Media Studies Students Unplug

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Students found themselves helpless without their cell phones, music, and Internet access for a Digital Detox project assigned in a media studies class. The students of “MS-100: Intro to Media Studies” filled McLaren Hall last Wednesday to showcase their creative reports on the 24-hour experiment. It required students to abstain from the use of all digital media for one whole day.

Students portrayed their experience through short films, comics, collages, short stories, and other creative mediums. The projects were displayed in the conference room of McLaren Hall, where fellow Dons and faculty were welcomed to view students’ reports on their Digital Detox.

After going 24 hours without digital media, students involved in the project became more aware of how dependent — even addicted — they are to technology. They addressed the many needs and desires that media fulfills in their daily lives. Much of the project content covered topics such as sensory overload and overall disconnection with society.  “I liked it a lot; it was fun. I think the project allows for a lot of reflection,” media studies student Chris Osborn said.

According to USF media studies professor Dr. John Higgins, the project has been conducted in the media studies department for two years. “Even now, I’ll unplug sometimes,” he said.

While the majority of the class said that going a day without digital media was aggravating, all agreed that the experience was eye-opening. Today’s society has become so dependent on electronic devices that it is difficult to imagine life without them.

“We’re in the middle of taking past projects and putting them into the Gleeson Library,” Dr. Higgins added. You can view students’ projects in the archives. Maybe their stories will inspire you to take on the challenge of a full-day digital detox.

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