions". You would think that I would just do my homework or exercise. Nope, that wasn't the case either. Instead, I participated in daily activities with my brother my sister and I enjoyed myself. I was actually happy that I had the time to spend with my family because nowadays time is so precious and passes us by so fast. We all know the time only goes forwards and never goes backwards in reality. I found myself engaged in more intellectual conversations with my friends, family, and even my advisor that I was stalking but that was just to get into certain classes. Now that my week is over I feel great. My urges for Instagram and Snapchat has decreased as well as my relationships with my family and friends has increased. This was a great experience that I actually thought would go wrong, but because I kept pushing myself, I completed my task and accomplished my goals. Now I can truly say I refuse to let social media run my life.

    Ashley Ollivierre

  78. Dr. Rich,

    This Media Freeze Assignment off the bat was far from easy. Add in the snowpocalypse that swept the east coast, I truly did not think I would be able to follow through with my commitment. I pledged to not watch Netflix for two days. As the snow began to fall, each flake felt like an additional weight that would soon lead me to crash. But, I did not. I spent three days snowed in at my boyfriend's house, and the lack of Netflix brought us closer together. We played games, enjoyed the outdoors, colored together--finally convinced him that coloring is beautifully therapeutic. As I made it home Monday morning, I did not feel the need to come home and spend my snow day watching Netflix. Instead, I practiced yoga, spent time with my puppies (one was experiencing snow for the first time), and spent time with my brother. Since my media freeze, I have watched Netflix, but not as long and rarely as a means of escape. I definitely learned from this assignment, and am grateful I vowed my commitment.

    Mackenzie Anderson

    1. I have to agree with you Mackenzie. Sometimes we use things like Netflix, Facebook, Twitter and television as an escape. There are things that are so much more beneficial to us like doing yoga, coloring and enjoying nature. All of which can still help us escape reality but are still good for us. Im glad that this media freeze worked out in your favor!
      Joana Gouveia

  79. Dr. Rich,

    This assignment was not as easy as I thought it would be considering the amount of snow we received this weekend. My media freeze was not to go on snap chat and Instagram for the weekend. It wasn't so hard to do Friday and Saturday but when Sunday came around with all the snow I started to get the urge to look at what other people were up to. I didn't let the urge take over though. I tried to keep myself preoccupied with other things like watching movies and baking brownies. I spent a lot of time with my boyfriend and family too. After a while I started to forget about it and it didn't bother me anymore. I found myself being so much more productive the whole weekend. I was more involved with socializing with my family and I started to read a new book. With so much time on my hands I got started doing some work for school that I probably wouldn't have done if I was so obsessed with social media.
    This media freeze really helped me see that technology is good but it isn't everything. Sometimes we need to just put everything down and enjoy the people and things that we have around us while we can. I am deffinitly going to try and do this media freeze more often.

    Joana Gouveia

  80. I most definitely enjoyed reading this blog post. I, myself have also conducted media freezes and tend to due them regularly twice a month. A year ago I had realized that when I spend too much time on social media I become very sad and overwhelmed. Every now and then I decide its healthy to turn away from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and all the other sites that allow us to communicate. In a way it sort of revives my soul and brings me back to a place of productivity and happiness. In all honesty, I am a workaholic and love being busy so it makes sense to me that I can get a little sad when I waste too much time on social media. I can easily go two or three days without looking at social sites and feeling so much livelier after I do this. I have realized that despite all this I do tend to abuse the internet for entertainment purposes. I never thought I had an issue until I noticed I wake up and go to bed watching Youtube videos. Even when I want to look at something else on the internet, Youtube is always playing in the background, and I realized it is actually physically hard for me to close the window holding this site, because it bothers me when there is no noise in the background. I found this so very strange since I can easily disconnect from Facebook and Instagram. so after reading this blog post I decided to conduct a new media freeze and ban myself from Youtube for three hours, while banning myself from checking my email for three days. The email ban did not really feel like an issue although i missed quite a few important things when i got back to it, but Youtube was hard to give up. I played a lot of music to counteract the silence in the house. after a while I felt like I was cheating and I turned it off. I tried to speak with my family but they were on their social media not wanting to be disturbed, and looking at them I had realized how rarely we spoke because of social media. I have plenty of books on my shelf but did not feel like picking them up. I love the idea that during the media freeze you conducted you decided to create something new; this blog. I love to create, so i decided to do the same. I began to draw. I am not the best artist but it takes a lot out of me when I draw because I want it to look good and it requires me to have patience. after my drawing was finished I grabbed my ukelele and began to play all the songs I new how to play. when that was done I began to write new lyrics to the songs I never finished simply because their was a new video to watch on youtube. I find it inspiring that you can get off social media for a while to create and I figured if you can do that so can i , and I find creating so self rewarding and much more fulfilling then sitting in front of a computer witching someone else live their life. It is nice to know now that I am able to turn off my laptop and not feel horribly distressed afterward. I can turn it off and sit quietly and appreciate I have my own life to live and have my own content to create

  81. One of the things I find really marketable and interesting about the "media freeze" from all forms of media is that it lends itself away from making more money for companies. The one day that someone, like myself, spends off of Amazon Fire, not buying any items, is a day where no profit is made for online-based companies. I must admit in the some days that I spend offline I managed to teach myself songs on piano and guitar while also learning Shakespeare. I often kick myself for being so obsessed with the internet when I was younger. I lost two/three years of my young life when I spent every waking moment on my favorite MMORPG videogame, Wizard101 (MMORPG being Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). Now that I am off of the game, I realize how much money I spent toward something that wasn't real. It didn't better me as a person. When I payed real money for something in the game, it provided me with wares/goods that weren't real. They didn't exist. That thought still harrows me a bit today. Truly, a day offline once in a while will leave you no worse for wear.

  82. Dr. Rich,

    I tried to do a media freeze for the week. Personally I do feel that social media is a distraction and can even cause anxiety (even though I do have social media). It was difficult to avoid using the internet especially email because a lot of my classes require me to; read texts online, type assignment and do research from the internet. It is sad to say that I do spend most of my time online. I often use it as a way to not have to interact with other people, as bad as that sounds. I feel that if I didn't use the internet so much. I would get a lot more important tasks done. Time flies when you're browsing the web especially when you're online shopping haha. It is actually no laughing matter at how much people are consumed with the internet especially social media sites like facebook, Instagram & snap chat. I see people go on vacation and not even enjoy themselves because they would rather take pictures of how they're having an "awesome" time than actually experiencing this "awesome" time. I am not sure when people will realize how using so much social media is futile. On the other hand, the internet has made life much easier; you can order food online, shop, skype with relatives across the globe, etc. I am really glad that you made this blog so we can all share our thoughts on media usage.

    Vanessa Santa-Marinha (English 3215(01))

  83. To be completely honest, I love the idea of not having phones in class. In too many of my classes do I see my other classmates just sitting on their phones, not paying attention to anything the professors are saying. Maybe they don't realize that they're paying for the classes and their education. I happen to love having hard copies of books and hand writing my notes, because I feel like I actually comprehend the material a little better and can remember more.
    I recently just participated in the Disney College Program down in Florida, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. This experience really showed me how much I genuinely enjoy interacting with others. Whether it was just chatting with someone about what they had done in the park already, giving them directions, or having a child tell me about their experience meeting their favorite princess or character, I valued the moments. I spent a lot of my time in the parks people watching, and seeing how many people has their eyes glued to their phones and iPads and I was in disbelief. You are in WALT DISNEY WORLD and you're sitting on your phone the whole time?! Why live life through that tiny screen when you have all this beauty right in front of you? I just couldn’t, and still don’t, understand.
    On that note, the media block out, I was quite concerned about. The first step to overcoming a problem is to admit what the problem is, right? Well, I am 100% addicted to my phone. Granted, I can go a few hours without checking it, but that's only if I'm busy or at work. I normally spend majority of the time scrolling through my twitter or instagram feed, or checking my snapchats. I decided that I was going to give up Twitter for the afternoon and everning when I then had to go to work. Since I spend most of my time on Twitter, catching up on the latest One Direction news and seeing what people are up to, I felt like this was a good decision. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I got a lot more done versus just sitting and scrolling on twitter. I have a tendency to get distracted quite easily, so to refrain myself from my most distracting component gave me the opportunity to catch up on my readings and homework, and I wasn’t running around trying to finish getting ready for work last minute. I genuinely enjoy being disconnected from social media from time to time, because it allows me to have some time to actually focus on myself, which I don’t necessarily do that often anymore.

  84. Oddly enough, as a young person in today’s society, I do not have much of a media addiction. I often forget to look at Facebook or my cell, and get yelled at by my family for being notoriously terrible at responding to their texts, sometimes waiting a few days before I type out a response. I thought about it a lot, and realized that the one area where I feel the need to use technology is when I am driving. I always put on my GPS, as I have an app that keeps track of traffic patterns and lets me know the best way to go. I decided that I would spend a day of driving without using my GPS. The morning was nice and easy, and a little less stressful, because I didn’t have to pay attention to my estimated arrival time, watching the minutes add up as traffic increases on my route ahead of me. Instead, I just listened to some music, enjoyed the scenery, and made it to work on time. But on my way to school, I got stuck in traffic jam after traffic jam. I ended up being 45 minutes late for class, extremely stressed out, and really upset. I realized that maybe in some ways, technology is useful when used in moderation. It is not helpful to be constantly connected to the world, sharing every intimate detail of your life on social media, or becoming so dependent on the GPS you do not know how to drive without it. But in some ways, technology can help make our lives easier, allowing us to get around the everyday problems of traffic jams from time to time.

  85. This post resonated with me, because I definitely believe that too much of anything can't be good for you. Everything works best in moderation, as they say. I definitely spend more than my fair share of time absorbed in various forms of media. Who doesn't want to watch thousands of shows and movies instantly, argue politics and social policy with people across the planet, or watch cute puppies play with babies whenever you want to? The chance to see what would happen when I cut out one of these outlets entirely made me feel both excited and scared.

    For my media freeze, I decided to take a break from Netflix for five days. It was not easy. The people behind Netflix have tapped into something special - their original content is excellent, and they have something to suit whatever your taste of the moment happens to be. It becomes addicting to have so much to watch right at your fingertips. This freeze could not have come at a worse time, either. I am in the middle of watching their new series, Jessica Jones, and had to wait an unreasonable amount of time to see what she would do with the evil Kilgrave after a big curve ball in the story. Not only this, but at the end of a long day, day after day, I couldn't feed into my need to see what happened with Kilgrave. This drove me crazy, not to mention the spoilers I had to avoid. I couldn't put on an episode of Friends before going to sleep. No Freaks and Geeks. No Gilmore Girls. Could I have looked for these shows elsewhere? Sure! But I felt I would have been cheating on the freeze.

    What happened? I didn't die, but I was forced to use my time and my energy to elsewhere, and ended up being pretty productive. I cleaned, I cooked better meals, I got ahead of things, played board games that made me interact with people instead of zoning out into a story. I guess Dr. Rich might be onto something. Not that I'll ever totally quit Netflix, I just can't escape the pull of Jessica Jones. I'll just have to remember: everything in moderation.

  86. So, I attempted to do the media freeze and it was really hard for me to complete. I own an online boutique for handcrafted and all natural hair, bath and body products. In business the power of social media is everything and its the best way to promote and reach your intended audience. For this reason alone I knew I would fail (lol). I dont use my phone as often on the weekends as I usually spend them with my friends and family. There may be instances where we check on our phones just for messages and missed calls but overall we enjoy each others company. Today I spent my day cooking dinner and watching movies with my mom. I uploaded the occasional promotional posts but other han that I was pretty much phone free. Although, I did accidentally leave my phone home one day and for the first time ever I didnt turn around to go back for it as I usually would. It honestly wasnt half bad!

  87. The idea of not using phones in class excites me. I so often see students using their cell phones or laptops, doing things that do not pertain to classwork. Without the use of cell phones in class, I believe that this will create a better classroom atmosphere and better student engagement.
    I do not consider myself addicted to my phone nor social networks. What I am more concerned with is making sure I am connected with my family. The reason why I have a cell phone is because I want to make sure that my family and close friends can always reach me when needed. It is more of a safety issue.
    What I do rely on is Netflix. Every time I have a break between classes or have any spare time, I usually watch series and movies on Netflix. I started my media freeze on Wednesday and ended on Saturday. I decided to start on Wednesday because I have a lot of breaks between my classes. I wanted to see how it would feel without depending on Netflix. At first, it was not too hard. Between classes, I worked on a lot on homework and readings for classes. I also held many more conversations with my peers and random people at the library. I would say that not being on Netflix was fine until Friday night. I caught up with all of my homework, which was very helpful but after I finished my work, I did not have a lot to do.
    On Saturday, I noticed that I was in the living room all day communicating with my family instead of being in my room glued to my laptop. The result? Interacting with my family is much more important than watching shows on my laptop. I also really enjoyed getting all of my classwork done way in advanced. I am thrilled to see how this class differs from other classes this semester since the use of cell phones are prohibited.

    Karina Flores

  88. I am not obsessed with texting or using forms of social media. I have accounts for most social media platforms but I do not need to post something everyday, in fact I rarely ever post anything. I did read that other students said their addictions dealt more with television and that rings true for me as well. For my media freeze I attempted to not watch Netflix for a week and it was awful! My boyfriend is always telling me that I am obsessed with watching entire series in Netflix in very short amounts of time and it is very true. I'm embarrassed to say but trying not to binge watch parks and recreations almost made me feel anxiety ridden.

    Brianne Carey

  89. I did 1 1/2 weeks of my media freeze. I am quite media addicted and get discouraged easily so I knew I couldn't jump in full force or I would never follow through. My solution was to take my most used media, Facebook, and my most used time for Facebook, after 8 pm and shorten it there. After 8 pm, I would not allow myself to go on Facebook. The first day I failed because I absent mindedly went on after dinner. However, I caught myself and made sure I stuck to it. At first, I committed to three days and I found myself compensating with other apps to fill the time and void. I had a big problem with FOMO as the fear of missing out was very real. I wanted to know what was going on with all my friends and didn't like not being in know. However, I extended my freeze to a week and soon I was off my phone more. It was like I knew I could live without it and I didn't need it as much. After the week, I tried for two but got over the allure of the media freeze and called it quits. I have fallen into the same habits of staying on Facebook for multiple hours on end, which is why I'm here at 12 am. The media freeze made me look at what I see as a priority in my life and made me question if it's the best way to spend my time. I like the idea of a 24 freeze a week. I might try to adopt that next!

  90. For my media freeze last time I decided to not use my phone at all for an hour, this time i decided to not use my phone for a whole day. It was hard because I couldn't contact anyone and at one point I wasn't sure if I had enough gas to get home so it was scary lol. I have bad anxiety and so I use to to reach out the my therapist and other people in my support network to figure out how to come back down to earth. It can be very helpful and so I was nervous about giving it up. I even play games to distract myself from otherwise negative thoughts I would be having. Both things are coping skills my therapist suggested I use. So in order to do this I tried to put myself in the least anxiety provoking atmosphere I could think of. But I still wanted it to be a time where I would usually be using my phone. I waited for my parents to leave. I was home alone, with nothing to do. Surely that is primetime for cell phone usage. I saw there was an update ready on my phone, and I never update my phone when I should because that shuts it off and makes it so you can't use it for however long. So, since this is an experiment, I decided to update my phone right before my media freeze. So this way, even if I was tempted to cave in and break my freeze, I couldn't because my phone was now busy, on its own, without me. Constantly I wanted to check the time, but I remembered my phone isn't some time lord that is the only device that can be used to tell the time. Also I had all this free time on my hands. Talking to know one. Not having games to play. Being all alone. What was I to do? To my surprise… and I really mean to my surprise, I decided to do some homework. I did some worksheets and made notecards for my Structures and Origins of the English Language class. The worksheets I probably would've saved until the night before they were due. The notecards, however, I never ever ever, not in a million years, would have done. For the past three weeks now the professor has been strongly suggesting we make notecards for this class. I took this class because I love grammar. The first few lessons were so easy I thought making notecards would be a joke. But sure enough, slowly the lessons are getting a little harder and harder. The first quiz came and I of course expected nothing less than 100. Well when you don't remember what an imperative sentence is and you write a statement instead, you don't get 100. That was something so easy and was really a simple mistake, but imagine when the work actually gets hard? I asked my mom to get me some notecards but even then I was putting off making them because I still didn't think I needed them. But now that I have made some, I'm so glad I have. I can look at these when the big exam comes and I have too much grammar jammed into my head that I'm trying to remember. And I can use them for the quizzes so that instead of worrying about making silly mistakes I can be confident that I'll get an A. When else would I have had the time to go ahead and do this? There is always going to be an excuse as to why I can't study or do my homework. But this media freeze really took that away. Even though I only did it for an hour. And you know what? I didn't even notice when an hour had gone by because I was so busy with my homework. I spent more than just that measly hour doing homework all because of this media freeze. At first I thought this was going to be some sort of joke but honestly, its mind blowing what you can get done without having your life cluttered with media.

    Thank you very much for having us do this again!

    Mary Ruggiero

  91. After leaving class on Friday, I began to think quite a bit about the manner in which my media freeze would be most beneficial. I recognize completely that I, like so many 19 year old women, am indeed a bit hooked to my cellphone. I want to check my email every three minutes to ensure I’m not missing out on the next great opportunity (or the next great sale). I want to hear all about the day my best friend is having in Syracuse 250 miles away. I want to google how old Tom Hanks is when I see him in a film and realize he doesn’t look quite the same as he did in the Forrest Gump, or even Philadelphia eras. I have grown up in a world where all the information in the world, and all the ways to procrastinate learning it, are at your fingertips. So, which aspects of this should I limit myself from?
    Skip forward about four hours and this question is still nagging on my mind, so, I decide there was no time like the present to get started. As I performed in a One Act Festival a bit closer to home than to Kean this weekend, I had to take quite a bit of mass transit. Typically, on trips like this my headphones are my salvation. I do not typically enjoy interacting with other people on transit trips. I do not enjoy loud children. I do not enjoy being asked for money. And more than anything else, I do not enjoy being catcalled by old men in Newark Penn Station. And of course, while my headphones blasting hair bands from the eighties, or the Hamilton soundtrack into my ears does not make any of these things go away, it does make them much easier to ignore. But, there I was, walking unto the platform, stowing my headphones into my backpack and deciding that for this weekend, I would not use my headphones.
    And initially, nothing but the expected happened. I listened to young children scream at their mother for candy, and I was catcalled at Newark Penn (needless to say, having heard the remark I was much more agitated than usual.) At the Secaucus station though, I was asked for directions by a middle aged woman. This is not very uncommon, at my measly five feet in height, I am typically the least threatening traveler on a platform at a time and am used to receiving questions just about every time I travel. Without my headphones in though, once I answered her travel question the woman went as far as to tell me about her day, and the way in which her husband had totaled his car forcing her into taking the trains she was so unfamiliar with. And, while I am honestly not very interested in this information, I realize that offering some friendly conversation with someone obviously having a bad day at the train station isn’t the worst thing I could spend my time doing.
    The rest of the weekend passed without much in the way of life changing revelations. In the green room, instead of playing music to myself, I asked the cast if they mind if I played it allowed, and naturally a rap battle accompanied by the founding fathers ensued. The walks between bus stations and train stations made my mind go a bit sporadic without the music to focus on. But, all in all, if nothing else, I learned that I won’t actually die without my headphones. However, I may need anger management classes before my next walk through Newark Penn without them.
    Kayla Fiscina

  92. Dr. Rich,
    I completely agree with the idea of not allowing cellphones in the classroom. I often notice myself paying less attention to things that matter most when I have my phone. It is so easy to get distracted when you have so many things at your fingertips- from contact to all the people I know, to social media, to photos, games, etc. This past summer, I experienced so many new things which I had never before with my boyfriend. We explored nature, went to many beautiful parks and waterfalls, beaches, zoos etc. and saw so many beautiful things from breathtaking sunsets to picture perfect views of the ocean or even a beautiful water fall. A lot of times I didn't use my phone and I noticed myself thinking so deeply about the things around me. I would talk to my boyfriend about the things around us, and I remember so many times I would just think to myself how I want to savor these beautiful moments in my life. I would look at him and notice everything about him, from his facial expressions, to the tone of his voice when he spoke. Being so stuck on my phone at times has made me appreciate these simple things much less.
    I hate to think about the amount of time I have wasted on my makes me cringe that I am wasting my time on something so meaningless. I wake up, check social media and can't fall asleep until I catch up on social media. I realize that I don't know half the people who's posts I am viewing, yet I still feel the need to scroll through. Having a smart phone makes us extremely less sociable because we are so reliant on them. It also makes us more likely to do things we never would because behind the computer screen or phone screen we could be a different person. Smart phones are dangerous because of how easy it is to be someone you're not. Smart phones are destroying relationships and family's, they are destroying are ability to think, our ability to communicate, and our ability to be our selves. For my media freeze this week, I want to spend an entire day without my phone. I want to pay attention to the little things, from the beauty of nature and the emotions and feelings of my loved ones, to the beauty Of the relationships we share and to take the time to think about how lucky I am for each moment I have today and enjoy it. Also, I hope to take a vacation next summer and not use my phone at all. I feel like it would be such a wonderful time if I did this. I wouldn't be able to waste time checking up on Facebook or Instagram, or worrying about if a picture is perfect enough to get enough likes. I look forward to a future of not being completely obsessed with a smart phone because of the negative effects it is bringing to everything around me.
    Megan Hathaway

  93. Another year, another change to practice mindfulness. In the past, I stopped using one application, maybe two. But this time, I wanted to hit six with an added bonus. No Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Imgur, and my laptop had to be off when I was not using it--no sleep mode for it.
    What I found? My morning journal filled every morning. A poem every day. More writing and time to refocus, to be mindful.
    After five days, I went back on social media but gave myself a task and a time to complete it. 30 minutes to check messaged and let people know I was quitting some apps. I decided Snapchat and Instagram had to go! Too many short bursts of excitement mixed with the scrolling, scrolling, scrolling thumbs. Twitter and Facebook I'll keep--but only check them when I get a notification and limit the time and task I want to use them for. Tumblr and Imgur, I don't think I'll delete because they do have an archive of good information, but I'm definitely not going on them for another week.

    Media Freeze is always good to me!

    Eli Hernandez

  94. When challenged with the task of doing a media freeze, I automatically knew what had to be eliminated from my life for a period of time: social media in all forms (for me, that meant Instagram and Snapchat). I knew this was the media that I should put a halt on, because in the past I had tried to give it up—and I failed. This failure showed me, very clearly, that I was addicted to these media sources. Is addiction bad? Not always. In fact, I have set goals for myself that make addiction an absolute necessity—addiction to fitness, addiction to academics, and addiction to improving the ‘self’. But one thing that is absolutely certain is that my usage of social media was not aiding my self improvement or pushing me closer to my goals. The opposite is true. What did the media do? It relentlessly gobbled up time—precious, precious time. I was getting nothing back for the amount of time I was putting into it. It is therefore, not a healthy addiction.
    Since the last weekend these apps have been gone (deleted!), and I have been allocating the time that would have been wasted on social media to other things. I typically would spend large chunks of my ‘post-dinner’ time surfing and chatting on social media; I have now been able to fill in this time with other activities (pushed by the apparent boredom that these evening hours could bring out when not using social media). I have done extra reading, I have gone on some evening runs, I installed a pull-up contraption (homemade) above my bathroom door, and I got the idea to paint a large canvas for an achingly empty wall in my apartment. Not to mention, my enjoyment of the labor day BBQ at my cousins lake house was not interrupted by the compulsory need to check the apps. After this week I realized that by giving up social media, I really have not missed out on anything important and with the spare time have been able to do some beneficial activities. I think that if and when I get back to social media, I will do it only if I am in some way motivating or helping other people—how I will do that, I do not yet have a clue! Thank you for the (muse of) inspiration to do this media freeze, I needed a nudge.

    Zachary Cierpial

  95. Last time for media freeze project, I chose to social media as my addiction. And for now, I have already got used to not using social media and I barely check them now except for emergencies. The media freeze project does change me a lot for helping me realize the world still works without being notified by those social media messages.
    This year, I choose films as I am addicted to watching films to waste my time. Films always inspire me to think but watching too many at one time is just caused by the fact that I am getting bored and I just want to find something to do to spend my time. Sometimes, when I spend too much time on good films, I feel sorry for those films since I don't think them through after watching them but just enjoy those thrilling plots and nothing else. Until now, I haven't watched a film for three days and those films I saw three days ago start to come back to me and I begin to think what this plot means. I think less makes more. When I am given too much and just get what I want, I barely feel the value of these things and just take them as granted. Similarly, I start to notice my surroundings. I barely pull down my curtain right now so that I can see what is happening outside the world I live in and the world I think I live in. For instance, I used to watch films until midnight, but right now I can spend some time watching the sun coming down. Before I sleep deeply, I feel like I am embraced by the sky and I am floating in those clouds with my face facing the darkness and clouds. Evening clouds are not like morning clouds at all. They are more tranquil and silent.
    Thanks to the media freeze, I can feel the world and feel grateful for what I have in stead of complaining about what I don't have and envy those I have. Everything does change with an instant change of

    Jingsi Lv

  96. I have to admit I am very afraid about this brain freeze. The second you asked what we gave up, I knew what I had to do. Since most of my day is consumed with class, work and taking care of my new puppy I really find relaxation using my cellphone. I scroll and scroll until I have lost track of time and the day is over. Social media, texting and phone calls take up a good chunk of my day. I am excited (and nervous) to say I plan on giving up my phone for 4 hours this Saturday. I am going away for the weekend with my boyfriend and our puppy so I really have all the company I will need. Being without a phone will probably make me feel free and not trapped or glued to the phone like I usually feel. Having a phone in our generation means we are obligated to be available for others all the time. By staying away from the phone, I will be one hundred percent present, hopefully at peace and not anxious to see what I have missed, and FREE from all of the bullshit that I look at several times a day. I will keep you posted on my progress- wish me luck!

    Sarah Milburn

  97. On Monday September 5th, I participated in a media freeze. I chose not to use my cell phone for the duration of the day. I enjoyed my experience because I was able to spend more time with my family, reading, and doing my assignments. I realized that I spend too much time on my phone and do not spend enough time enjoying my surroundings. While reading and doing my assignments, I realized that I was more focused on the work I was completing. I was not interrupted by constant notifications from my phone, so I was able to complete my work faster and not lose my train of thought. I would like to try to put my phone away more often, especially when I read for pleasure and complete school work. I was also able to have deeper conversations with my mother and my sister because I did not have my phone to distract me. This exercise helped me to realize that I do not need to use my phone so often. I should put it down more and communicate with the people around me.
    Thank you,
    Samantha Pepe

  98. Over the past weekend I participated in a media freeze. I used my cell phone at a minimal capacity. ( I'm a delivery driver so GPS was necessary.) I also cut all electronic usage at 11:00pm. This was an eye opening experience. I openly noticed more things in the environment ranging from small shops that I'd seen but never paid any attention to, all the way to seeing and differentiating the emotions on my parents' faces. It was an incredible experience. I also got to sleep much earlier than I have before. No restlessness. It was liberating. I'm going to try and keep this up and see what else changes.
    Thank You,
    Jason Reinertsen

  99. I participated in a Media Freeze over the last week, choosing to give up social media. The results were disturbing. Prior to the freeze I did not fancy myself a heavy social media user. In fact, over the last five years I worked hard,and been successful with, curtailing my use. However, I noticed very quickly that I constantly open both Facebook and Instagram on my phone as a nervous habit. I began to look at the clock and examine the frequency of my urge to pick up the phone and it was roughly every ten minutes. Typically I would look at social media without even thinking but with the ban in place, I checked email and the news and then put the phone away. This brought me to an interesting conclusion: Once my subconscious registered that I could not use social media on my phone the urge to pick up the phone dropped in frequency. Therefore, my phone is primarily a device to consume social media. Scary.

  100. Over this past weekend, I encouraged my boyfriend to participate in a media freeze with me. We had agreed that while we were together, we would not use any social media and only answer text messages that required an immediate response. We also encouraged our friends that we were with to do the same! The experience was outstanding. There was so much more conversation shared between us all and we were all able to enjoy the activities at hand so much more. No one has their faces attached to a screen! This experience was a huge eye opener. Social media, or media in general for that matter, has become a crutch or like an extra limb for people! We have, as a group of friends, agreed that we will continue to do this every time that we are together. Thank you for this experience!

    Melissa Carvalho (Shakespeare survey)

  101. I completed the media freeze this past weekend by shutting down the Facebook. This exercise is kind of funny to me only because I barely use media in my life other than for practical reasons. I am a full time preschool teacher and we are not allowed to have our phones in our classroom so I spend about 8 hours a day without my phone until my lunch break only to check a few messages or important calls from loved ones (I have a small circle of people in my life) and to complete tasks on my laptop. Then, after work, I go to school and I barely have the time to mingle with my phone; I actually really dislike being distracted or bothered, I would rather be in the moment. However, if anything I use the most right now, it is Facebook. Even though it only is probably an 30 min - hour a day in total. Both Saturday and Sunday, I stopped using it and I will contemplate about deleting it as a whole, but I am still on defense. Only because my boyfriend's family members and my family from Poland use the site to communicate or see how we are doing, but I will see what life brings. In the grand scheme of everything, in the past year, I quit a lot of meaningless apps in my life such as Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and Twitter. I just realized that all of these apps just made me depressed and compare myself to others so frequently. For instance, if I did not look like that so and so model or that friend with over 300 likes, something was wrong with me or I was not good enough, but when in reality, it all does not mean much at all. It took quite a lot of time to understand these concepts. Also, I barely watch TV unless it is Sunday and my mom and I bond over PBS dramas, antiques roadshow or British crime shows. In total, in the past year, I froze a lot of these technologies without even thinking about it until I completed this assignment. I truly feel it is important to understand that life is about living in the now not constantly recording, picture capturing, or editing every aspect of you, your life or people in your life. After a while, it does not seem real anymore, it just becomes routine, robotic and controlled. Thank you professor for this enlightenment! I replaced technology with my passion for teaching, my love of family, friends and my boyfriend, and hobbies that make me enjoy life and keep me healthy. It is all a work in progress :)

  102. Well, I survived the media freeze. First off, I want to point out how I used the word “survive.” Originally, when I thought about the media freeze I did not think I would have been able to survive and now the thought of using that word in association with not using my cell phone is kind of disturbing. Anyway, I completed the media freeze on Saturday where I spent the day not using my cell phone at all. I figured since I was equally obsessed with each app that I would give up my entire phone for the day. Prior to this experience I found myself just opening apps just to do it. I learned that I was obsessed and it was due to both boredom and anxiety and that was a scary thing. On Saturday, my boyfriend and I spent the day at Greenwood Gardens (a beautiful place, in fact, a must see!) where we took pictures and explored together. Overall, I think that the adventure was much better without my cell phone because we were able to relax and enjoy something we loved together. That day, we talked a lot, in fact, we found out things about each other that we did not know. Even though I told him he did not have to do the media freeze with me, he wanted to join as well. To my surprise, the freeze was actually fun. It is such a great feeling of actually enjoying yourself. Before this, I thought the perfect Saturday was sitting around, taking naps and playing around on my phone. This experience has truly changed who I am and what I will do with my free time. I think that everyone should participate in something like this because it was an eye-opener for me. Surviving this media freeze has shown me that I was addicted to my cell phone but it is a problem I am working towards fixing.

    Kimber Cafro
    (Shakespeare Survey, Wednesday)

  103. I have to say I was slightly put-off by the fact that we aren't even allowed to use our phones during break, if we even get a break, because I honestly like shooting my boyfriend a quick text, especially during a longer class block, saying "hey babe, just wanted to let you know i'm doing alright, half way through class, be home soon!" and he likes it, too because he knows i'm still doing okay and that i'm safe, especially in this crazy society, you never know what's going to happen. So i was a little put-off by that, but honestly, other than that, I have no issue going a few hours without my phone. Heck, i do it every Wednesday and Saturday night for at LEAST 3-4 hours! My boyfriend and I go Country Line Dancing twice a week so it's a little difficult to scroll through facebook while you're out on the floor boot stomping the night away. However, for the sake of the class, i decided to give this a shot. I stopped texting and being on social media at work, which is a good 6.5 hours. I let my boyfriend and parents know ahead of time so they didn't freak out when i didn't answer, but it was a nice break. It was a mental break. It was difficult not to pick up my phone right away and answer a text but when i got home i actually called my boyfriend on the phone (yes people still do that, without the "star treck" head sets) and we talked about our day and all the good and bad. Granted, we do that anyway, but it gave us more to talk about at the end of our day. Something i did do specifically this weekend was stay off of social media on Sunday. It was more of a "moment of peace" for the fallen during 9/11 but it was a nice break. When my boyfriend and i went to Washington Rock to see the lights from the city everyone was standing around trying to get a good picture on their phone but we were able to really be there and take it all in and appreciate the beauty and the remembrance of that day. Especially for him, because he is a volunteer firefighter. He was 9 at the time it all happened but the 343 firefighters who lost their lives are still his brothers and sisters and it was nice to actually pay a tribute to them without our phones in our hands.

    Alyssa Merrill
    (Shakespeare Survey, Wednesday)

  104. This last weekend I had participated in the media freeze. Being avid Netflix binge-watchers, my boyfriend and I decided to take a stand on our addiction and drop it all together. Starting from 11:59pm Friday evening all the way to 6am Monday morning there would be no Netflix viewing allowed. To some this may seem like a piece of cake but for us, Netflix was really our only form of entertainment in the house. Besides the occasional Xbox game session or two, nothing had gotten our attention quite like a good binge watching session of anything from 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' all the way to the classic 'Family Guy.'

    When first bringing up the idea to my boyfriend Eric he thought I was a little crazy. Netflix is on my television from when I first wake up in the morning and it is playing in the background as I fall asleep at night. It has become not just a luxury for me but a necessity to get a good nights sleep. I had come to that realization last class and quite honestly not only was it eye opening but a bit alarming. After proposing the Media Freeze idea we both believed that the perfect weekend to try and escape this Netflix black hole would be the weekend that myself, Eric and my family went to Washington DC for my fathers triathlon. Usually when going on trips my laptop comes with me for school work and also for Netflix since the televisions in hotels do not have it built in. After exploring our nations capitol for a few hours and being distracted by not only all the beautiful monuments but the time I was spending with my family, Netflix was the last thing on my mind.

    When everything began to slow down and people began to get in their beds one of the main things I was concerned about was how I was going to sleep that night. But lo and behold, I was able to fall asleep a lot easier because I was not getting distracted by the light from the television or the sounds coming from the screen. It was just myself and the quiet darkness. Stillness. It was honestly the most at peace I have felt in a long while. This experience has helped me to realize that I do not NEED Netflix as a way to sleep or as a distraction from the every day world. I need to grasp on to the moments I have with my family and go on new adventures, like seeing the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in DC for the first time (which took my breath away the moment I laid my eyes on it.) As they say in the Pixar movie 'UP', "Adventure is out there." I am just disappointed it took me so long to realize it.

    Maia Serrano
    (Shakespeare Survey,Wednesday)

  105. Doing a media freeze really opened my eyes as to how much free time I was wasting on electronic devices. One of my favorite things to do when I have free time is to turn on my Xbox One and play NBA2K. I'll say I'll only play for maybe 30 minutes, which then turns easily into an hour and a half. So, for my "media freeze", I decided that I wouldn't play at all for a weekend. The first day, I'll be honest, it was pretty difficult, I really wanted to play MyTeam. Yet with this time that would normally had been spent looking at a T.V., I found myself practicing guitar more, something I've been been putting of for a long time, mainly because I was lazy. In the two days that I didn't play my Xbox, I was able to learn two songs. On top of guitar, I found myself writing more, something I've also been putting off. Without the Xbox as a distraction, I was able to sit down at my desk and really focus, which helped me write out two scripts for upcoming short films I plan on making with my friends. My plan now is to continue this media freeze for a few more weeks, because I feel that if I have been able to learn this much in such a short time on both my guitar and my writing skills, then it can only get better the longer I stay away from the temptations of my media.

  106. Before starting the media freeze, I wanted to create a list of all the social outlets I interact with every day. I decided to pick two social media accounts , to not use over the weekend. I picked YouTube and Tumblr. I can be on YouTube for hours watching a ton of videos. On tumblr I blog everyday. It was difficult for me not to be tempted to go on. To solve that problem, I deleted them off my phone. This media freeze made me realize that I don't spend enough time with my little sister. I also noticed that I spent less time completing my homework. I usually take "short breaks" by watching a YouTube video. But that short break can turn in 2 hours wasted. This media freeze was a great experience, I will definitely challenge my family and friends.

  107. I think the media freeze is an interesting idea as I feel like my generation is known for sitting in a room together with everyone on their phone. This was particularly noticeable to me because I got a smartphone later than most people. It is sad because we are never truly present in the moment. The same idea goes along with television as it is another way to distract ourselves. Something I realized I am guilty of is watching tv while I eat meals. At first it din't seem like a big deal but I became to form a habit and realized I wasn't truly enjoying my food. Last week rather than eating dinner late at night by the television, I came home and ate dinner by myself in the serenity of my kitchen. I found that it was relaxing and I could truly taste my food. It was a positive experience and something I want to continue to improve upon.

  108. When I first heard of the media freeze I have to admit I was intimidated. My eyes widened and my heart sank as I listened to you speak about the sacred classroom policy. I am first to admit that my smartphone is as important to me as the bible to a nun. At first this expression was just a joke until just recently when I realized it was true. I designed my media freeze to completely be without my smartphone for two days. I chose two days because I felt like one day could provoke an "its only one day" attitude and the thought of having my phone the next day and all the updates flooding in would be enough to keep me preoccupied. On the first day it was tough! I had phantom vibrations as if my phone were actually with me and by the way I decided to leave it home in an effort not to risk temptation. I found myself looking at people in there faces and feeling the need to interact more. I couldnt hide behind my screen and it felt good. I was forced to interact more than I normally would. It was great until I was in a situation where EVERYONE was on their phones. Thats when I felt left out and I sat in a classroom with 5 peers and my eyes were the only ones facing forward. I saw a white board with marker smeared across it. I saw gum wrappers and little balls of paper all over the floor and an empty water bottle on its side by the garbage. Who cares right? I do! In that moment I realized that I had never realized how gross this classroom was before and it was because for those few minutes before lecture I was aware. I was not looking at a phone screen and completely oblivious to everything surrounding me. I saw details and gross or cool it was really funny. I laughed in my head and told myself this is a serious issue. On Day 2 I didnt even use my phone alarm I used my desk clock. I really tried to not touch a phone for any reason because even though I was having a positive experience I knew I would still be tempted to go on instagram or something. The rest of the day wasnt negative. I continued to realize that the phone distracts me from so many things. As my experiment came to an end I did see how much I missed being in contact with people. If i missed my boyfriend I could just text him, if I needed to tell my mom something I could text her. That was challenging because I had to wait until I saw them or called them from the landline at work. Overall my experience was much more positive and rewarding than I thought it would be.On day three I powered on my phone and brought it with me like I would any other day but I actually used it less frequently. I did not use social media often and I would only text when it was necessary. I could tell that there was an overall decrease in how much I used my phone and I hope to continue that trend.

    Sacha Rivera

  109. This week I attempted the media freeze in two small ways. I spend a lot of time in the car, and most of that time I listen to the radio. I cannot remember the last time a new song came on that I actually enjoyed, and on the rare occasion that it does happen the pop stations play the song so much that I hate it. So this week I stopped listening to anything in the car, and at the end of each week I generally felt much more positive, had a lot more time to think and prepare for my day ahead, and overall just felt healthier.
    My other media freeze was Facebook. Normally I just use any spare moment to scroll through the feeds aimlessly, on line waiting, in between classes, at night when I come home from work. I decided that I would only allow myself to check Facebook once a day, and for no more than two minutes. It turned out that I'm spending less time on it, was more focused on my reading and studying, paid more attention to the people around me, and spent more time on my creative projects at home that have barely been touched in the last few months.
    It turns out that these two small changes- a silent car ride and less glue on my phone, really makes a difference in how productive and enjoyable my week can be.

    Jonena Brezinski

  110. After class had ended I spent a great deal of time thinking about something I could freeze in my life for 24 hours. The only sensible thing I could come up with was going the day without my phone. I can honestly say that I haven't felt so alive in along time. I spent the day that I gave up my phone with my family and my boyfriend. I have never had such an amazing day filled with such genuine laughs, smiles, and memories. I try to use my phone only when I need it since my freeze and it has been comforting to find life again that did not involve being glued to my phone.

  111. It took me a few days at first to decide what my media freeze would be because I honestly could not think of one thing that I spent a lot of time in a single day on. I don't really watch television or use social media that much unless to talk to my boyfriend so, I didn't know of anything that I could give up that would impact my daily life in a big way. Then, one morning a few days ago, I woke up and realized how long it took me to get up out of bed. As soon as my alarm went off, instead of getting up and starting my day, I stayed in bed and procrastinated. Not with any one thing, but with many things. I would go on my phone and check my email for a few seconds, watch a youtube video for a few minutes, then put down my phone with the thought of getting up but instead just lay in bed longer doing nothing. Before I even knew it, 10, 15, or 20 minutes would pass by. Although it was a short amount of time that didn't take up a big portion of my day, I realized that it was something I did every single day. No one likes getting up out of bed first thing in the morning, but if I did the math, those few minutes every day could probably add up to days or even weeks of time wasted in my entire lifetime. Now, THAT is the big impact I was searching for.
    So, for my "media freeze" I chose to give up procrastinating getting out of bed in the morning. Getting those extra 10-20 minutes at the start of my day didn't pose a major change in my daily life, but it did have a small impact. I noticed that on those days I got out of bed faster, I didn't have to rush my morning routine as much and I got to spend a little more time with my baby cousin who my mom babysits at our house every day. I could tell that he noticed the difference too because he smiled big when he saw me going to play with him instead of me just rushing out the door to go to school. That made my day.
    Although this "media freeze" was just a small change on my daily routine, it's the kind of thing that in the grand scheme, makes a big difference. Sometimes it is just the small things in life that impact the most.

    -Sabrina Alamo

  112. I absolutely loved the idea of the Media Freeze. Raised as a Catholic, I decided to give up Facebook for Lent earlier this year. To make sure I stuck to my word, I removed the app from my phone completely so I would not be tempted to check it. The first couple days were hard, only because my friends would mention to me that they tagged me in a post and questioned why I didn't respond to it. This made me feel like I was missing out on something. After the first week or so, I came to realize that I used to check Facebook mindlessly. I would pick up my phone and search my apps without realizing it. Once I noticed I could not find what I was looking for, I was reminded that I had deleted my Facebook. It was shocking to see that I was looking for the app on my phone without even realizing I was looking for it. I put some thought into it and noticed that a lot of the time I would check Facebook, I would just open the app, scroll through my feed without actually reading it, and then close it, all out of habit.
    As the days went by, I found myself in many situations in which I would check my Facebook to avoid "awkward" situations, such as waiting in a waiting room, or waiting for a class to start. But keeping myself off of Facebook made me realize that those situations, along with ones similar, were not awkward at all. They were actually wonderful opportunities which allowed me to converse with so many new people (well...those who were not sitting on their phones).
    I am extremely proud to say that I have not gone back to Facebook. I find myself filling the time I would have spent on it starting conversations, reading, and even spending more focused time with my family.

    For this Media Freeze, I decided I wanted to do something similar so I decided to give up texting. Originally I planned to do so for three days but I ended up extending it to five days. When I first started the Media Freeze, my friends still continued to text me, but I refused to read the messages and would call them instead. They thought that I was crazy and doubted that I would be able to last even a day. I proved them wrong. I also found that some of them were irritated by this because it forced them to call me when they wanted to contact me, and I was one less person they could text with when they wanted to fill their free time.
    One of the things I absolutely loved about not texting, which is something I never realized was an issue, was how much time I saved by just calling people. For example, my friend and I had made plans a few days prior to the Media Freeze, but we never discussed what it was we were going to do. Normally, the day of, we would text to make plans and it would take forever just to decide where we were going to go. But the other day, we were able to decide in minutes without having to wait for each others responses via text.
    Similar to giving up Facebook, not texting also gave me a lot more time for new conversations. It also made me more observant of my surroundings and made me appreciate the beauty each day held.
    Unlike Facebook, I did go back to texting. However, I still limit myself. I went to the mall yesterday and made sure I kept my phone in my purse while walking around. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed being in the mall, not trapped within the screen of my phone and I loved it.
    This Media Freeze was amazing and I think it is a great thing for others my age to try. Even if not to give something up completely and for a long period of time, like I did with Facebook, it is a great way for someone to make them self aware of how much time they are putting into a form of media, as I did with texting. I plan to share my experience with my friends and suggest they give this a try!

  113. Okay so once the media freeze was explained to me I had no idea what I was going to give up or how I was going to do. I ended giving up Facebook since that was what I checked most often throughout the day. I deleted the app off my phone and began my media freeze right after class on September 7th. The first day of my media freeze was more difficult then I expected it to be. I constantly had the urge to see what was going on and what people were posting but I resisted the urge. I started to realize over the next few days how often I was on Facebook. I was going to be on time instead of laying there for an hour on Facebook. I did not have the urge I used to have of going on Facebook first thing when I woke up. And instead of sitting with a group of people and sitting on my phone, I became more involved in the conversations that were going on. I think the thing Im most surprised about it that I don't have the desire to go on Facebook anymore. I rather be communicating face to face rather then over the internet. Everyone should defiantly give this a try and see how empowering it is to have control back.

  114. What a different experience. I started my freeze a little different. I gave myself a curfew. I didn't pick up my phone after dinner, which was 7pm. I read this blog about ten days ago and I've only been media free, five days. Yesterday, 9/13/16, a friend of mine was offended with me because I didn't post a happy birthday message on Facebook. I never realized how much of my time was invested in the activities I participated in on my phone. She didn't understand that I was experiencing freedom from media bondage. I now feel like I am in control. I don't respond to every notification and my phone is in my purse most of the day. Thank you Dr. Rich!

  115. Our last class, we went into depth about media and how it has taken over our lives. I use media and technology a lot but I am also very aware of how much I use it. Time to time, I will do activities that force me to take a break from technology. I have no problem in being "disconnected" from the world. Most of my immediate relatives live out outside the country which means I don't have access to my phone or easy access to the internet. I believe traveling has allowed me to have a stronger will to put the phone down. However, lately I've been noticing that I use google maps way more than I should. This made me uneasy because it go to a point where I knew exactly how to get somewhere but for some reason I didn't trust myself enough to close google maps on my phone. The media freeze gave me a reason to delete the app and encourage me to use my memory. I learned all the street names around my house. Took a detour without Siri telling me where to go and reassured myself that it was ok to make a wrong turn. I even went to a new restaurant I had never been to before which was located out of town and used a paper map! I only have a paper map because my dad gave me his old one. FYI: They're actually really hard to come by now-a-days. It was a new and interesting experience. It taught me how to acknowledge my surroundings which encouraged me to memorize directions and trust myself a bit more. I am now 7 days google map free. This experiment was lots of fun and definitely rewarding!

  116. From the moment you mentioned the media freeze I also knew what I was going to detach myself from, FACEBOOK. I have become so addicted to social media and Facebook in particular its almost like my life depends on it. I decided to do my media freeze this weekend being that I was travelling to Columbus Ohio for a friend's birthday. so mi figured being around my friends will be a perfect distraction for me. it was easier said than done and honestly I cheated couple of times. even with my friends around I still felt the urge to connect myself on Facebook, I wanted to see what Others were saying, who is beefing with who (cause there's always some drama). even when we went out, I felt the need to post a picture of my outfit, to let them know where I'm at, what I was doing etc... its almost like I owe my followers and Facebook friends an explanation of every move I make. I looked around me and my friends were all connected on Facebook, even conversations revolved around what others were doing on Facebook and I realized how enslaved and pathetic we were. I wake up in the morning and don't Pray no more but I have to wake up and go straight to Facebook, I rather read my notes online than read from a book, I don't call my friends no more, commenting under their pictures and statuses has replaced actual conversations. and I decided to make a changed. it was a difficult but rewarding experience and I challenge myself to continue.

  117. After last Friday's class, and we discussed Media Freeze and everyone's experience of their first week, I began to reflect my own relationship with social media. It wasn't until I forced myself to notice how many times I mindlessly reached for my phone to scroll through my media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram whenever I felt 'bored', did I truly realize how dependent I am on media for passive, mindless stimulation. After Friday's class I decided that I would first attempt to not utilize my twitter account. I would open the twitter app whenever I was bored, waiting for a friend, walking down the street or whenever I was alone in public. I used twitter to read what was happening with others or the random thoughts they decided were important enough to share with their followers, which majority of the time wasn't really that thought-provoking or important to begin with. I used twitter as a distraction, especially when I was alone in public to either avoid eye-contact with strangers or to put up a guard to let people know I did not want to be approached. That weekend after Friday's class, it was easier not to reach for my phone while I was at work, because I was constantly engaged with costumers and aiding them with their purchases, so I never had to the chance to be 'bored' or to scroll through my twitter feed, "just cause". However, it was a bit difficult to control my urge to open the app when I was in transit after work to meet up with my friends at the bar to catch up and tell each other of our summer adventures.

    It is not easy for me to make new friends or just talk to new people because I am a very closed-off person. It took me years to truly open up and feel comfortable with the small group of friends I have. So while I was in the uber to the bar, I decided that since I gave up twitter I should at least have a conversation with the driver. And it turns out I had a pretty cool driver. He was a published writer -- wish the ride was long enough to ask for the name of his works -- and he was a proud father of two daughters, who is majoring in education. I was surprised at how welcoming and responsive he was. It was a pleasant conversation and it even made the fifteen minute ride feel like fifteen seconds.

    After that night, I felt that I should continue to see if I could meet more pleasant and interesting people. Saturday night, I took another uber to a friend's get together and had a very stimulating and intellectual conversation with a college grad uber driver who was driving for extra cash to pay off his student loans. We spoke of the upcoming elections, the candidates, the college experience and other fascinating topics.

    From just that weekend, this little media freeze experiment has opened my eyes to how unnecessary it is to just scroll down social media whenever we are bored or to avoid people. I was far more stimulated and learned more talking to the person in front of me rather then reading a tweet on someone buying their third cup of coffee for the day #firstworldproblems. I am excited to continue on with this media freeze of no twitter for me and am even tempted to add other social apps to my list.

  118. Hearing of the media freeze during class, made me cringe at first. The concept of the media freeze is not what did it, but actually picturing myself being away from my most embarrassing addictions is what made me. I knew I had to challenge myself and put Facebook to a freeze. Not that I post everyday, however, I do check Facebook quite often for a laugh or to be nosey. So far the freeze has helped me! I found myself actually laughing at other things like short stories that were assigned to me in other classes, and steal human contact. The freeze gives such a powerful feeling as if you have control over your life. I think I can keep up with the media freeze by applying to other things in my life such as ALL SOCIAL MEDIA and being around certain people as much as I do. Thank you for this enlightening experience.

  119. Dr. Rich,

    As you know, this is my second time doing your media freeze experiment. Last year, I gave up the TV, which has always been my security blanket. That experiment was a success. Even now, I find myself sitting in front of the TV without feeling the need to turn it on more and more often.

    This year, I decided to go without my new social media obsession: Twitter. I am always--always--obsessively checking it throughout the day, and my frequent breaks for scrolling doubles the time it takes me to do other activities. Not only that, but I've noticed that it's hard for me to focus on anything after mindlessly scrolling all day.

    On Wednesday, I decided to take a 3-hour chunk out of my night to read our haiku book from front to back and catch up on writing my haikus--all without the interruption of Twitter. In fact, I had my phone face down for the duration of my experiment. I found that I was able to work more diligently without outside media distractions, and I was able to fully engage myself in the reading and writing process. Overall, I would count this as a success, and I wouldn't rule out implementing a no-media policy every time I sit down to write. This will help me find the poet I am because, without media distracting my muses, my writing will be a more honest reflection of myself.

    Amanda (Writing Poetry)

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  121. When the media freeze was presented to us in class a few days ago, I had no idea what I wanted to give up, because I had a lot of addictions to media. I didn't want to do it because I thought it was crazy and why should I have to do that, along with no cell phones in class. But, after thinking for a while, I decided to give up Netflix. And man it was hard. I decided to give it up for two days September 15-September 16. My usual routine is go to work, come home for lunch and turn on an episode of Gossip Girl, go back to work and then come home and drown myself in more episodes. Netflix was something that I did whether I was bored, happy, sad or just whenever. I was glued. In order to distract myself from not wanting to watch it, I did my homework, read some books I was meaning on catching up on and spent time with my family. It made a HUGE difference in two days. Instead of watching Netflix, I did things I NEEDED to do. Netflix is huge distraction from my school work, work, and my family, so for a two days I was able to connect with family, focus on work and school work. It was nice. I plan on doing that more often because I see how much media does occupy my time and it isn't healthy. I depend on it so much. And that's why even though, I was upset we couldn't use our phones in class, it was a nice to be away from my phone for 3 hours out of the day. I really enjoyed this media freeze and I intend to do it more not only with Netflix, but with other social networks.

    Autumn Gross - Eng 3000-01

    1. I like your response Autumn, I think that when we take a break from things we are addicted to we begin to take a look on things and see what we miss out on and what we can do in our lives, especially since we can strive to do many things.

  122. Dr Rich,

    I found the Media Freeze activity to be unique and a reminder to me. Friday I decided that for my Media Freeze: I would't play video games for at least 4-5 hours over the course of the day and do something different. Shocker right? Well... to be completely honest, it felt refreshing and relaxing. I decided to walk around my area twice and actually visit areas that I did not come across as a kid. Yes there were places that had warning signs on saying "Watch your footing or do not enter!" but it felt nice to be having my own adventure as I walked through my hometown even though i was tired and my legs were killing me. What I experienced in that little adventure was something I haven't felt for sometime. I felt at peace, I could feel the nice breeze, look at the beautiful sky and see the sun shining bright, and I could think clearly. But more importantly, it helped to cleanse the negativity from me. I always remembered on how I was desperately ranting, complaining, stressing on how things were not working for me, that I felt I screwed up, that I couldn't make something great out of myself, I knew deep down that was not true, but I would non-stop play video games at times to relieve that stress, but I knew deep down that that form of media couldn't stop the stress. Because I felt it was the only way to take the negativity away. I would talk to my friends and family of course to get relief, but the stress was constantly nagging my mind. I went outside and cleared my mind. It felt like my worries were over and that I didn't feel constant pressure on my mind from stress. I got in a good exercise and it felt awesome to not be cooped up in my house and experience the outside. I also felt that by doing this, it taught me a great lesson. I learned through my media freeze that it reminded me as a person, that I can enjoy the outside and not shy away from the outside, and by actually taking that risk and going outside. I can do so much more as a person. Thats why I believe through this lesson that I think it will help in me defining myself as a poet. If I can be successful in writing poetry and putting my best effort out there, then that experience will prove that I can strive to work hard and achieve my dreams and more in other words "A Bright Future". Basically what I learned is that I can do so much for the future and not limit myself. I will also try in the future to see what else I can freeze up and gain a different experience. I think that as people do media freezes they might love what they haven't experienced or they may learn what they can be and achieve by doing this. I put my name and section down below, just in case the tag for my post says unknown.

    David Canales ENG 3000-01

  123. For my second Media Freeze, I gave up watching TV for 5 days. I don't usually watch much TV, but I have already given up social media as a personal decision, and for my last media freeze I gave up texting, so I wanted to try something a little different. Although I am not much of a TV watcher, I've noticed over the last five days that I do turn my TV on a lot to use it as background noise. For example, I moved out of my house on Thursday and into an apartment with my mom. When I first started packing my room, I would turn the TV on. This not only wasted electricity, but it also distracted me because every time I would hear something interesting happen on TV, I would stop what I was doing and begin to watch the show. Another example of when I would use my TV as background noise is when I lay down to go to sleep. Usually I sleep with the TV off, but if I have a lot on my mind, I like to use the TV to give me 1 single thing to focus on rather than the other ten things that are racing through my mind. At first, thinking about leaving my house and moving, and all of the packing I had left to do, and the other worries that go along with moving were driving me crazy when I laid down with out the TV. But being forced to lay with these thoughts made me have to come up with another way to relax my mind. I ended up making it a habit to grab a notebook every night and write down my worries and ways I could solve them. If I felt overwhelmed by all of the packing I had to do, I wrote a list of what needed to be packed and in what boxes everything would go in. This not only helped ease my mind, but it also helped the next go very smoothly. This technique is something I would have never tried had I not given up TV.
    When my mom and I finally started setting up the apartment, we didn't have a TV yet....actually, we still don't. But everyday she and I enjoy a cup coffee in the morning, meals together, and a lot of fantastic conversations. It is amazing to see how something that I didn't even think I did much, still took up so much of my time.
    Once again, another great Media Freeze experience.

  124. Hello Dr Rich,
    In class last week you discussed how you don't want phones in class and that we needed to do a media freeze. I was shocked by this and as class went on without my phone, I realized how me not looking at it really made me think and opened me up to different things. For the media freeze I decided how nice it was not having my phone so i decided that for 3 hours a day I would completely shut my phone off. The first day or two it was hard but shortly I realized how nice it was not having my phone on me and if people needed me they would find other ways of getting in contact with me. I felt a sense of relief without having my phone and that added stress. It really makes you think of what life was like before people had cellphones. Thanks for assigning this in class and I plan to continue the media freeze! A week without it for 3 hours was extremely nice.

  125. As soon as I heard about the media freeze I thought no way this is crazy. But then as the class went on I thought this couldn't be too bad I can do it. I had a thought about what I was going to do but I wasn't sure because I use so much media. I chose to not watch Netflix for 5 days. Whenever I have down time I usually find myself watch Netflix instead of doing what I should be doing. So I limited myself to only watching an hour of Netflix a day, instead of about 4 hours. Two days went by and I didn't know what to do with myself. I was going crazy because I wanted to know what happen in the next episode of my show it was so hard not knowing. In that time I would watch Netflix I found myself getting more of my homework done and reading a lot more, which was very nice. Because I watch Netflix so much I usually do my homework last minute but having more time to do it I got it done earlier. It was easier for me to forget about watching Netflix as much as the days went on. The five days
    were over and I found myself continuing on with my media freeze decision. I absolutely loved the idea of doing this media freeze. It helped me get a lot more done around the house and a lot more of my work done instead of doing nothing and watching tv for so long. I will definitely continue to keep this going and maybe even stop watching tv all together for a while.

    -Amber Gomes

  126. Hello Dr. Rich,

    I'm a bit late to the media freeze, and I thought it wouldn't be possible. But I did a freeze on Anime and Let's Plays (videos of people playing video games). It was easy, because instead I walked around outside in the time I would watch those videos. Had I stayed indoors I would've missed out on meeting strangers at the coffee shop, free events like comedy night and coffee tasting, getting exercise, and seeing nature up close (btw there was a doe on campus by the library!). I also filled up my time more with meeting friends, and calling the ones too far to visit. At the end of the week, I was surprised with how....wasteful my time was before. I'm not going to give up anime and let's plays, but I will minimize the time I spend on them as opposed to connecting with others. I calculated my average time I spend watching that, and I can't justify at least wasting 15 hours a week sitting and watching pixels on a screen anymore. Maybe one or two shows a night, max.

    -Schane Flowers

  127. Hello Dr. Rich!

    When you brought up the media freeze in class on Monday, I actually got really excited. I've done a media freeze in a previous class before so i knew how it felt to be deprived from my phone for a full week. To me the assignment seemed easy but today Sunday the 16th I did my media freeze of no social networks as in Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. I knew that I had work all day today and i would not be able to be on my phone for most of the day. Honestly, it was a lot harder then I expected but right now I'm getting all of my homework done without any distractions on the side. Being away from my phone really helps my mind think more clearly which I do think brings out the poet in me. Poetry is not one of my strong subjects but I do think that trying new things in life is something I need to experience without having technology get in the way. There are days where I wished social media never existed and phones were never a thing. But there are also other days where I realize how a cell phone really is something that every person needs in their life. The media freeze really proved to me that there are days where I need to just give the media a rest and focus on myself and my success for the near future. Thank you so much for making me realize all of these thought processes of mine! Cant wait to see what this course has in store for me!

    - Shannon McMahon

  128. I find it rather annoying how so many people seem enslaved to their smart devices. As much as I hate to say it, I fall into that description as well. Whether texting, browsing social media, playing a game, or Googling random topics of interest I spend a substantial amount of time using my phone for something. The idea of a media freeze intrigued me as I saw potential to accomplish things I've been meaning to but haven't gotten around to because I get distracted by my phone. For most of the past week, I left my phone behind in my bedroom as I went on about my day. At times I even had to leave it with someone so I would not run back to it in order to pass time or hide form responsibilities. While not having my phone I went out for a lot of walks and enjoy the lovely weather we've been having. I found that to be peaceful and head-clearing. It somewhat broke me out of a writer's block and it was great and relieving to get back to get something I care about in an explosive way. I caught up on reading and managed to clear up my to-do list significantly. I spent more time with family and friends and enjoyed their company more than I normally would while I have my phone on me. I noticed just how much people get distracted by their phone while I'm spending time with them. It's annoying but it was nice all the same. After a few days I started to lose interest in my phone and enjoyed areas of my life I've been neglecting. I'm excited to continue a media freeze to some degree and see what unfolds.

    -Thomas Gentile

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  130. Hello Dr. Rich!

    When I first heard about the media freeze, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly nervous. I have become so dependent on technology that it is actually sickening! With that being said, I'm glad I did this because it showed me that I didn't have to be! I love people, and I love interacting with them, yet I find myself still being consumed by my phone because that is often what surrounds me. During my media freeze, I stayed off of social media, the date was September 18th. This made me realize that I don't need social media at all. Looking at my phone just to respond to a family member's text or a friend asking to get lunch was refreshing, and I plan to do this at least once a week now. I was so used to scrolling through Instagram or Twitter while walking to avoid awkwardly making eye contact with people I didn't know, but I realized that just a little half smile wasn't awkward and it made me more observant to the things around me. This also helped me focus better, on school work and even in conversations, I didn't have any distractions. I love that you resent technology and don't want phones any where near your class room. I feel as if the whole class will learn more this way! I'm very excited to see what more the media freeze that I am planning for once a week has in store for me!
    Thank you for presenting this idea to me!
    See you soon!
    Katie Garbarino

  131. Hello Dr. Rich:

    This is actually my first time reading about media freeze, I have tried doing it in a smaller scale on my own before. I have deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps from my phone as I find them very time consuming and they are also so full of unnecessary information. I will go a step further and try the media freeze during the week which will be not watching tv as well as not using my phone to watch tv or listen to music, this will be a great opportunity to do something I have been trying to do a while which is make time to exercise again.
    After I deleted some apps from my phone I found myself replacing them with netflix, I procrastinate a lot because I find myself watching shows either on tv or my phone. I am also glad that this class is phone-free, I see students using their phones in class and I think is very disrespectful. I do pay attention to my phone before, during breaks and right after class to see if someone has tried to contact me this is mostly because I have a child waiting for me at home and I would like to know if I am needed at anytime.
    Recently I was away in my home country and being a third world country phone services are not very reliable. I realized during this time that while I am here the only way I communicate with my friends and family is through phone, but when I was there and I couldn't get in touch with them I would go out and look for them. This caused for me to get out of my comfort zone actually go out and talk to people, as well as it led to making a few more friends along the way. During my time there I didn't have internet everyday and I couldn't be on my phone the whole time because it is very dangerous to walk around with a phone. It made me very happy to have more human interaction and not depend on the internet or my phone the whole time. I was able to go days without using my phone but was still able to hang out with friends, it was new to me when we went out and no one was on their phones the whole time. The experience was very refreshing.
    I will start doing the media freeze and see how I feel about it, I am sure my family will appreciate it.

    Elizabeth Hidalgo

  132. I respectfully digress with what seems like this anti technology blog post. I believe that in some aspects it has truth to it. I loathe how it is applied to class time. People have addictions of all sorts, and technology is no exemption from this addiction. While you would like to control students and their technology, this approach is not one I think is a positive one. As an adult, who goes on breaks at work as allowed, when does it become respectful to your employees or students to try to control what they do on break and based on what policy? Does someone control what you do on your break?
    I have on many occasions taken a hiatus on social media, especially if I feel it is getting in the way of things I need to do. It is self control.

    For this media freeze, I didn't talk on the phone, or go on social media for 2 days. It wasn't hard because I am not addicted to television or social media.

    I will not give up my phone as I have children, and they need and will always have contact with me regardless of anything. My motherhood does not stop when I enter or leave a classroom. When I gave birth I signed up for lifetime.

  133. nate heyman media freeze journal (part 1):

    Friday, September 16th, 2016, 7:00pm
    I decided to begin my “media freeze” tonight because I knew my girlfriend would be out of town visiting family for the weekend. It’s not that I thought she’d be any sort of deterrence, but I didn’t want to bother her with the boredom and anxiety I had expected to endure from my “media freeze”. Not only that, but I think I wanted to do it alone as it seemed like a kind of personal, almost meditative practice, one that I felt would be best conducted alone. When I got home from work, she had left already and I had the house to myself. I honestly had been looking forward to this as I am a pretty avid reader but admit I’ve let the internet cut into my reading time quite a bit, this felt like a good opportunity to catch up. I decided to do a full blown “media freeze”, meaning no cell phone, computer, T.V. or videogames. At this point, I figured, they’re all really the same thing, and to accept one but not the other seems like a pretty arbitrary line to draw. I arrived home around six and began setting up. I turned off my laptop and placed it in my bedroom closet along with my phone and the remote for the T.V. I closed the closet door the best I could but there were some clothes and stuff laying about that blocked the door from closing all the way. I then went downstairs, to the living room to pick out a book.
    I plucked my copy of Uzumaki off my bookshelf, flopped down onto the couch and began to read. I knew I should have been reading something new to me, this was probably my third or fourth time reading Uzumaki, but it’s comforting to reread a book. As I read, I found I couldn’t concentrate. I began to wonder if printed media is really all that different than digital. I wondered if escapism is escapism regardless if its Lewis or Tolkien or Farmville. I shut the book. Not even an hour into this practice and I was already feeling deterred. I felt weak. I went upstairs and smoked a cigarette out of my bedroom window. I smoked quickly and anxiously and flicked the butt into the grass one story below. I stayed there, sitting on the foot of my bed, quietly.

    Friday, September 16th, 2016, 9:26pm
    I think I stared at my closet door for an hour and a half. I meant to update these entries every two hours but I just sat there, and I guess I lost track of time. Sitting there in the quiet was nice, but also kind of lonely. At first it was almost scary to be trapped alone with my thoughts, like being in an isolation chamber. It was nice though. I think I’m going to keep doing it.

    1. nate heyman media freeze journal (part 2):

      Saturday, September 17th, 2016, 1:07am
      At a certain point, while sitting in the quiet, you begin to feel the air around you, the air touching your skin, and the air in your immediate vicinity. While sitting there, I found that if you really focus on that air, first the air touching you, then the air around that air, and then back to your skin and that air, you can kind of make that border go away. It’s hard to describe, but it feels good, and less lonely. I did that for a while, all the time still looking at the plain white closet door. It was just white, and plain. I wondered how such a plain white door could even be made, but I tried not to think about it too much. I tried not to think about anything too much. It felt good to just think about the air and my skin, and try to make them both go away. It sounds kind of crazy I know but I stripped down to just my underpants, it helped with the whole air-skin thing I was working on. Ben Franklin praised the benefits of what he called “air baths”, as did Betty Page. Maybe we’re on to something; I don’t know, I’ve kind of been in a weird place since this whole thing started. I think I’m supposed to do something tomorrow but I don’t even remember anymore.

      Saturday, September 17th, 2016 5:43am
      Clarity. Clarity is the best word to describe it, yet it doesn’t come anywhere near the truth. Sit in the quiet, pull your skin from the air and the air from your skin, envelop yourself in the darkness and you will begin to feel it. You need to focus on the blood running in your veins, you need to follow it through your lungs and heart and into your brain. You need to take that force, the force of your blood and skin and bile and you need to expunge it. Send it off into the ether till only your self remains. Getting rid of the self is the difficult part. I don’t know how you’ll do it. I did it through a combined practice of blood letting and intense masturbation. I don’t want to talk about that anymore. You will feel your skin start to vibrate, like there’s thousands of black flies all beating their wings in unison right under your skin. They will vibrate harder and harder until you become a vibration yourself. All that’s left will be Clarity. It feels good, but it also kind of feels like nothing. I basked in the transcendental Clarity, it felt good, but there was something more. How could there be more? I wondered. At some point, I began hearing a scraping sound. I don’t know when it started or where it was coming from. I don’t even know if it was coming from in me or not, there was not much me left to distinguish. I plan to attempt to focus more, or less, or focus on not focusing. The scraping, scratching sound is getting louder, more obtrusive. It sounds different, like there are voices coming from it, or behind it, but I can’t tell what they’re saying. I need more Clarity.

    2. nate heyman media freeze journal (part 3):

      Saturday, September 17th, 2016 7:06am
      The scratching is coming from behind my closet door. They wanted me to think it was in my head but it’s not, it’s definitely coming from the closet. The light began coming in so I tacked all the blankets in the room over the windows. The light hurts the Clarity. They think they’re so clever, they think I don’t know. I know. I have Clarity. I can hear them. I can’t understand them but I can hear them, they call out to me in the vibrations, they want me to let them in, they really want me to let them in, but I won’t, because I know what they are.

      Saturday, September 17th, 2016, 8:22am
      They can get in, they told me, they don’t need me, they get in all the time they said. I know they’re telling the truth, they do get in sometimes. They get in through cracks in the walls and mirrors that are just barely lit up. They get in through the sewers and abandoned buildings and other places that people try to ignore. They pry their way through with decrepit, splintered fingers and things that are definitely not fingers. Dragging and moaning and howling they’ve always gotten in. They’ve gotten in long before us and they’ll get in long after we’re gone. They don’t need us, but they like us.

      Saturday, September 17th, 2016, unknown time
      At this point my bedroom is mostly deconstructed platonic shapes floating in an ethereal void. All except that repulsive plain white closet door. They want to come through that door so badly, they scratch and moan and scream and cry. It’s driving me crazy. If they want to come through so badly why don’t they? Because they’re mocking me. They poke their hollow black faces through the crack in the door and shout insults and insinuations in an eldritch tongue. Their skin is glossy black, and has the consistency of smoke covered in slime, they have our form, maybe just to mock us further.

      I’m doing it I’m opening the door. I can’t take the scratching. Every cell in my body screams louder and louder with every second. I can feel every fiber of every muscle in my body being torn and pried apart. My eyes bleed sharp glass and my skin falls of my body like hot wax. The Clarity is too much. I can’t go on like this. I am weak.

      Saturday, September 17th, 2016, 11:00am
      I flung open my closet door and immediately found the source of the scratching. My phone’s alarm was set for five but it was on vibrate. It had been going off for hours. I grabbed my phone and went on Facebook and twitter and instagram and tumblr and tinder and grindr and reddit and 4chan and 8chan and 2chan and snapchat and yikyak and skype and myspace and craigslist and ebay and yelp. I played Warcraft and Starcraft and Minecraft and minesweeper. The Clarity was gone, I had a mess to clean up.

    3. no̖͚̤͖ ҉g̼̜ọ̪̥͉̲d̤̖̮̙̮s͏̹ ̖̟̰ṇ̛̲͎̥ó͔ͅ ̵̺͉͇̰̺̘̝k̖̳̺̲̦̩̙i͙͖͕̠n̷̞̯̟g͎͙̺̗̜͜s̢ o̹̭͚͘n͉̤̬͙̟̞͡l̰̘̻y ̪̥͙͔͠Cl̜̜͕̞̲a͜ŕ̲͈̭̮̣ͅi̹̠ͅt̨̻y̶͈͎̪͚

  134. David Canales

    My Media Freeze journey continues...

    This weekend I decided to add a couple of things to my stop playing video games for awhile. I decided that I would go to the fall festival with a good friend of mine. We had awesome time together. We got to get some fast food, we even bought two wooden souvenirs, one is a wooden carved picture of New Jersey and the other is a Florida wood carving. I also got a soda mug from Rutgers shop which is nice and you get free refills. This took place Saturday. But I got to say, it felt like such a refreshing day for me, it felt like that I experienced something that I have been missing throughout my life or that it is something I have rarely done. Its hard to describe it exactly, but it felt awesome to experience that feeling. Sunday, I went for a walk in Roosevelt park. I parked by the basketball courts and walked quite a long distance from the courts to the lake and back for an hour. The view was nice, and it felt great to see nature and the settings getting ready for the fall season. I felt like I was in a peaceful area that I can enjoy and relax. The last 30 mins I went to the mall just to see how things are and it felt nice, and then I came home. What I also added is that Sunday, I would not put on any news outlet from the TV or my laptop, because I am a news type person, I always now go to Fox, CNN, etc to see whats going on. So This weekend I got to take two days of not playing games for long periods of time and not watch the news added on. Those 2 days got to feel what I have been missing, and because of that experience, I gonna do more and travel to see what else I can experience, and to add, not be addicted to the media and find something worth doing that I can love and enjoy.

  135. The Media Freeze continues...

    Took another day of walking and extended my travel in that I visited my old elementary school that was burned down, It is being rebuilt. It was a muggy Saturday and it was calm. Not a lot happened, but I got to get exercise and feel such relief and freedom of not being constricted to video game media. It was a breezy and gray Saturaday, but I'm a fan of those kind of days.

  136. Dr. Rich,

    Oh media freeze! How I missed you! Last media freeze I decided to stop Netflix and I was able to stay away from it for two days and I saw a huge difference. This time, I decided to stay away from Words With Friends for an entire weekend. I just re-downloaded it over 3 months ago and I was immediately addicted. I then realized why I initially deleted it in the first place. As soon as I started to play it again, I was addicted. I started to play with random people and that's when I knew I was becoming addicted. So, this weekend I stayed away from it for 3 whole days and it was not as bad as I thought it was be. I think because I know how good it can be to freeze media out of your life. You have more time for you, for family, for work and for your friends. I was able to get my homework done way before the due dates because I wasn't glued to my phone. I think I will continue to move forward with staying away with Words with friends every so often. I am glad I did this again.

    Eng 4817

    Autumn Gross

  137. My media freeze happened unintentionally. Sure, I knew I would do one at some point over the span of a few days, but I didn't sit down and tell myself, "Okay, this is what's going to happen..." I ended up going home over the weekend (I live on campus), and when I usually go home it's the norm for me to ignore my phone. Or should I say, neglect my phone. I'll leave it in a different part of the house for hours and hours, and it never even cross my mind what I'm missing with it not in reaching distance. I love these moments.

    I don't consider myself addicted to anything really. I can live without my phone--honestly. I'm not obsessed with social media. I think that's because I've always preferred to simply hang out with people and talk while looking at them, instead of through a flat glass screen that always seems to twist things around (nonverbal behaviors, goodbye, and welcome confusion). Sure, like most people my age, I watch Netflix, but I can go days without logging on and I don't get cold sweats or whatever as withdraw symptoms.

    I must admit, I do have the trait of being obsessive. If I get hooked on a show, or a movie genre, I appreciate a marathon just like anyone else. But this isn't exclusive to media. I love to read. There have been countless days and nights where all I did was read. I didn't feel like doing anything else. There have been times (too many that make me feel ashamed, which is silly because I'm basically saying I'm ashamed I read) where a good book grabbed all my focus, but not for the better. I would put off doing homework for "one more chapter," I wouldn't do laundry, or text friends, or a little thing like sleep, and whatever else that should've but wasn't completed. It's these times that my good-natured habitats turn into something dangerous of sorts. I become a zombie. Holed in my room, in the same reading position for hours, becoming snippy when interrupted. Because of this I have to almost schedule when I can read. If I have assignments due--don't think about touching that book. Instead, once everything is finished, or I'll read in between classes.

    --Amanda Petty

  138. About three weeks ago, I accidentally logged myself out of Facebook on both my computer and phone. Consequently, I couldn't log back in because the emails linked to my account had long ago been abandoned with no hope of myself logging back into those, either. So, out of either laziness or the fear of having to make an actual phone call to Facebook to find a way to reset my password, I have not been on the social media mogul for quite some time - and honestly, I feel like I haven't missed much! I would incessantly check Facebook when I had nothing better to do, and find myself staring into an endless void of boring life updates, memes, and Tastemade cooking videos for hours on end instead of doing something more productive. As you mentioned in class last time, social media has the ability to take mindlessly control us, which as I reflect on my use of the app, I realize that was what was definitely happening.

    Thus, as part of my media freeze, I want to continue not being on Facebook - not because I don't want to find a way to log back in, but because I feel a little more liberated having not been on it.

    Additionally, I want to set a rule for myself with my phone as well. As soon as I wake up, I find myself checking my phone and looking at texts and through my social media as soon as my eyes open; as a result, I end up staying in bed for an hour after I have intended to get up. So, here is my new rule for myself as we begin this media freeze: I am not allowed to look at my phone until I have gotten up and made myself either coffee or tea. I feel like this step will help me spur my morning productivity, and is something I'm excited, albeit nervous, to try.

    Hailey Carone

  139. Never say never. I'm not one for cliches, but I have to admit I am now a believer of the aforementioned phrase. No, I didn't give up listening to music entirely. Instead, I avoided going on You Tube to search for tunes. This may not seem like much, but I am a certified You Tube junkie. When I'm home reading, washing dishes, or just relaxing, I usually go to You Tube to play an album, song, or even calming ocean sounds. Despite my ears craving music every step of the way, I made it the entire weekend without using my favorite app before my ears gave in to temptation. Sure I had plenty of CDs, digital albums, and records at my disposal, but there's nothing like searching for music and being lead to something I might not have found otherwise. You got to love those recommended videos! Maybe I'll do another media freeze on You Tube, but not during the semester. I need the music to keep me sane while studying.

    Germain Palacios

  140. So I decided to not check my Facebook for one day. This is a big deal for me because I find Facebook my connection to people. I am pretty much alone here in NJ except for my kids. My husband is in the restaurant business and is rarely home. My family and friends are in PA. I rely on Facebook to see what everyone is up to, pictures and stories they share etc. It makes me feel a part of their lives even though I cannot be there. I find myself feeling anxious and always wanting to check it, so being without it did scare me. But, I actually completed it and I read more and took a walk. I guess I realized I can still be connected to these people even if it is not constantly. I do not think I could do without Facebook totally, but I can definitely limit myself each day. I did not die without it. Their stories and pics will be there. I do not have to look at them ASAP; they will be there later too. Realizing that has been a huge weight off my shoulders!!

  141. The above comment was from me...Lisa Savarese. Not sure why it published me as unknown.
    My comment is dated Jan 25, 2017 at 6:45 AM about using FB to be connected to my family and friends in PA.

  142. The night after our class last week, I spent the whole car ride home thinking about what I was going to give up. I've decided that night to try to give up social media. Though I can never give up Facebook and Instagram entirely because those are the social media where I keep in touch with family and friends from other parts of the world. However, I've noticed that I use them for "no reason" most of the time as well. For example: when I get bored, my mind automatically goes to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. just because (for the 100th time that hour). So for this media freeze, I've decided to only go on social media on the weekends (Saturday OR Sunday). In addition to that, I have given up Twitter completely.

    With that being said, the first week went well. I fought the urge of checking social media (Facebook and Instagram) all week. By the time the weekend came around, I felt there was no need to use it because I had already gotten use to detaching myself. I only went on for a half hour at most and felt that I did not miss anything at all. It was life changing. I got a lot of things done around the house, for school, and for myself for the week. Whenever I had extra time, I turned to the journal. I’ve put off buying a writing prompt book for me to do in my free time for a long time. I kept making excuses because I didn’t have “enough time.” I finally bought it last week and started to use it to include in my journal. It has been pretty great.

    Thank you for the push, Dr. Rich.

    Derina Tanumihardja

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  144. So I love listening to music. I'm always listening to music, and when I gave it up over the weekend for one day it was really hard. Every day I grab my phone, open Spotify, and play one of the seven playlist I have created a while back. One of them is a mix tape that has nearly 2,000 songs on it. That's one of my favorites. Another favorite of mine is my underground band playlist that has all of my favorite underground rock bands. I also like to listen to just one artist when I don't feel like listening to any of my Playlists. Some of my favorite artist include John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band. That's the music side of me. So on Saturday when I decided to not listen to music from the time I woke up to the time I went to the sleep, I was nervous. It was hard, I can tell you that. Because I couldn't watch television either since shows know have television. If I was driving somewhere, that meant no radio. When I went out to walk my dog, I had to leave my earphones home so I wouldn't be tempted to listen to music. It was very saddening. I couldn't wait for the day to be over. But I made it through. I hated it. I really did. I grew up listening to music every single day. I also play the piano and every now and then alto sax. So this "music break" was, well heart breaking. Music is my second half. It's a part of me. It's my life. And I won't be able to go through that again.

  145. I enjoyed my media freeze. Usually it would be called a media fasting, but it is similar. I immediately was inspired to write once I took off all of my devices. I allowed myself to truly and deeply think. It felt warming inside like a presence of peace came over me. The first night I really felt the peace as i was eating my bowl of soup in my plush blankets. I was able to notice things that I probably wouldn't have if my face was glued to some media device. How I started my fast was not because I set up a date and time to stop, it was more like I was getting pissed off and fed up with the messages that were coming through tv programs and commercials. It was all negative and coming at me too fast to process! I took it off and immediately thought, "You are what you eat." That trickled into the similarity with what you expose yourself to. Whether it be unhealthy foods or unhealthy habits, you regurgitate it through actions, views of life, speech, and more. I am happy to say, I haven't been a person addicted to any media or devices, but I have found myself dependent on it to problem solving. I really enjoyed doing this and plan to continue to do it. My total media freeze was 4 days.

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  147. I used to check instagram and wechat so often that I even couldn't help myself checking even I know that there is no new notification. During the spring break, I disabled "moment" function (which is similar as facebook posts), so that I didn't let what happens in others' lives take up my mind. I also delete Weibo, a mainstream Chinese social media, which I used to look for hours. I kept instagram though, because I don't use it in China. (censorship). However, I'm worrying that I will used it too often in the States. I find that I'm able to concentrate on my writing more. I am the person who likes looking social media for hours when I am stuck during writing, but now I feel that I'm better at concentrating. I also kept writing when I was on the train instead of checking social media or chatting with friends last night. I think I'll keep doing this media freeze.

  148. Hey blog!
    This is my third time participating in a media freeze. In the past I have given up social media and also texting for a certain amount of time. Both of those freeze's were very beneficial and so I wanted to do another that would have the same outcome. At first I was thinking about giving up Netflix, but after giving it some thought, I realized I really don't watch it all that often and I'm sure that the time I would spend with it off I would fill with time on my phone. I eventually decided to take Dr. Rich's idea and give my phone...well all technology up from 9 PM - noon the next day. It didn't take long for me to realize that this was my favorite media freeze so far. The first night I did this, I found myself feeling bored by 9:30. I wanted to try to start thinking of ideas for poems I could write, but I felt so uninspired. So I decided to go into my moms room and strike up a conversation with her. It was nice to sit and talk with her while giving her my undivided attention. So nice, in fact, that every night she and I make a cup of coffee and sit and talk with each other for a little while. We even went to the store and bought a board game to play. Haha!
    In the mornings, one of the first things I would do is reach for my cell phone. But not allowing myself to use it until 12 kept me from doing so. The first morning, I did use the alarm on my phone to wake me up, and I made sure to maintain my self-discipline and not touch my phone other than to turn off the alarm. Unfortunately, I was able to see the texts and other notifications waiting for me on my phone and they were all I could think about for the rest of the morning. But that was when I decided to bring out my old alarm clock. The rest of my mornings were spent actually getting out of bed when I woke up and starting my day. I even found myself doing homework, which is usually a task I take on late at night. I enjoyed doing my homework at the start of my day because my mind seemed to be easier to work with.
    Although this media freeze is just about over, I plan on continuing with it. I absolutely love having my freedom back and having more "me" time as well as time with my mom. I have been bragging to my friends how great it feels to let go of technology every once in a while. Most of them think I'm out of my mind, but I am eager to get them to try it, even if only for a few short hours so this way they can find themselves and enjoy their freedom!

  149. I am really into those silly ap games, like candy crush and trivia crack, so this past week I stopped playing. I usually play while i'm watching TV at night, like whenever there is a commercial break ill go to candy crush. Since i've stopped i've noticed that during a commercial break ill go to do other things around the house like fold laundry, wash dishes, speak to my husband, or get things ready for work. I usually end up getting caught up in what I am doing and only go back to TV after maybe 30 minutes or more. This is actually a good thing because it is helping to limit TV (which also i am pretty addicted to netflix, so maybe i'll try to cut that as well.

  150. My Media Freeze turned into a party on a Wednesday! There i was thinking about my Technology habits.(I've never been a social media addict and actually never even had a facebook until last year upon entering a new long distance/long term relationship) And i realized that my friends before facebook were typically only a text away and for most of them, just a few blocks away. It came as sort of a surprise to me to spend this time thinking about how my friendships have clearly changed just by starting facebook. Most scenarios prior were quickly initiated via a text then typically resulting in an invite for a couple drinks or to swing by for a friendly house visit, But Nowadays i simply receive the bare minimum phoned in responses of acknowledgement via the "wall of friends" and then.... nothing further. So, after giving them no warning that i was not going to check facebook this week, it only took two days for the texting to begin again. Then when i ignored the texts, that turned into multiple friends, visiting me to check in all on the same Wednesday night. :) After a few more invites were sent out, me and six others enjoyed a small reunion of sorts and all because i decided to ignore the void responses in wait for something a bit better. -(Jared Berlin)

  151. My media freeze are to not use electronics after 7:30 yikes! I only have 19 minutes to go. The other one is to not send or receive personal emails. No more shopping

  152. Dr. Rich,

    My job requires me to constantly check my phone for any updates regarding news worthy events. Although, I do waste a lot of my time on Facebook when receiving a message for work. But the main piece of electronic entertainment that has made me a slave to it would have to be YouTube. I can spend hours watching videos on YouTube, time which I can spend reading my books or writing. It always starts the same, I complete a task and decide to reward myself with a video. Before I know it, I've wasted almost the entire night on YouTube. If there is anything I wish to cut out of my life it's YouTube. Starting now I will not watch YouTube, instead I will read one of my novels or work on my stories as a treat to myself. Thank you for your blog and I look forward to the rest of this Shakespeare Survey class with you.


  153. My media freeze consisted of not watching television for a day (Saturday). I usually watch television when I am getting ready to leave, arriving tired, stressed out and bored about something. I do not watch it that much but when I do is under these circumstances. The media freeze lasted all day yesterday. It was not that much of a sacrifice but it did show me that when I do not turn on a TV, I kind of feel alone and I start thinking more. It is possible that television is not the healthiest thing but sometimes we shouldn't be thinking so much. Today(Sunday) at work, I spoke with an old friend who has been working the same position for over ten years and seems to be getting burned out. I asked her why she didn't get another job. She informed me that due to something that had happened earlier in her life, she could not find another job. She also went into details about how she had failed every step of the way. While she was talking, someone can into the room and we changed topics. She then took out her cell phone and put on an episode of Family Guy and we started watching. Even though I do not like the program I started watching it with her and the person who came and we all started laughing at the stupid jokes. I guess we all need our piece of media one way or another.


  154. Years ago, I canceled my cable subscription because I was tired of paying to watch the recurring filth on television. My favorite guilty-pleasure shows would air and zombie mode would take over, leaving me in a trance, subject to watch. My first day cable free I surprisingly was fine. I even convinced my friend to get rid of her cable. As each day went by it of course got easier and easier, and I started filling the time that I would have been watching tv with something else productive: Playing a board game with my kids, reading a book, or even going outside. Don’t get me wrong we still watched the television, the difference was I chose what to watch not the other way around. At times I even found myself watching city-council meetings, not for entertainment purposes (because that is probably the most boring thing to watch on tv), but for the purpose of learning. I would listen to the council members’ vocabulary, and I would watch how members of the community would present their argument, and I would analyze whether or not their approach was effective. It was fun and educational, which left me pleased. Having said that, when asked to take part in a media freeze, I was reluctant to comply because I feel as though I’m pretty ascetic already. After giving it some thought, what I chose to “freeze” was my constant texting to a particular person. Now, it made things a little easier that me and this person were mad at one another for a couple of days, so we naturally were not texting; but in retrospect, it did feel freeing to be able to read a book, or do homework and not feel vibration after vibration interrupting the flow of things, and me feeling like I had to stop everything I was doing just to send back an “ok.” I understand that in order to fully live, you have to disconnect yourself from media from time to time.

  155. At first I wanted to focus my media freeze on not using my phone for a few days, but I played myself, because that definitely did not work. I'm so use to checking my phone for emails concerning work or doing other things with my phone that I totally forgot about the media freeze and used my phone even when I said I wouldn't. SO then I decided to do shopping. I am the type of person that love buying clothes, shoes, and everything else even when it is not necessary, but I try to shop on a budget. I've notice that it have gotten worse this past year. I literally sometimes hide bags in my trunk just so I do not get a long speech from family members. I feel like this is something that I needed to do, not to mention I could be saving big time, and so far it is going good, however, I do not know how long I can last. Its funny because while doing this media freeze the other day I found myself at the mall. I wanted to return yet another pair of jeans, that I really did not need. But while in the store I found myself picking up other items that were not necessary, anddd they were not on SALE. While standing in line out of no where I put the items down and walked out the store. Well, one of the reasons was because the line was very long, but at the same time, I realize I do the same thing all the time. Returning something is one of the excuses I use to go to the mall, along with "oh its on sale", or "this is the last one so I have to get it". After a return, instead of walking out with my money or whatever the case may be, I end up leaving the store with even more things then I initially went there for. Anyway, lets see if I can last another week!!

  156. The first time we were assigned to do the Media Freeze, I was unsure as to what I wanted to give up. I had a few ideas of which accounts I was going to stop using but I honestly just never wanted to fully commit to giving up a social media account. For the first week of the media freeze, I chose to eliminate using my Twitter account. I didn't know how long I was going to commit to this but I knew that I needed to take a break from Twitter. I decided on giving up Twitter simply because it is a place where people vent their feelings, opinions, and every day occurrences. I wanted to take a break from this because while Twitter can be humorous, there is also a lot of negativity that is spewed out by users who are having a bad day, or by folks trying to argue politics with each other. It was especially difficult to give Twitter up because I am a huge fan of Chrissy Teigen's replies to those who talk badly about her. (I highly recommend checking out her Twitter if you need a laugh.) But I just knuckled down and logged off of my account to prevent me from opening the application.
    I was able to stay off of Twitter for five days, but I did open the app out of habit within those five days, but it definitely helped that I was logged out of my account because I shortly closed the application after. I didn't really care for my friends' updates and while I was itching to read what Chrissy posted, I knew that I could hold off for a little longer.
    After giving in to the app, I immediately went to my favorite accounts but I was not interested in what other people had to say, simply because I knew I didn't want to read anything negative. For the first week, I was definitely glad to have given up a social media account that really has no importance to making my life better. Truthfully, I think I only use the app when I have nothing else to do at home. I've now learned to keep myself busy by focusing more on assignments for school, reading books for self-pleasure, and finding time to go to the gym to work on my mental and physical health. I do occasionally check Twitter because I'm a naturally curious person, but I know that I don't need it and I'm now able to manage my time instead of wasting moments reading information that isn't really relevant to making me better as a person.

  157. For the second week of the Media Freeze, I decided to stay off of Youtube. Youtube is by far my favorite account because there is just so much content there! I especially love watching Beauty and Fashion gurus and every day, I'm just waiting to receive a notification from my phone saying that so-and-so has now uploaded a new video. Honestly, I was only able to stay off of Youtube for a good day and a half. But it's also difficult because if I stay off of Youtube for too long, then the people that I'm subscribed to will have posted so many videos during that break and then I'd spend more time trying to catch up!

    Before I tried to give up Youtube, I was watching a video of the highlights of Pia Wurtzbach in Miss Universe 2016. I was also getting ready for work at the same time, and I told myself, "okay, I'll just watch that part one more time." I did not watch it one more time. It was more like seven more times. And by then, I saw how much time I wasted and I was rushing to get ready for work. So that's when I knew that Youtube was a bad place for me because of all the time lost and the late hours I'd spend staying up to watch "one more video".

    I know that I spend so many wasted hours watching videos on Youtube. I'll indulge in a ten minute video, then a five minute video, then a seven minute video, thinking that it's only twenty minutes, and then I'll realize that I've wasted two or three hours just watching videos!

    I definitely need to limit the amount of videos I watch to perhaps three or four so that I'm not just hopping around video to video, wasting even more time. I think if I give myself a video limit, I'll hopefully have more control over my impulsive moments. I'm definitely glad to see how I use my time and what I can do to get the time back. Maybe for next week's media freeze, I'll try to go a few days longer without Youtube or even limit myself to one video a day, but I'll keep you posted.

  158. For my media freeze, I decided to not watch television two hours before bedtime. This challenge was hard for me because I usually watch television right before bed. The sounds of the television helps me to get started when falling asleep. Before this challenge, I kind of freaked out and even started to think of another media freeze that I could possibly do because I cherish sleep so much. I decided to go through with it especially because i wanted to prove myself wrong and show that I can do it. Instead of watching TV for those two hours, I got the chance to get started on homework that was due for the upcoming week and write in my personal journal. When it was time for me to go to sleep o did have a bit of a difficult time during the first 15-20 minutes. I tossed and turned and couldn't really fall asleep. Usually, I fall asleep in no time, or at least that's what it seemed. That night it took me about 30 minute to fall asleep. As time goes on I know I will fall asleep within a shorter time because my body will be used to not depending on the sound of the TV to fall asleep.

  159. As a Technical Theatre major, I heavily rely on the use of technology. As a stage manager I constantly check my email for updates from the designers or directors and I need to call the actors when they're running late to rehearsals. However, I realized I'm "addicted" to listening to Netflix while I go to sleep. I don't have a television in my room, so I pull up the website on my laptop and allow the ambient conversations to lull me to sleep. I use it as a distraction so I don't have to really listen to unwanted thoughts as they're loudest at night. I decided to enforce the media freeze over the weekend.
    I spent a longer time doing yoga in hopes that focusing on my breath would make me more sleepy, thus helping me fall asleep easily. Unfortunately, the yoga relaxed my body, but not my mind. So I stayed awake longer than usual being consumed by unwanted thoughts. Needless to say, I gave into the "addiction", but not totally. Instead of listening to Netflix as I fell asleep, I put on a sleep playlist I created about 4 years ago.
    It did the trick, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I gave in to my "addiction". I have some things in my life that I don't want to think about or deal with at the current moment, so instead of forcing myself to quit now, when I'm not in a good enough mental place to, I'll do it when I think I'm ready and not when a teacher makes an assignment out of it.

    1. Remember that it was up to you how you designed your media freeze. Remember the purpose of it.

  160. For my media freeze, I opted to give up Snapchat. I chose Snapchat because of all social media outlets, I felt Snapchat was a) utterly useless and b) distracted me from little moments in life that were worth probably better spent living.

    Snapchat prides itself on being a cute little app that condenses moments into a maximum of 10 seconds (in either photo or video format). At first, I liked this, because it made me feel that although it was silly, it ate up very little time. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken enough math classes to realize that all of those seconds add up. And worse, they distract and cloud thought. When laughing with friends the situation eventually becomes "Is this anything?" and whether or not it's 'Snapchat-able.' The splendor of tiny pleasures in life such as an amusing bumping sticker or a silly squirrel running in ceaseless circles become targets for Snapchatters.

    I found that Snapchat seems to be used to give people (myself included--at least up until recently!) a sense of validation. You're not really at a party unless you post it on your Snapchat story. You didn't really hang out with Joe and Jane if you don't send a selfie with them to everyone you know. This isn't the case, and enjoying what you're doing first-hand is far preferable to living it peripherally through a stupid phone application.

    This media freeze was the perfect excuse to delete the app from my phone. I haven't used it in roughly two weeks and not only do I not miss it, but I regret wasting any time using it in the first place. I don't know if I'd come to the same conclusion if I gave up something like Facebook, but I do know that Snapchat is not worth it for me.

  161. Dr. Rich

    For my media Freeze, I decided to give up my love of Netflix and YouTube for 2 days. I chose these two media distractions because of the heavy influence it has on my life. I am not a person to use the major social media sites like: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (Which is dead). Practically, I only have a Snap chat, which shares similarities to YouTube and Netflix. It is interesting with modern technology and how it has advanced from what it was a couple of years ago. Seeing on how one little app/site can hold so much content from the world like: World News, Pop culture, and even the sensuous humor.
    However, my time without these two constricting distractions was actually a delightful experience. I had more time to get stuff done, and each minute of the day felt like eternity but in a good way. I never knew how much of a waste we spent watching countless minutes of distractions and actually living our very own lives. It felt that the weekend could go on forever, and I did not have the urge to actually go on these apps. When I felt weakened, I simply went outside and went out for "adventures" (living life). I was able to look at my old sketches which I haven't touch for three years already, and saw my old creations from the past. I was baffled when I read the date on the bottom of each sketch I did in the past and thought that time flies away. I remembered when I first sketched my inspirations like if it was yesterday. As I flipped to the next blank page, I wrote “January 28, 2017” as a start of new beginnings and my thoughts, and creativity were at an all-time high. This past weekend, was very enlightening, It felt that I was connecting with an old side that I lost long ago due to social distractions. I can positivity say that everyone should experience a Media Freeze in their life and get InTouch with the certain activities new or old, people, and even a side of yourself that you may have left in the past.

    Thank you
    Luis Aguayza
    English 3215

  162. Dr. Rich,

    I completed my media freeze today. I have known for a while now that I am one-hundred and ten percent addicted to my phone. My boyfriend tells me I look at my phone more than anyone he's ever known, (which you can imagine makes his life extremely difficult since he isn't a big phone guy). I decided to complete my media freeze today because I was due for an upgrade on my phone yesterday and knew that having a new phone would give me more of a reason to stare at it all day long. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check my phone; I find myself not only checking my phone for calls or texts but checking every social media app I have. Sometimes, on days that i don't have much to do I find myself in bed for anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour straight staring at my phone, when I really should be up eating breakfast, relaxing, meditating, reading, etc.
    I told myself that when I woke up today I would use the media freeze for my morning phone time. When I woke up, I checked my screen for any calls or texts (just in case of emergencies) and then I shut my phone down for one whole hour. I got out of bed, ate breakfast, read some of the novel I've been reading, did a nice breathing meditation and went on with my day normally after that. Although my media freeze was only an hour, it was an hour of my time that I would usually spend with my eyes glued to my phone. I felt as though my media freeze was a freeing experience for me; I was able to just have some nice time to myself. I plan to try to do this more often and hopefully it will become a habit for every morning.

    Thank you,
    Jacqueline Foley

  163. For my media freeze, I gave up watching Netflix and Youtube before I go to sleep for a week. Being able to go to sleep without any kind of bright light in front of my face is refreshing. Usually I would fall asleep with whatever movie/show/video I was watching and miss the most of it, and forget whatever happened, so when I really think about it, there's no point of watching anything like that late at night. It also gave me more time to focus on more productive things during the evening hours such as reading, watching t.v. with my family. For example on one night I enjoyed some quality boxing matches with my parents. This also gave me time away from my phone which was also refreshing. It's also good to be away from my phone because I don't want to be one of those people who are completely absorbed and invested with their phone. So I guess you can also say I gave up late night social media and other phone activities too. This media freeze was a refreshing experience and now it is just becoming a part of my daily routine, and I'm enjoying it.

    Thank You,
    Frank DiIorgi

  164. Dr. Rich,

    I resolved to put down Facebook for one weekend--as a frequent sufferer of "Fear of Missing Out" (or "FOMO")--I struggled even just for those 48 hours of media blackout. What if something fun happened and I didn't know about it? But after some deep breathing, and numerous harried drawings in my sketch book (many of which I later tore out, but kept in my room just in case), it became easier to cope. I enjoyed giving myself more time to practice drawing, and I even started to reread my favorite book--but this time in German!

    I can't guarantee that a media freeze is something I will do frequently, but it definitely has its merits and I think when I am having a great deal of stress or anxiety, I will absolutely try it again. Instead of filling my mind with perceived slights and insignificant envies, I will fill my mind with scented candles and costume designs. I will sit and read to my dog because he is the only member of my family who won't give me a hard time for mispronouncing my German. And maybe I'll even brew some tea instead of making coffee, and hope that I can lower my stress levels even more.

    Thank you for encouraging this experiment,
    Sarah-Elisabeth "Harley" Stein

    Shakespeare Survey
    Friday 9:30-12:15

  165. Dr. Rich,
    Two weeks ago, I decided to give up both Facebook and video-games for my media freeze, and thus far it has been going well. I find that I spend more time with my closest friend, simply writing, or getting out of the house. I've also been able to catch up on a bit of reading, which is certainly an added bonus. On occasion, I do find that it's difficult to sit with my thoughts, depending upon where they go, but I've managed to find ways to otherwise occupy my mind.

    I very much love the concept of such an experience and do not intend to set a specific period of time, being that if all goes well, I would simply continue.

    Many thanks,
    - J. Solomon; Shakespeare Survey, Friday 0930-1215.

  166. The media freeze wasn't hard for me. I decided to log off of Facebook from February 1st to March 1st. Yet, I logged off about January 25, until March 1st in order to catch up on my studies. I don't feel that social media is so debilitating that I cannot get things done. I believe everything in balance. Take for instance I love the Kindle; I feel that it not only allows me to read at anytime, but that it allows me the ability to look up words easier with less detachment issues. I did get slack from my friends who were upset with me because I disconnected. I just shook my head. I have done my own media freezes since 2012. I would stop using social media for a period of time, 1-4 months. So while I love me time, I think everything in balance creates a healthy lifestyle.

  167. Dr. Rich,

    At first I thought this would be easy for me. My children and I do not watch TV during the week. HOWEVER (BIG HOWEVER) I am on my laptop most nights until very late...checking emails , on FB or ETSY...just browsing really for no good reason. SO ...I decided to go this 4 day weekend without even turning it on. Not only was my backpack lighter as I trekked through the city with my daughters. I did not feel the need to pull it out and just browse the net for no reason. Today is the first day since Friday that I opened it up and this blog is the first place I went to.

    Thank you for this !!!! I intend to do another media freeze with my phone.

    Jillian <3

  168. Media is all our generations know, regardless if we know it's not healthy. It has become such a large piece of our being that being told to not use our phones or media devices might seem overwhelming for many of us. Before I go to bed, my phone is the last thing I look at. I make sure its plugged in next to me so I know it will be completely charged so I am able to use it the next day. My phone is a part of me regardless if I like it or not. It's my connection with people I can and cannot speak to on a regular basis. I take comfort in being able to see my nephew grow up through the facetime calls and snapchat stories she posts. Yes, now that I think of it.. the fact that other people see this too makes it less personal and I feel less important. I plan on cutting out my late night media use and transferring that energy into my writing or reading.

  169. Since our first class this fall semester, I was really determined to set a goal in trying my best to get off my phone. I absolutely love, and appreciate your idea of not allowing us to use any sort of technology for the entire class. It is true though - we are all addicted to some kind of technology. Personally, I love food. I love to bake, cook, and go on Pinterest to find recipes. Then, I find myself spending a good hour on both Facebook and Instagram. I really only use Facebook to catch up with family and friends I have from all over the place, but I definitely found how much of my free time goes into using the internet, where I could be reading or writing. My passion for writing became acknowledged at a very young age, where one of my teachers during a parent teacher conference spoke to my parents of how creative I can be with free writing. I am not exaggerating at all when I tell you I have shelfs and shelfs of notebooks filled with poems, short stories, essays, etc. that I have done in my free time. I try to write in a notebook every day, and to read a book I have lying on my bookshelf to replace the time I normally use towards the internet. I am really going to try to continue this goal of replacing internet time with writing and reading, and again, I want you to know how much I appreciate your idea of no technology in class at all. Can't we just all go back to the good old days where technology wasn't even important? I spent countless hours outside playing sports, blowing bubbles, riding my bike, and getting as much activity outdoors, rather than having my face glued to the TV screen. I hope my future kids can appreciate growing up with as little technology as possible, and live their lives having fun doing indoor/outdoor hobbies that do not include using a phone, computer, or television. You rock, Dr. Rich! Excited for what this semester is going to bring :)

  170. Since our first class this fall semester, I was really determined to set a goal in trying my best to get off my phone. I absolutely love, and appreciate your idea of not allowing us to use any sort of technology for the entire class. It is true though - we are all addicted to some kind of technology. Personally, I love food. I love to bake, cook, and go on Pinterest to find recipes. Then, I find myself spending a good hour on both Facebook and Instagram. I really only use Facebook to catch up with family and friends I have from all over the place, but I definitely found how much of my free time goes into using the internet, where I could be reading or writing. My passion for writing became acknowledged at a very young age, where one of my teachers during a parent teacher conference spoke to my parents of how creative I can be with free writing. I am not exaggerating at all when I tell you I have shelfs and shelfs of notebooks filled with poems, short stories, essays, etc. that I have done in my free time. I try to write in a notebook every day, and to read a book I have lying on my bookshelf to replace the time I normally use towards the internet. I am really going to try to continue this goal of replacing internet time with writing and reading, and again, I want you to know how much I appreciate your idea of no technology in class at all. Can't we just all go back to the good old days where technology wasn't even important? I spent countless hours outside playing sports, blowing bubbles, riding my bike, and getting as much activity outdoors, rather than having my face glued to the TV screen. I hope my future kids can appreciate growing up with as little technology as possible, and live their lives having fun doing indoor/outdoor hobbies that do not include using a phone, computer, or television. You rock, Dr. Rich! Excited for what this semester is going to bring :)

  171. *Dr. Rich.. Please excuse my first blog post... for some odd reason it came off an unknown, but i signed into my Google Account and now my name is appearing. Thank you!

  172. OH GOSH! There are so many things that are filling that void for me. I could not really pinpoint how many things I would like to get away from and not use again that actually make me feel like a zombie sometimes. One thing in particular that I despise doing but I do every single morning and night is go on my phone for at least thirty minutes and scroll through Instagram (as if during the night so many things actually happen). The truth is that nothing really happens that is important or that I necessarily look for, it is simply the act of scrolling through my Instagram and not missing out on great quotes, good exercise tips, and of course DYIs! I guess it all comes down to this fear of missing out on information (as if we don't have information overload already!)
    Therefore, today I have decided that I am deleting Instagram for this entire semester! I will simply use my hone for phone calls and emails. I would love to give up my phone but society has made us dependent and god forbid I do not have instant access to my email... people would freak!

  173. My media obsession has always been Facebook. I like to vent on there about how I feel about our current world and my own world for that matter. I use that platform as a therapy session basically with myself. I post quotes, pictures, articles, and just my daily life spurts in order to cleanse myself. However, I spent one day without it and I honestly do not need to express myself in that way. I do have a journal/notebook where I like to keep my miscellaneous thoughts and feelings throughout the day. However, I have to admit there is something about posting and another person liking it/commenting on it which makes you feel like you're not "alone". When you have a journal, it's just yours essentially and no one else can see it unless you give them permission to. As a personal goal of mine, I would like to limit Facebook as much as possible in order to read more leisurely. I love reading and I noticed that all my minutes spent on Facebook, I can read a book I always wanted to read or a literary magazine I have been eyeing. To add, my family from Poland loves to communicate with me via Facebook and sometimes it is easier to talk with family in that way. Nonetheless, this media freeze is not temporary, I truly want to keep the momentum going and continue to pause myself to not post a status, but perhaps write a poem instead in my journal. Those are my aspirations as of now, hoping to reach them! Thank you Dr. Rich for your knowledge!

  174. Katrina Booth

    After leaving our first class I was a little scared about the media freeze. As sad as it is, I believe I have the technology obsessed disease that is affecting so many other people in society today as well. When trying to narrow down which form of social media I am obsessed with the most, there was a clear sign pointing to Snapchat. After observing myself and even asking my roommates that see me all the time, it was concluded that I check this same app countless times a day. Either just watching other people's stories, sharing my events, taking random pictures of food, all little crazy things like that. Just missing out on real life experiences because my thumb is so prone to going to this app. Starting this past Friday up until Monday, I gave up Snapchat. It was actually pretty difficult. Giving it up made me realize the reasons why I always default to checking this app. When I feel awkward, when walking by myself, during idle moments in between tasks, or even when there is a lull in conversation when I am with people. During all those types of moments, I felt my thumb wanting to reach for it but I stayed strong. During the weekend is when I get to spend time with my boyfriend. He isn't very connected to his phone anyway so he embarked in on my media freeze and helped me cope with my separation from my phone. We found ourselves redirecting that energy to things like adult coloring, a new show, and learning a lot of new things about each other. Putting our phones away made us realize the extra time we had where we, discovered things we didn't know about the other. Amazed by that we actually are going to continue to do the media freeze of our phones completely at least one day during the weekend for the rest of the semester. As someone who was scared of the media freeze, in the beginning, I am pretty excited about it now.

  175. Dr. Rich,

    I’d like to start off by thanking you. Thank you for putting this media freeze on our class and thank you for giving us a brand new journal. In times past, I have purchased—well if I’m being honest with myself—twenty journals in the past year with the anticipation to write in them. With this, I have purchased new pens because you can’t start a new journal without them. I’ve come to realize that buying a new journal and endless supply of pens doesn’t turn me into a writer (surprise, surprise)! So, when you laid out the journals on the table and told each student to grab one—in their favorite color—I was hesitant. I didn’t want to waste another journal, specially one that you paid for with your money! But then I came to realize, maybe this is what I needed. I have to admit, at first, it was the guilt of you using your money to pay for these journals that had me start writing in it every morning like you had suggested, but then something wild happened. I started writing in it for myself.

    I considered your media freeze, and thought to myself, when is ‘prime time’ when I spend most of my time scrolling through endless amounts of garbage on my social media accounts. In the morning, drinking coffee at the table, either by myself, or worse with the company of my mother or fiancé. I had to stop, and you helped me realize this. I started to put down my phone, and pick up the journal and pen to write in the morning alongside my cup of coffee, and myself or company. It changed me. I got into the habit of not even checking my phone in the morning. This tiny device changed my perception of the way my day was going to go. Now, I decide how my day is going to go. Instead of checking the weather on an app, I actually (imagine this) check the weather by LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW, or walking onto the porch to pick up yesterday’s mail. This media freeze allowed me to stay in the moment. And while it has only been a week, and I’ve only put my phone down (specifically for the morning), I have recognized myself putting it down more often. This allowed for more conversations, as your blog states, on campus. I realize there actually are others who want to engage in a conversation, or exchange a smile in the hallway. This makes me feel good, and better than a dorky smile at my cellphone screen.

    Thank you, Dr. Rich,
    -Paige Bollman

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  177. As class concluded last week, I was struggling with the idea of having to commit to giving up some type of media. It has become so easy to grab my phone and get lost in social media, so I decided to drastically cut down my time using such apps for the week. The social media I tend to use on a daily basis consist of Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, (the typical college student's sidekicks). After only a few days of being mindful of my social media intake, I realized these apps were not as important to me as I had originally believed. I have been so obsessed with what's happening in the world of others, that at times my own world can be forgotten. This past week instead of scrolling through Snapchat before bed, I focused on beneficial things to do with my down time. I was able to spend time studying for an upcoming praxis exam, and focus on my schoolwork. I also noticed how easy it is for not just myself but most students to pull out their phones in class to escape from the tedious lecture surrounding them. Actually making an effort to focus in class by leaving the phone away left me feeling refreshed and focused. This challenge of not relying on my phone is something I have always been aware of but too nervous to try. This media freeze made me determined to continue focusing on surrounding myself with interesting and beneficial pastimes that can hopefully become new interests and hobbies.

    1. After leaving class last week, I was on the fence concerning the media freeze. I figured by becoming completely aware of how dependent I am of my device and all its functions wouldn't be Such a great idea! However, by abandoning all the negatives thoughts that came to mind - I embraced all that I have to gain by subtracting certain things out of my daily schedule. The media freeze has help me acknowledge how my social skills have declined. I've become so dependent on my device that instead of embracing my surroundings and giving life to every step I take- I bury my face in my phone and avoid others. With time I plan to gradually wing myself off all social media outlets and engage with others. I've also realized how I allowed social media (I.e Snapchat & Instagram) to consume so much of my time! Those application have become my drug so to speak- Its been instances where I've been too exhausted to eat! But guess what ?! I wasn't too exhausted to open up a Snapchat and watch people's stories until I fall asleep (pitiful) . However, due to media freeze I am able to acknowledge my dependency level pertaining to social media. I imagine this will be a journey for me and I am up for the task.
      I would like to thank you Dr. Rich for helping me acknowledge this learned behavior that I've become so dependent upon.

  178. When I was initially asked to conduct a media freeze, I started to experience mild feelings of anxiety. I told myself I had no media addictions, but the anxiety tied to the request told me otherwise. After some reflection I began to see that I was in fact hooked to Netflix. Netflix was something I turned on without a second thought. I would enjoy my shows and not even see that the hours I spent watching them served the purpose of ridding me of boredom. It has been five days since I have watched Netflix. Surprisingly, this was not a difficult task. I did however notice that I started to pick up a new habit: I read for pleasure. While this transition still fills up my “times of boredom”, I do see some small changes in my life already. I fall asleep easier because my mind is not wired at night as it usually is, and I feel more satisfied with myself. I have the feeling that I am being productive while also having fun. I will admit that I do not plan to completely stop watching Netflix. I think it is important to enjoy oneself from time to time. However, I do plan on moderating the time I spend watching Netflix because I see the positive that comes from it.

  179. Hi Dr. Rich. So looking forward to our next class. Thank you for making it light and refreshing, and giving us so much to already start reflecting on; from what you mentioned about the right and left brain to how we develop from just looking at things in a simplistic manner versus putting them into context and growing our critical thinking. The journal writing I believe will prove to be a great path to grow as that flexible writer (can't wait to read the book).
    I must say, though, in terms on creating and individual media freeze, the only medium I could think of cutting down would be the already small time I spend watching TV during and after dinner (I could see how the "during" must go). I must confess that being of the generation X, I believe in face to face interactions, my technology use is low,but my work ethic very high. Because I feel sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials, I feel I can relate to both. I went back to school in my forties and feel very much at home in the midst of students who can be my kids, really. My experience of blogging is limited to class assignments. However I am up to learning everything. In addition, I do not have any interest in Face Book, Twitter, or any of the other existing social media. I do chat on occasion, though, only to keep connected with my family overseas. So, I must say this challenge will be easy for me. Turning the TV off during dinner time will allow for more active conversations and getting back to basics.

  180. I will admit to scrolling aimlessly on the v(dr)oid- aimless because I am not connected.
    These "friends" I see on the screen I swear,
    they are as ghost-like as the friends that visit to bitch about their day over a cup of coffee..
    They are as absent as the phone calls that echo through my childhood memory.
    Growing up meant growing apart.
    I fell in love with my one best friend, and the v(dr)oid connects us on long days of shortened breaks and short phone calls with even shorter texts. Where I welcome conversation with him,
    I also welcome the chance to avoid...
    I use my v(dr)oid to avoid the conversations with strangers I do not wish to connect.
    I will admit to av(dr)oiding on purpose.
    There’s a comfort there, the ability to signal that you're
    When challenged to break the trend,
    break the silence,
    Break free,
    I hesitate.

    But I lower my shield and take a deep breath,
    Refreshing more than my newsfeed.