I don’t know about you, but I’m not a great one for new year’s resolutions. I think it’s the overriding theme of self-denial that tends to dominate the territory that
I find off-putting. There’s altogether too much cutting down, drinking / eating less of and generally “stopping this, that or the other."
Why can’t we focus on more or better? Drinking better single malts or eating more often at restaurants one hasn’t previously tried would be a good start.
But alas, I hardly think things will change overnight. We’re stuck with those resolutions that we don’t really want to make in the first place, but we do out of some misplaced sense of virtue – and that’s why most of them don’t last beyond the end of January.
However, while we’re in the season of at least notional denial (following ironically as it does hot on the heels of the season of pre-meditated excess), let’s apply this spirit to our media devices.
We’ve all read about –- or even run –- various media deprivation studies over the years, so let’s create a scenario in which you have to make a new year’s resolution to surrender all your media devices but one for the good of yourself and society. Consider which device you’d want to retain. And why.
Will you favor portability over screen size or a range of functions over excellence in one? Will your choice be driven by utility or entertainment? Do you want to keep a device that enables communications or are you about content consumption?
Of course, there are many devices that overlap against these criteria, and the device we would retain is a reflection of our lifestyle as much as anything else.
But think it through and answer honestly –- if you had to give up all devices but one for an entire year, which would you keep? Why would it win out over the others?
For anyone responding with an answer, I’ll send you the report of a project we conducted in two stages (2004 and 2011) during my time at Ball State University among student respondents. The evolution of student behaviors is provides an interesting suggestion as to where things may be heading.
Over to you.