24-Hours: Media or Bust

Recording my media usage means holding myself accountable for the amount of time I spend, face glued to a screen. A scary thought. Tucked in my notes app is a page to record it all, titled “Media Use: 1/16/2020” – I am assigned to keep track of the media I read, listen to, post, interact with for 24 hours.

“Okay, so this might be perfect timing. One of my new years resolutions is to spend less time wrapped up in social media and screen use.  I’ve probably already cut down significantly anyway. So my professor and classmates won’t think I’m obsessively pouring over my phone” I explain to my friend over text – which now looking back, I realize is… laughable.

So here goes nothing. The tell-all of my 24-hour media use.

2AM, I lay on the couch, blue-light blocking glasses resting on the bridge of my nose. Attached to my nose is the rest of my face pointing towards my tv screen which blares the show Community, streaming through the Hulu app. I scroll through Instagram aimlessly.

8 hours later, I wake up and instinctively reach for my phone. To my dismay, nothing riveting. I read texts and Instagram messages to which I promise myself I’ll answer later. Open my email and stalk the shipment of my latest Amazon purchase. The tip-tapping on the roof reminds me to open the weather app… as if I didn’t already know it was raining.

Raining Amanda Seyfried GIF

While making breakfast, I throw on the NPR – Up First podcast. They continue onto the news, discussing whether or not Trump was “in the know” about the happenings in Ukraine. They include a sound byte from an MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a news program host, interviewing Lev Parnas – claiming that President Trump VERY WELL KNEW what was going on. Full disclosure, I have the attention span of a dog in a room full of tennis balls an frisbee’s, so I didn’t watch the entire additional MSNBC interview. 12 minutes and 28 seconds later, they promote the NPR One app, and the podcast comes to an end.

I notice that I’ve already absorbed copious amounts of media in the short time I’ve been awake. However, I need to eat breakfast, so I guess the only thing to do is consume more media while doing so. I flip on the Hulu app and select the tab “My Stuff”, where all the TV shows I saved appear. Today’s choice is the anime “My Hero Academia” – the dubbed version.

all might my hero academia GIF by Funimation

I finish my breakfast before my episode is done, so I peruse my phone a little more. Up pops an email from a website I subscribe to, “Word Genius”, which sends you a new word of the day. Today’s word is: Funambulist.

Did this significantly add any value to my life? No. But it’s going to be a thrilling ride attempting to use this word in conversation this week.

Facebook is an app I use less regularly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still opened daily, but only 2 or 3 times per day. My friend found an article through Apple News, published by, claiming that “Cat’s Are Making Australia’s Bushfire Tragedy Even Worse“. Apparently the cats are preying on the weakened and injured animals, which is putting that ecosystem at risk ( Me-Ow…

It’s my day off and I decide I should leave the house. So, you guessed it, I pick up my phone! I search yelp for a good boba spot. I read reviews, look at photos, and finally decide on Asha Tea House in Berkeley.  This particular spot boasts 4 stars, 1,379 reviews, and 1,938 photos on Yelp. In fact, later in the evening, I end up leaving my own 5-star review solely based on their out-of-this-world grass jelly. If you haven’t tried grass jelly in your milk tea already, do yourself a favor and try it ASAP.

Nothing gets me back home quicker than the return of rain… which, of course, I need to post to my Instagram story (shameless handle drop: @natalieelyn) for all my friends to witness synchronously. Note the red light – I promise I do not post and drive.



A nod to my New Years resolution, I open the book I bought while I was out, How To Walk Away by Katherine Center. In an effort to be 100% transparent with you, class mates, I DID judge this book by it’s cover. It’s bright red and it has flowers on it. Because of this, I conduct a quick google search and land on – sifting through reviews, I find they are almost nothing but glowing. 4.07 stars based on 35,122 ratings and 5,327 written reviews. On this page, I also run into ads for Audible (of which I already subscribe), Amazon publishing, and the New York Times. However, no specific news stories.

And there it is. My extensive intake and output of media in a period I’ve claimed to be mildly abstaining. I think it’s safe to say that the first takeaway from this experiment is that my New Years resolution is null. 

To recap the new sources, I encountered NPR, MSNBC, Apple News, and All these news sources are known to be 10 out of 10 credible. I am particularly loyal to the NPR podcast and have come to trust them as my daily dose of news. The guests that they interview are always extremely relevant to the topic and they have news correspondents who reside in the area of the current news.

In a past life (2019 lol), I was in tech sales, so I had to stay up to date with technological advances. My managers referred me to when they found an interesting article. While I personally do not follow this news source, it is trusted by people who I trust.

Apple news is a source I use often. Mostly because it’s right on my iPhone. It’s quick, convenient, and I’m able to single out the articles with sources of whom I’m familiar. If I swipe over to my news stories, we can see CNN politics, NPR, Fox News, BuzzFeed, and the same article that showed up on Facebook. The only source I might seriously question is BuzzFeed, because their focus is not on hard-hitting news as it is on general entertainment.  I mean for heaven’s sake, BuzzFeed’s article here reads “27 Products So effective Amazon Reviewers Have Literally Called Them ‘Unbelieveable'”, so “entertaining” might even be a stretch.

I could claim that this will be the year I’m setting down my phone, turning off the tv, and focusing on the right now. I could also claim that I have Gigi Hadid legs and Billie Eillish style. In all cases, I’d be a big fat liar. Maybe writing this blog post has helped me realize that media is a part of my life. As long as I’m sifting out the trash (BuzzFeed) from the treasure (NPR), I think I’ll live a long hearty life.