untitledBy Ashlee Godwin

People are consumed by media today. Technology is sophisticated and students spend a lot of their time engaging with screens creating some benefits but causing some problems.

Research shows that adults spend more time engrossed in screens than working full-time jobs.

“Over the last 50 years, and most especially in the last decade, there has been a revolution in the way we Americans spend our free time,” wrote Karen Dill in her book “How Fantasy Becomes Reality: Seeing Through Media Influence”. “Currently the statistic stands at about 45 hours per week of what is now termed ‘screen time’.”

“Literally every day when I get up and as soon as I get to bed I’m always digesting media,” said Ronnie Gonzalez, a College of Southern Nevada student.

“[Media use] is sort of like a monkey in a cage pushing a button to get a shot of morphine over and over again or something,” said Patrick Lombardo, CSN student.

Students spend countless hours posting on Facebook, listening to Pandora, snapping photos for Instagram, tweeting on Twitter, and playing video games, emailing and texting. Many make jokes about how hanging out with friends is no longer hanging out. Instead everyone sits around on their phones: heads down and thumbs up.

The Nielsen Co.’s most recent 2014 study stated 18- to 24-year-old Americans watched an average of 19 hours of traditional TV per week.

“It’s ironic, in fact, that we’re strangely drawn to watching other people supposedly living their real lives, while we spend all our time… well, watching,” Dill wrote.

Christopher Crescitelli, writer, producer and director of different types of media, stays up to date with the most cutting-edge technology for his work. He spends a lot of time with it and reaps the benefits.

“Technology and media are both a blessing and a curse,” Crescitelli said. “Embrace technology. Seek it out. There is no end to what you can do now.”

“What I personally like about technology is the accessibility and how everything is constantly advancing,” said Aesha Jones, CSN student. “Also I can get access to everything from around the world.” Technology plays a role in her education and the rest of her life, she added.

Although many enjoy media use, some wish for good-old fashion conversation.

imagesCA5TIDAT“In school I feel like people are less likely to talk to anyone because they’ll just look at their phones rather than talking to someone who’s next to them,” Gonzalez said. “Earlier today I was actually hanging out with some friends and three of them were gathered around one of my friends and were looking at his phone as he scrolled through social media sites. I found it pretty annoying so I ended up leaving since they weren’t really talking.”

Lombardo said, “When social media constitutes the whole of people’s interactions with each other, I think a lot of that dialogue is replaced with the sort of interactions that only serve to reinforce what you already know and believe. It creates an environment that’s not really conducive to learning.”

“It has a negative effect on my school and work life in the sense that I waste a lot of time that could be spent working on assignments,” Lombardo said. “I think it’s bad for society as a whole because it cheapens people’s personal relationships, especially when they’re using social media compulsively.”

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