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Media does solve our problems?

Media. The thoughts that came to mind after hearing that word in the beginning of the semester were platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube, and Facebook. Predominately a source of entertainment. But when the word “media” is mentioned now, entertainment is one of the last things that I think of. Now media to me, is a type of learning style.

Early in March 2020 the United States was introduced to a global pandemic in Covid-19, also known as the infamous coronavirus. The virus prompted schools, businesses, gyms, and public gatherings to be shut down. The biggest affect on me was the move to online schooling for me at HWS colleges. For the near future at least, media is not a source of entertainment it is my livelihood.

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The cell of the coronavirus

Siva Vaidhyanathan stated in her article titled “Now We Know Tech Won’t Save Us” that “We the public have a responsibility, too—to recognize that Silicon Valley can’t just fix itself, and to stop hoping that technology can solve the problems the public sphere exists to tackle”. Siva expresses that society can not depend of technology and media to fix problems that society is faced with but that is exactly what we did when this pandemic struck the community at HWS colleges.

The ironic thing is that we did the complete opposite of what Siva said we have to learn not to do. The colleges introduced an online learning style where students will learn remotely through various media instruction. Classes went from chalk on a chalkboard to a stylus and a screen then to a streaming platform such as youtube. For students and I can only assume for faculty as well, media was no longer for entertainment. It is now for teaching and learning. Youtube, the website we used to entertain ourselves is now used for learning your math lesson for the day. FaceTime is not with your friends anymore but rather is a group faceTime with your class. Podcasts are no longer stories but rather your history lecture for the day. How can we still look at media the same way? How can we not allow technology and media solve our problems?

References “Now We Know Tech Won’t Save Us.” Now We Know Tech Won’t Save Us (2018): n. pag. Print.

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My understanding of the media changed drastically over the last month as COVID-19 starting spreading further into the United States. Sources such as the president of the U.S. started to become a joke. Local news started to seem much gloomier and honestly not worth watching. As HWS colleges began to transition to remote education indefinitely for the rest of the spring semester, my stress and anxiety increased. Being at home is fine, but I prefer being in the colleges because I was able to be in the right headspace for work. While I do my work here at home, I look outside my window ever so often; I witness the change this pandemic has had on the City, only feeding further into my increasing stress and anxiety.

How I feel looking at the window

Right now, for me, the only source to escape from the world is online. One study shows that being online only increases anxiety, “Young adults who spend more than 20 hours of leisure time per week on digital devices were 53 percent more likely to have anxiety than young adults who spend fewer than 5 hours a week on digital devices” (Kane 2019). Now the dilemma that I have is what I’m supposed to do? If being online is only being taxing on my mental health, what can I do? I can’t talk to friends due to being in a time zone different from them, and if I want to watch a show to give myself peace of mind, then there is the internet just crashing down. Lastly, I just fear for my parent’s health, in general, they are still at work in the City where cases are just exponentially growing like WTF. Honestly, I look at the positive while the world sort of is burning down. I’m at home in good physical health and good food to eat, and I get a lot of rest. That is my section of the Mixtape what about you?

Work Cited Page

“Donald Trump Backs Away from Official Who Says She Had a Fever.” The Telegraph, YouTube, 24 Mar. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1fha98fip0.

Giphy. “Bill Murray Morning GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY.” GIPHY, GIPHY, 19 Sept. 2019, gph.is/2GCfTqV.

Kane, Will. “Anxiety ‘Epidemic’ Brewing on College Campuses, Researchers Find.” Berkeley News, 19 Apr. 2019, news.berkeley.edu/2019/04/18/anxiety-epidemic-brewing-on-college-campuses-researchers-find/.

“Mayor Says Trump Ignores Coronavirus ‘Facts’ in N.Y.: Live Updates.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Mar. 2020, http://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html.