LIFE BEYOND MEDIA

image

ommunication and Media: Life
beyond Media
Communication is the life-
blood of information. Without
the communication of
knowledge, there is very little
that could go on in this planet.
Life relies on communications
and media so that things could
work at a certain standard. The
importance of media cannot be
stressed enough in the world,
especially how personal lives
are daily determined by the
communications in the media.
The most key aspect of
communications and media is
how it affects the mind. I have
never been more convinced of
this piece of fact than I was
when I experienced a seven-
day abstinence from any access
to media and went to great
pains to ensure it happened.
I took leave from the hustle
and bustle of the city and
found myself a sort of
Waldenian hermitage for which
I could indulge my week-long
experiment, that despite
protestations from my friends
and relations. I believe it was
the most laudable decision I
had made. The experience was
most enlightening not to
mention breath-taking. I
experienced a mental shift that
I fancy led to the uplifting of
my spirit, sparking a mighty
flame in my mind, giving my
heart a potpourri of delightful
feelings. Like the great Henry
David Thoreau I went to the
woods because I wished to live
deliberately.
The Eve before my departure
was a flurry of activities,
putting my affairs in order as I
saw myself going to die to my
old self such that my new
person might arise and be in
such mood to live with singular
action. I recall the anxiety I
went through that evening
because I was rather given to
the trappings of media access,
at the same excited, the mild
adrenalin intoxication from the
possibility of enjoying my
deliberate living. I remember
the confused imagery in my
head that evening, a mixture of
my anxieties about leaving with
no media-access at all, on the
other hand, the possible
events that would take place
while I was prancing about in
the woods gaily.
My neural activity was veritably
in overdrive, but at the end of
the evening, came forth the
dawn, my grand philosophic
journey had begun in earnest,
officially; the mental
visualization had set the pace,
actually, neuroscientists are
convinced that there is no
intellectual difference between
seeing things in one’s head
and the actual experience of
the phenomenon because the
segments in the brain that fire
during actual physical event do
so during the visualization of
the same event. So, having bid
my goodbyes to my friends and
family, I set off in regal fashion,
taking only what I needed, my
five books, one of which, being
a copy of Henry David
Thoreau’s Walden, three of
which were my study books, the
last two being copies of
philosophy for the quiet nights
engaged in high-thought. Of
course, I told my relations and
friends where it was I was
heading just in case it was
necessary to interrupt my
hiatus because of some
immitigable event.
The first day, driving from the
enclave of the city and
suburbs, removing myself from
the urban terrain to indulge in
beautiful conversation with
Mother Nature, was a delicate
blend of emotions; seeing
people scurrying about to eke a
living, scrolling their phones,
the bill-board media of some
random model seemingly
smiling at me, no sooner than I
was on the country road
looking at the verdant greenery
that flew past me, the trees
rustling as if waving goodbye, I
recall myself smiling at the
thought, at the same time
thinking of Einstein’s theory of
relativity as passed the trees at
considerable speed, my
progress was assured because
that was the first time I had
really given thought to the
theory, so I went on driving,
taking every bit of scenery,
which was all glorious to me,
something inside was altering,
new neural pathways beginning
to form, re-igniting old ones,
suddenly I was thinking of
Einstein, Tesla, I supposed that
all that information was stored
somewhere in my temporal
lobe, thinking the hippocampus
had failed to work and I had
forgotten the information. I was
not even aware that such
information existed in my
brain.
I mused it was because of all
those times I spent online,
watching television, being
bombarded by information. The
cottage appeared as I drove
towards the patio, I remember
taking a deep breath, engulfing
my lungs with that fresh
country air, and I sat on the
pile of uncut wood, which later
in the week were to be axed for
firewood, and took it all in. My
heart was pumping
exhilaratingly in the beginning,
and then it slowed down to a
steady pace. The pantry was
fully stocked; I had made sure
it was to avoid the
inconvenience of accessing
civilization and by extension
media.
The night was warm, gathered
at the settee near the fire-
place, outstretched and
clasping a copy derived from an
eclectic mix of world
philosophies. I have never
been highly receptive to
philosophy so it came as a
surprise to me as I grew more
fondly whilst I perused the
pages, I supposed I was
experiencing the ‘mental high’
associated with the grandiosity
of philosophy. While I mauled
over the thoughts of the
wonderful men and women of
thought, I noticed myself taking
avenues of thought I had never
thought I was capable of, high
and deeper reasoning that I
thought were only the privilege
of university dons and
geniuses.
I actually grew smarter I later
surmised as neural pathways
shifted to accommodate this
sudden onslaught of
unprecedented thinking and
older lines of thought
dissipating into neural limbo. I
read into the night, while
crickets chirped away from a
distance, recalling that sound
traveled faster at night,
another sign of my changing
neural scenery. The knowledge
processes tend to be taxing in
terms of attention and effort in
fast-paced activities such as in
city life, and individuals face
many competing cognitive and
emotional needs, especially in
work and school settings.
It was the second day I arose
to the tweeting of birds in
their morning orchestra, feeling
highly relaxed and mentally at
peace, the sun was shining. I
made organic tea and sat on
the porch chair with my
sandwich transfixed at the
squirrels that seemed to be
arguing on the mathematics of
food storage, it was autumn,
winter was upon us, darting off
into the thicket. The riot of
colors displayed as the sun
glinted off the autumnal leaves
on the trees was a scintillating
study. After finishing my
breakfast, I took the axe and
assumed myself lumberjack for
that part of the morning,
making sure the wood was
properly axed for the fire that
night. The lifting of the axe,
moving in curvy vogue above
my head was quite the
emotional and physical rush, at
first the first few attempts at
splitting the wood did not
happen smoothly, but within
no time, I was effectively an
expert.
The thoughts of my phone,
computer, trying to crowd into
my thoughts, but the physical
work precluded them from
entry. Self-reliance, I began
thinking, was not just a matter
of financial independence, but
a loftier ideal in which the soul
plays an active role in the
experience of reality, which so
often the media blurs and
enhances simultaneously.
Armed with such thoughts, I
rushed into the cottage to pick
my journal and immediately
enacted those thoughts into it,
an addendum to the previous
night. It appears spontaneity
was the order of the day; time
like a river was flowing into its
infinite ebb, I must eat fish for
dinner I thought, so taking the
fishing paraphernalia, I rushed
off into the cacophony of
forestry. I remember sliding off
a tree bark and cutting my arm,
but I experienced no pain,
washed it at the river and
fished.
Night came and the dawn light
tore through the darkened sky,
it was the third day. The
withdrawal symptoms were in
full gear, particularly my
gaming consoles, I missed
them terribly.  The neurological
and psychological basis of
gaming was quite familiar to
me, the emotional high after
winning or vice versa, and the
adrenalin release of an intense
moment. I was in stupor for
most of the day, experiencing
actual physical fatigue, only
waking up to feed myself. The
fatigue, in retrospect, was a
combination of that day’s
activities, but mostly from the
media-withdrawal.
The fourth day was full of vim
and verve; I went hiking into
the expanse of the forestry,
trying to assimilate myself into
the imagery presented before
my person. Strange sounds
echoed in the dome of the
forest, harmonizing into an
able symphony. With each
sound, I tried to guess the
animal that made it, I was not
quite successful most of the
time, but I did make quite a
few correct guesses. When I
returned home, I was truly
happy, feeling myself an
explorer who had just
discovered some previously-
unknown biological
phenomena.
I remember jotting down notes
for each animal and plant I
saw, even without knowing its
actual scientific name, just its
characteristics. On a later date,
I made sure I acquired the
knowledge. The fifth and the
sixth day were spent in quite
study and gardening. During
those times I remembered what
Cicero had said that a library
and a garden is all that one
needed. Psychologically, the
triumph of mind over my
addiction to media elevated me
into a heightened psychological
state that allowed me to access
higher levels of consciousness,
fancies that only the best of
poetry is capable or the
highest of mathematical
abstraction.
The seventh day came and I
awoke to a misty morning, it
was eerie, all too Dickensian,
and I felt myself a veritable
David Copperfield. Before
leaving, I went for a walk to
reminisce of what had
transpired throughout the
seven-day experiment. Being
part of the digital generation
where a fundamental difference
increases in the way our brains
are evolving with previous
generations, meaning the
brains develop shortcuts in
accessing information. I
appreciated the actual non-
media way of accessing
information. I believe the
complementary balance
between the two approaches
will promote positive
neurological development.
Precisely, it was a period of
developing the brain’s
capability of mindfulness.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s