Life After I Gave Up My iPod

Below is a reflection of my week sans my iPod. Didn’t read it? Well let us back track:

My obsession
Why I gave it up
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven

Let’s be honest, you have time to kill. Once you have done that, you may understand my last afterwards. For the record, I am never doing this again. Almost didn’t make it:

I keep re-reading about my week without my iPod, and to be honest, at first, I sound a bit crazy. How is it that this medium has taken over my life the way it has? I know I once lived a life without an iPod, but I am not sure how to do it again. However as friends and family commented back on my blog postings, I began to realize I am not alone. Many others couldn’t live without their iPods and other forms of media for a week, and wondered how I am doing it.

By keeping a small journal and timeline of my thoughts throughout the week, I somehow found a way. I believed it better captured what I went through without my iPod. My journey showed my feelings of emptiness, withdrawals, and my dependency with this medium. At moments my feelings were heightened when people mention my week without my iPod. In a way, it made me want it more because I missed having it as a part of my everyday life and how I function with it. For me, it isn’t about the iPod itself, but what I use it for. I use it like a musician uses a metronome. It seems to keep the tempo and rhythm throughout my day, and when that was taken from me, everything seemed off, from working out to simply walking around.

As reflected throughout my notes, I felt that disconnect more than I thought I would. It didn’t seem right doing many of normal activities without my iPod, and when I tried other things, it felt as though I had put my shoes on the wrong feet. Sure I am wearing shoes to protect my feet, however it didn’t feel right. I am used to have this particular medium close by and as a part of my routine. At times, it did feel like I was wearing my shoes on the wrong feet, and while I did use other media to replace my iPod, I missed its functions and noise.

As I repeated many times, I love having noise around me whether it is music, someone talking, etc. While other media like television and radio did provide the noise I needed, I was sometimes left with little choice of what I wanted to listen to, and often times commercials and breaks interrupted the flow of the noise. Had I been plugged into my iPod with my own music and podcasts, I wouldn’t have the distractions of commercials and breaks.

On one hand, it could be said that being constantly plugged into my iPod disconnects myself from those around me, but this is not the case. I use my iPod to catch up on the latest news, talk to friends online, listen to music, and many other functions. I could do this with my phone, and do, but for me, my iPod is my choice for information and music because of its functionality. My iPod may not help my face-to-face communication; however it does help me to stay in touch with the world around while I am out living in it. I still feel connected to the world, and my iPod has allowed for such a thing to happen within my daily life and routine.

On the other hand, I can always change my routine and how I function. There are many times throughout my week and time without my iPod where I normally wouldn’t use it and/or need it. It was during these times where this medium wasn’t a part of my routine, therefore I didn’t feel lost without it and I was alright. It was moments like these that made me think maybe I could live without my iPod.

Can I honestly say I would not properly function if I had to give up my iPod forever? My first reaction is of course not. I need my iPod to live. However, there was a time I didn’t have my iPod, about 22 years beforehand, and I seemed alright. As much as media controls us, we do have the option to break away. As I have learned, that detachment can be hard, but as we have gotten use to having this particular medium, we can also get used to not having it. Media of any form is more of a want rather than necessity. It is not a part of the bottom portion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs like food, water, and shelter. One needs those things in order to survive.

Media is something we want in our lives for entertainment and to make life easier which it does, but it is something one can live without. It merely comes down to our habits, and how we choose to handle them. For me, my habits revolve around media as a way for entertainment, getting information, and getting through my day. It is media in all forms that I like having around me, and when one is taken from me, something doesn’t feel right. However, not using my iPod wasn’t on my mind all day, but rather periods of time when I am use to it. Like when I first incorporated my iPod into my routine, with practice, it can be taken away.

I maybe alright with this.


One week, no iPod: Saturday

For those who don’t know, I gave up my beloved iPod for one week and kept a journal. The reason why is for a horrible school assignment that is meant as a form of torture. Here is day three as transcribed via my notebook. Read Day One FirstThen Day Two. Then Day ThreePlus Day FourAdd Day Five. Don’t forget Day Six and you will be caught up. The contents of the notebook have not been edited, therefore my stream of consciousness may or may not make sense. However sometimes my edited writing doesn’t either. And yes my mind does think this way. Here we go.

8:33am: Like Sunday mornings, I usually spend a little time in bed on my iPod surfing the web. I like to check my Facebook, News, etc. without moving too much and without being rushed or having to go anywhere. For even that short time, it is how a weekend should be. No work, just peacefulness of the glowing screen.

8:47am: This whole laying here is rather boring without doing something. I could get up and start doing work. Or maybe watch TV. I will do work while watching TV. As a side note: I need to come up with another word for doing work because the negative tone of the word does not sound relaxing or something you should do on the weekend.

1:53pm: Doing the last of my homework while Cristalle finishes getting ready for the football game. Like me, she is always listening to music whether she is working out or getting ready. I wonder if she could give up her iPod for a week. I wonder where she hid mine.

2:20pm: Cristalle tells me her brilliant hiding spot was on her desk. Good thing I didn’t have time to snoop around. Well actually I probably did have time, but the reason I didn’t could have been two things. One wanted to complete the assignment. Two if I don’t see it,I won’t be as tempted to go after it. I didn’t know my iPod had been so close to me the whole time. Had I known earlier in the week where my iPod was, I probably would not have been able to do this assignment.

2:21pm: Need to steal Cristalle’s Music…and maybe iPod. Is it Sunday yet?

4:03pm: Without a set schedule like during the week, I do not use my iPod to keep track of time and things. I don’t need it for work or walking down the halls. Yes today I did miss it, but I didn’t have places to be where I felt I needed it. It could have added to the soundtrack of my life, but I did not need it. I did want and miss it, don’t get me wrong. However, it will not keep me alive and going. Although probably a little saner.

2:33am: Half asleep. Remember Cristalle told me where my iPod is. It has technically been a week. Run downstairs. Run back upstairs. Get a little lightheaded. Go to turn on my iPod with excitement in my heart. iPod is dead. FAIL!!! I think this is the media Gods little joke. I should have charged it. I guess I will have to wait a little longer.

One week, no iPod: Tuesday

For those who don’t know, I gave up my beloved iPod for one week and kept a journal. The reason why is for a horrible school assignment that is meant as a form of torture. Here is day three as transcribed via my notebook. Read Day One First. Then Day Two and you will be caught up. The contents of the notebook have not been edited, therefore my stream of consciousness may or may not make sense. However sometimes my edited writing doesn’t either. And yes my mind does think this way. Here we go.

6:15am: Heading to the gym. I usually workout with my iPod permanently attach to my ear, but today we are going to try something different. I am actually going to do some homework, well readings as I work out. I am not sure how this is going to go, but here it is.

7:44am: I am covered with highlighter. Yea I am one of those people who highlight the shit out of my readings, homework, and books. Most of the times it is to capture the key factors of the reading, but there is a percent that does it to make the work look pretty. The percent went up today while working out. For some reason I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading. This is possibly due to my heart racing up and down and sweating, but who really knows. Whatever the case maybe, I was not paying attention to what I was reading, and found my mind drifting even to the silent televisions. Is it me or is Skip Bayless look like he is about to eat someone when he talks and no sound comes out of his mouth?

8:15am: This is usually the time I listen to some podcast as I get ready for school. Today, I turned on the TV to listen to the news. I find myself watching the news more than getting ready.

8:45am: I have to turn this thing off. I have done absolutely nothing to get ready, and I have to leave in 20 minutes. Bad Hair Day here I come!

10:03am: I really don’t want to walk the halls in silence today. I am going to call Katie back, and talk to her for a moment.  Plus I really don’t want to be bothered by the people out in front of the building. I am starting to run out ways to say no and please leave me alone.

10:37am: Ended up talking to Katie way too long. I even stop to sit on a bench because the day is too nice, and I am too engulfed by the conversation. The only reason I knew it was time for class was when I saw my classmates walking by. Usually when I have my iPod, I have a clock right in front of me, and the songs usually last 4 minutes. All I need to do is count the songs. It is sort of like my internal clock  in a machine.

9:33pm:I haven’t noticed or thought about my iPod. It isn’t until I think about what I need to pack for tommorow, that I realize haven’t posted anything on my blog. As I transcribe my first two days, two things come to mind. One, I thought this would be an easy medium to give up. Two, I didn’t realize how attach to this I really am. Is everyone like this?

10:02pm: Complaining to Mike about my assignment and missing my iPod. To make up for this, his Solution? Sing to me. Missing my iPod even more. Shortly thereafter, I fall asleep, with the phone attached my ear.

One week, no iPod: Monday

For those who don’t know, I gave up my beloved iPod for one week and kept a journal. The reason why is for a horrible school assignment that is meant as a form of torture. Here is day two as transcribed via my notebook. Read Day One First. The contents of the notebook have not been edited, therefore my stream of consciousness may or may not make sense. However sometimes my edited writing doesn’t either. And yes my mind does think this way. Here we go.

Monday 8/30/10

8:25am: Did you know the hallways on this campus creek? Maybe it is just me, but they sound like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz when he runs out of oil. Creek…er…Creek. Ok maybe it isn’t creeking as loud as I think it is, but to be honest, it is the only sound I hear. As I walk without my iPod, I realize no one is talking to each other.  I see people talking on their phone, some are texting or playing around with their phones while some are listening on their iPods(I am slightly jealous). Whatever they are doing, they are communicating with someone, just not with each other. I don’t think they notice, or notice me noticing them.

8:46am: In class early. I am not sure what to do. No one is here. Usually I would be listening to my iPod and zone out. Can’t do that. Maybe I should read ahead because I have nothing else to do.

8:47am: Realized I forgot my reading….awesome.

11:30am: The silence is killing me! No one is at the office at work. Was it labor day this week and I forgot? Maybe nobody is usually here on Mondays and I never noticed. I am usually listening to my iPod, working on the computer and off in my own world.Usually it is a podcast,sometimes music, but usually my ear buds are in. I never realized what was around me before.

1:00pm:I hate waiting around for people. As I wait, I am trying to check my Facebook on my phone, which I usually do on my iPod. My phone is usually not a problem, but the service in this building is horrible. Who do I call to complain about this? I can’t even make a call! I miss wifi.

9ish to 10ish: I am not aware of the time, but decided to use my radio to go to bed to. Just discovered my iPod deck has a sleep mode. As the music plays, I start to fall asleep, but I am awaken by the commercials and/or a song I do not like. I keep changing the station, and the same pattern repeats. After about four times of this. I am now officially awake. I miss the music on my iPod. Maybe I have a bad attachment to this advice.

Spoiled Media Nerd

I admit it. I am addicted to media of all sorts. I Facebook hourly, DVR horrible reality shows, check email, listen to my Ipod all the time, and even Twitter crazy blog posts. Media is my choice of drug.And I am sure it is everyone else’s. Tell me, when was the last time you went a week, excuse me a day, excuse me a hour(sleeping does not count) without using any form of media? It doesn’t take a genius to see or know that we are surrounded and engulfed by it.  In today’s society, the use of technology is everywhere and we are constantly connected by our plugs. Do not act like I am the only one.

However, I am going to have to give up one form of media. My professor, Dr.Wise gave us an assignment to give up not all media(I think he saw the shock faces of everyone) but just one for a whole week. Go without it and see how you feel. I immediately went into a panic of what I could give up. What am I able to live without for a week?

Facebook/Twitter: Ummm no
Email: Need it for school and work
Phone: My mother: Mija what happens if my car breaks down? You need your phone
Radio: How else am I going to get through an hour drive to and from school without falling asleep?
Television: Football season around the corner
Text Messaging: See Facebook

After coming up with excuse after excuse, I kept raking my brain for a solution. How can my professor tell me to give up a medium? for a whole week? Is he mad? Or am I the mad one? I am going to go with the latter because I am sounding like a spoiled media nerd. And maybe I am. However, in order to pass the class(which btw is a media class), I decided to give up my iPod. This maybe the hardest especially because I am attached at the ears. I have love obsession for my Ipod (as shown here) However, I do not use it for anything besides zoning out and listening to music. Being attached to the buds gives me that comfort of the connection, but at times I feel like it cuts me off from the outside world(or at least that is what my mom tells me)

Starting Sunday (8/29), I am giving my roommate my iPod for a week, and I will be forced to listen to the silence.  I will keep track of my thoughts and feelings on this here blog as I go through the seven stages of grief. Maybe it won’t be that bad. It maybe the worse week. We shall see. Am I able to go a week giving up a medium I am use to? Or will the crazy bus come pick me up? Maybe I am too attach and plugged into my medium. Could you do it? Maybe you, like me, are just another member of the spoiled media nerds.

Let the torture begin!

Signs,dreams and possibly the end of the world

A bit dramatic to say, but as the news report of new diseases breakout every week, Ugg boots being dusted off in Phoenix in April and (fill in the blank of newest national disaster) do all signs point to end of the world?

As it has been over publicized, the Mayans predict the end of the world in 2012. Although recent events may be used as evidence of such a thing, might it be a mere coincidence  that signs are point to “D-Day 2012.” Could the Mayans haves simply ran out of paper or fell asleep while producing the calendar?

Before you start blaring REM non-stop, I am not suggesting such a thing. However, this newest outbreak of events got me thinking about signs, dreams and their meanings. To me, signs, and possibly dreams, are to some what helps people cope and deal with the unknown, however I do not believe it is the end of the world.

I do not believe recent events are signs of the end of the world. I tried to look at them as such, but my head started to explode, literally. The only thing to keep it from going everywhere was my big hair(thank you genetics). I would like to believe if the world was to end, it would be a bit more dramatic with a crazy plot twist.

I do believe however, signs and dreams are what guide us in the journey of life and help us answer questions. It may not be as dramatic or crazy like in two of favorite movies, Fools Rush In or Serendipity(I know Chick Flicks, but consider the source), but I truly believe in signs and dreams maybe nature’s way of telling you to get up and do what you need to do to make your life better and more productive.

Before I get into an Oprah Special, it is human nature to not believe and ignore the signs and dreams. To some, they are just random events that often lead to nothing. And maybe they are, but I do not think they aren’t. I like to think tha some of my life choices were made based on gut choices and signs/dreams that pointed me there. Maybe I am just dreadlocks away from becoming a hippie, but I this is something I believe.

 Perhaps we do not take notice  because we are on the go culture to stop and observe them. But I would like to believe if we have a moment to stop, maybe we would notice for a second. Maybe its a dream, a notice on tree, a huge billboard in Times Square, whatever it it just take notice. What if the answers were there all along. Life is truly what happens while you were making plans, signs are just the Facebook notifications.

So maybe the recent news events are signs of the end of the world. Maybe its a sign to invest in a bunker or build one underneath my apartment. Do you think HOA would fine me if they found my big bunker?

Enough insightful cheeziness for now!

Just in case you do think it is the end of the world, blare this:

This is the preview for Serendipity for the person(you know who you are) who had no idea what I was refering to: