Media Journal

By Justin Morkavich

Introduction to Mass Communication  

Upon starting this project I thought this would be a simple enough task to get done.  But as I started to log every individual time that I encountered a form of media, it became clear that this project was going to take far more forethought and attention to detail then I first imagined.  For example, halfway through the second day of logging every instance I encountered media, I found myself trying to avoid it just so I wouldn’t have to constantly annotate everything that was seen, heard or read.  However, I found that the more I tried to avoid it, the heavier the bombardment of media encounters would be when I came out of hiding.  Suffice to say that the hiding did not last long.

That failed attempt proved to me beyond a doubt that media is rampant and virtually unavoidable today, and is every bit as crucial to daily life as it is exasperating.  From important uses such as becoming informed of the world’s affairs, to the most seemingly mundane purposes such as learning the gossip that gets spewed forth by cheesy tabloids, all forms of media serve a purpose, not only to expose us to the world around us, but also to create commonalities that bond society and catalyze dialogues.


Though being aware of the media and its presence throughout my life, I never paid much attention to how vast it is, how reliant I am upon it, and the sheer power it can yield over people.  Upon reflection, it is so immense that it is mind-boggling.  From the moment I wake up, I seek out media; the first thing I do every morning is check my sports Internet page to see how every NHL team in the Atlantic division is doing.  This is my first priority and takes place even before I brush my teeth.  Within a few minutes, I am checking my e-mail to see what my friends and contacts have to say.  As I have breakfast, Fox News is on the TV in the background.  Wanting to hear both sides of the story, I turn to MSNBC to hear what its anchors have to say.  On this day I am once again infuriated by the remarks that are said, so it’s back to the Internet to support or contest any misguided ideas I might have.

As I gather my things and leave the house, I trip over the morning paper, which reminds me to check my USA Today app on my iPhone.  The main story reads “Westboro Church Counter-Sues Soldier’s Father.”  The headline caught my attention, having been a soldier myself, so I read the entire article.  After reading the story I became extremely angry, wondering how people can be that insensitive. Although my anger was not the fault of the media transmitting the message, it made me realize how dramatically media could affect me.

As I got into my car and plugged my iPod in, still drunk with rage, I began my daily commute to class.  I’m in my car at least four or five times a day and always have some music playing, and today was no different.  My media exposure continued as I waited for class to start, playing a game on my cell phone.  As the teacher came in, we began class where books are, of course, not only a major part of any class, but a medium as well. 

On my way home I decided to drive in silence and ponder how much more media is out there that I knew existed but had not yet encountered.  Just as I had that thought, I noticed a tractor-trailer with a Walmart logo on it stopped at a red light.  The trailer bore the logo and company slogan “Save money, live better, Walmart.”  Advertising loomed over me while cars with bumper stickers were scattered in the gridlock all around, showing me that information does not have to be broadcast through a television, newspaper, or radio.

At home, the story is no different.  I do my homework, watch television with the family, reorganize my iTunes library, and play a game on my iPhone before going to bed.  Throughout all of these activities, I am exposed to and engaging with media.  I realize that I’m going to wake up the next morning and do the same thing all over again with just minor variations in the way I encounter media.


The day started out not quite the same as the last.  Instead of checking the NHL stats first, I “YouTubed” a weird dream I had.  Then came my usual routine of NHL stat checking, e-mail, the switching back and forth between Fox news and MSNBC, the USA Today app and my music.  However, I was determined to try and encounter more media today then yesterday.  Thus, I headed over to Best Buy.

In my car, I listened to music as always.  At Best Buy there was way too much to take in as I browsed the shelves of movies and walked past the other side of the row with the CD’s.  Ad campaign banners were everywhere and the music that was playing on the PA system in the store was causing so much “noise” in my head that, for a time, I forgot why I went into Best Buy in the first place.  For the media journal, I decided to chalk that entire hour and 45 minute stint as the equivalent to having just watched a full-length feature movie.  After regaining my concentration from sensory overload, I made my way to the counter to pay for my item and quickly walked past the “Disney Synergy-esque” checkout aisle containing all the magazines, candy and sodas.  As I left the store I felt as if I could breathe again.  Wrong!  I immediately saw more bumper stickers.  I got to my car; then it hit me:  I have stickers, too!  I’m a part of the media by broadcasting these logos of companies and franchises on my car. 

Leaving the parking lot the radio is on, so I switch to an AM station thinking that news radio would be yet another form of information I have not yet encountered.  I was right; there were five to eight minutes of news broadcasting, then what seemed to be ten to fifteen minutes of commercials.  I drove home soaking up all of it.

I began thinking of how computers are exposed to stimuli.  We know that overloading our computers with too much information will make them sluggish, but we do it anyway.  That’s why they have built in filters to clean out the unwanted junk that takes up space.  That’s what I needed, a filter of sorts to help me clear out the clutter.  Unfortunately, something of that caliber cannot be purchased anywhere.  Humans have to physically and mentally filter out what is garbage and what information we can tolerate.  For instance, I’ll admit that there are many times throughout the day that I used my cell phone and completely forgot to log it only because it has become such a part of my life that I forget that it, too, can be mass medium.  

I arrived home and good old Mr. TV was on.  I made my way to my study to do homework.  After my homework was done, it was back upstairs to have dinner with the family.   Only tonight, I decided to opt out of watching TV with them because they watch a lot of reality shows that I just can’t stomach.  So I went upstairs to watch some NJ Devils pre-season hockey and use some music apps on my phone to tinker up some song ideas to play on the guitar. At last it was bedtime.  The filter was holding… for now.


The cell phone abuse continues, with every glance I take at my iPhone for e-mails, phone apps, and games.  The list is growing longer and longer and I have forgotten to jot down every single medium I have come in contact with since I woke up today, but that was only an hour ago.  How much did I forget to pen in? 

As always, my day started out just like it has over the past few days:  waking up to check the NHL stats, breakfast while I watch Fox News only to flip to MSNBC, on to the Internet, into the car, playing my iPod.  I have always known that I have a daily regiment of things that I either like to do or must do, but I never imagined myself being this much of a creature of habit. 

I was taught in the Army to always mix up your day and do things in a different way every time when possible so as to avoid the watchful eyes of anyone seeking to do you harm.  That way you keep the public guessing as to your true daily agenda.  Like my first sergeant drilled into our heads every day while stationed in Iraq, “Complacency kills!”  If that is true, then are we slowly killing ourselves with this constant subliminal or full on media barrage that we expose ourselves to everyday?  I would think not, since we all have an internal filter that we utilize to keep our media consumption in check.  Those whose filters are broken, however, are a different case, but I digress.

Arriving at school after passing the onslaught of billboards and bumper stickers, I realized I was really starting to hate these stickers, even my own.  Getting out of the car and walking to class I noticed that people were wearing logos – myself included!  I don’t know why it did not resonate with me before.  Yet, there it was.  People are walking billboards whether they think about it or not. 

Today’s class was a four hour-long lecture and lab in the West Building.  Books and computers with mandatory online interaction and heavy use of Adobe Photoshop were required, so that part of the day’s media interaction was underway.

Driving home from school, more iPod exposure and more stickers.  Why was I seeing so much of this all of a sudden?  I guess it had been there the whole time and I just never acknowledged it, or bothered to care.  Still, the fact remains that I was being subjected to it and while I have the “I can take it or leave it” approach to the matter, I’d rather leave it for the time being and come back to it when my internal filter was working in a smoother fashion, and I didn’t have to annotate everything I saw.

Finally at home, and there was no escape from the TV and common household items with the company brand names tattooed all them, to even my room which is what I thought at first would be my safe haven for my media-free day.  This is crazy!  There is way too much media interaction at home to write down for it all to make any sense.  Picking up my shaver, reading my schoolbooks, eating dinner, watching TV, brushing my teeth, and going to the bathroom, I am constantly exposed to media!  What it boils down to is that the world of advertising and information has invaded our homes and our lives and is not going away.  I just wanted to go to bed, but before I could accomplish that goal, I used the cell phone for just a bit more.  I’m tired, so very… very… tired.


I woke up with great anticipation for my media-free day!  However, I almost grabbed the cell phone instinctively, which would have launched me into my media frenzy.  I resisted the urge to do so, though.  Today was a day to relax and reflect on what I have encountered and endured these past three days.  I knew it would be rough getting through the day without media, but at least I didn’t have to write anything. 

When I first started this project, I thought to myself, “How in the hell am I going to get by with a media-free day?”  After the passing days, however, I was welcoming it with open arms.  I knew that there could be no such thing as a truly media-free day though.  The only way I figure that would be possible, was to be confined in a room with nothing for 24 hours, which would be enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity.  It’s all around us from the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed at night.  Despite that fact, I could sure do my damndest to avoid it all costs.   

So with pen and paper in hand, and guitar slung over my shoulder, I made my way to my car to go out to a hiking spot so that I could spend the day playing and writing music.  I got in the car and tried not to pay attention to signs and stickers, eventually getting to the spot where I wanted to be.  Only then I realized that the name Fender is on my guitar, Bic is scribed on my pen, and Mead 5 Star is on my paper.  I couldn’t run from it.  No one can.  Don’t bother trying to hide because it will do no good.  Just accept the fact that the media is a part of our lives and do the best you can to filter out what is not important.  Otherwise insanity is the next step for us all, if we don’t have a well-balanced media diet.

free templates

This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola