An ordinary teen today can definitely not afford to be without media including mobiles, TV, Music, News and Internet. But first year teens from Bournemouth University (BU) from UK agreed to sacrifice everything above for 24 hours as a part of the biggest global media experiment called “Unplugged”.
Experts from five continents joined hands for this initiative. Investigators from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and South America designed this experiment to learn how teens today interact with different kinds of media that is hunting for people’s attention each day. Only this BU teen group took part from UK and other students from universities were also involved in similar kind of experiment but with access to media. Most interesting is the result that came out of “Unplugged” experiment.
Dr Roman Gerodimos, who is leading ‘Unplugged’ in the UK, stated -
Students reported feeling withdrawal symptoms that were similar to drug or alcohol addiction. The words ‘addiction’ and ‘dependence’ kept recurring in their narratives. They felt they lost connection with friends and family, even those living nearby, but also thought that the study was an eye-opener as it gave them the opportunity to reflect on the extent to which the media is part of their lives
The students taking part were asked to record their opinions and experiences in form of short essay while the research was on. Media deprivation experience was also noted via questionnaires.
At an educational level it could benefit our learning and teaching strategies. But it could also make us more sensitive to young people’s needs for socialization and awareness,” DR Roman added
We can imagine how miserable teens would have felt being without media, however the research team says few students that took part in Unplugged experiment felt an uncanny sense of not being connected with others anymore, and of having their life turned around.
Multi-Media Journalism student Elliott Day says -
My whole morning routine was thrown up into the air. Despite being aware of the social importance of the media, I was surprised by how empty my life felt without the radio or newspapers,
Caroline Scott, another student adds -
I felt isolated from society without being able to contact friends at the touch of a button. We have all adapted to depend on the media to carry out tasks quickly and find out information on demand