Tag: media

How do phone notifications impact us?

When I sit down to eat dinner with my family or to have coffee with a colleague I always place my phone face down on the table. I do this because I know if I don’t every push notification will pull me out of the present face-to-face interaction I am having, and push me into the digital world, taking away from the real-time human connectivity.

Notifications have become a part of our everyday lives. We get notified when someone messages us, when a package has shipped, when a friend likes our post or when our groceries are ready to pick up. Notifications of new shows that we “must” see!, new goods we “may want” to purchase, services we “need” to subscribe to or news that might be of interest to us and the list can go on. Maybe even infinitely…

Why run for office?

I recently was speed walking around the city skimming plaques on houses, sidewalks and statues, astounded by the depth of documented mainly political history on every corner. I also couldn’t get over how people (presumably politicians or the politically motivated ) wore suits in a city of such heat and humidity, but that is another conversation. As a visitor from the small mountain town where I live, being in DC felt like the epicenter of politics, the White House, the pentagon, THIS was where the things happened. What the things are exactly, I couldn’t tell you, there was just a conscious sense of separation between where I live, the decisions I make and this burgeoning metropolis where people aim to set the policy and laws that impact the world.

To binge watch or not to binge watch.

It’s midnight. I awake abruptly, go to roll over and feel nothing but air beside me, as if I am laying on the edge of a cliff. I immediately roll back to save myself from the tumble downward to be blocked by a warm soft wall. The couch. I slowly open my eyes, trying to get my bearings as I hoist myself upright. I focus on the screen dominating my view and read – Are you still watching”?

Obviously not.

Media and Our Mental Health

There is a spoof on drug commercials that I love called Nature Rx. It takes the common concept of a prescription solution to all encompassing issues that we as humans face daily, and recommends a solid dose of Nature (Disclaimer aside). My own life has been remedied countless times by a few days out in the wilderness away from “it” all. Without a barrage of notifications, incoming todo’s and well meaning, but overwhelming check-ins from friends, I stop thinking in a million different directions, prioritizing and reprioritizing as work, news and events as they come into my purview.

Algorithm Bias and Information Consumption

You are probably familiar with or have heard of the term ‘news bias’. This is the idea that news can provide a leaning perspective, where one side of the story is more heavily weighted than the other; thereby often providing a more polarizing or partisan view of current events and issues. If you have been living in the U.S. consuming media created within and distributed by our mainstream media systems for the last decade (or more), then chances are you have consumed news of this variety, and may even feel that your side is inherently right and it is the other side that has the story wrong. This feeling that the other is lying, misleading, or twisting the facts deliberately has grown into a distrust and a diminished reliance on not only the mainstream media, but also on each other.

Representation in the Media

Identity is defined as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” Many things go into the making of a person’s identity, including their gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, political orientation, religious beliefs, age, physical/personality attributes, etc.

Although each of these aspects certainly matter in determining individual identity, it is almost impossible to accurately understand someone’s feelings of self worth and their experience of being in the world based solely on these attributes. This tick-box list of identity categories can lead to us seeing each other as caricatures, rather than as unique individuals with nuanced ways of identifying and relating to the world around us.

Media’s Impact on Our Lives

Growing up as a(white cis-female) millennial it is hard to dispute the impact media has had and continues to have on my life. As a small child I would dance around my house singing Disney songs as an adolescent I found my personal style flipping through countless teen magazines; as a young adult I was an early adopter of social media; and as a woman in my 30s I have dedicated my life to the pursuit of creating a media literate society. I have sat crying as I watched unimaginable events play out in live time before my eyes and rejoiced as the diversity of messages and information has grown beyond the confines of one ideology.

New Year, New Media, New Me

The Canary’s first meeting of 2022 was canceled the day of. There was some illness and some conflicting business and a general sense of ongoing recovery from the holidays. When we finally did meet a week later in a joyful state of reconnection and catching up, we brought up goals for the upcoming year, both personally and for our organization. We also discussed the negative response we felt to the New Year hype of resolutions and self-reinvention. In keeping with our values of intentionality, well-being, and truth, we took time to reflect on this and decided to each write a short reflection on how we approach the idea of reinvention at the start of a new year.

Being Creative and Being Online: What’s the Relationship?

This morning I sat down to write this piece and I immediately felt stuck. I didn’t know where to begin, couldn’t find the right words, and within ten minutes of trying I ended up opening a random series of internet tabs and scrolling through my email aimlessly. Most of the work I do requires writing, which is often creative and sometimes not so much, but it requires a certain amount of focus regardless. And I often feel my mind being pulled away from the task at hand by the seemingly infinite world of information, social updates, cute animal videos, etc that are always just a click away.