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From: High school teacher (Media and Society)
Every year I ask my students to complete a "media free" day. Of course, it's not about being completely media free, but avoiding active participation with mass media. We just finished the project this week.
This year, I added another component: leave your cell phone at home. Better yet give your cell phone to a parent for the day. Gasp! For most, it was akin to being asked to remove a limb.
The writing/discussion afterwards was the most revealing. The "silence" that resulted from being unplugged for a day solicited words like awkward, threatening, frightening, creepy, unnatural. They did not like the sound of their own voice in their own head.
I feel it right to also honor the kids for whom an "unplug" day was not difficult. There are a percentage of teens (in my experience) who don't sleep with their cell phone, don't spend hours on social networking sites, and use the tools of their generation with awareness and balance.
There is media addiction in our culture, no doubt. However, let us not have another discussion of media awareness - media literacy - be another Nancy Reagan "just say no" campaign against the media, which seems to only alienate and shame people.
vmhughes. teacher. co-founder MediaThink (www.mediathink.org)
posted 3 years, 2 months ago
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