As I mentioned yesterday, I’m doing an experiment on better understanding how I consume media – something important in a high-tech media-saturated age, and relevant as I often speak and write on geeky careers, which are quite media/technical.
The basic technique is simple – keep a journal and write down when you game, watch TV, or something similar and why you do it. Just asking “why” is pretty informative.
However, one of the things I noticed quickly is that those of us in America are in a very media-saturated society. I’m sure many others live in similar societies, but I’m focusing on my current situation. My current situation is very loud, noisy, and distracting to say the least.
Televisions running in bars and oil change shops. Advertising everywhere. Celebreties famous for being famous hawking perfume when I go to buy a shirt. Giant media events with film releases or book releases making news. New shows to watch, new DVDs, etc. This is even before we get to the internet.
Then there’s the tie-ins. Products and promotionals. Branded candy. Games based on the movie of the book. We are surrounded by media, by information, by things that go into our brain or tie into things already there.
This of course is understandable: we’re human, we’re creatures of information. But media is everywhere, all the time. Culture is not something we carry or act on, but something being poured into us.
When you start monitoring your media habits, you start realizing very quickly how much is coming in, at times involuntarily.
A few takeaways:
- I think the love of “media” jobs – writer, actor, etc. is so popular as such careers are so visible. If you see actors, hear about writers, etc. all the time then people will want to be them.
- Media competition is competition for attention, and at high saturation points that can get pretty intense. Just look at concerns over ad hit rates on web pages.
- Control of your own media consumption is a way to prevent dilution of time and knowledge. I’d love to see media-use strategies of successful people analyzed.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.