Thursday, December 15, 2011

Over Saturation
Perhaps we are over saturated with media now a days. It wasn't that long ago when network television actually went off the air for the night. One could watch the news followed by Johnny Carson, but then it was time to turn off the television and go to sleep. The next program to be seen was a cheesy black and white film showing planes and ships in action while the national anthem played and flags waved. That lasted about two minutes. Afterwards there was nothing but the snowy static of the screen. There have been many times when that hiss of empty broadcast static woke me up after I had fallen asleep watching Johnny. The only thing to do was to detach the virtual IV from my brain and turn the television off.
Now however the television never stops broadcasting and there is never a logical conclusion to your viewing evening.  If you don't set the sleep timer you can find yourself awaken by an announcer yelling into the camera trying to sell you the only chopping device a kitchen will ever need... but wait there's more.
Not that the television is the major player anymore.  Cell phones, iPads, computers, social networking never stop and they never sleep.  Last night the iPad by my bed rang with an alert sound that woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me the Montebello freeway was closed.  It was great to know that at 3:00 in the morning.  However I was awake enough to see that my Blackberry was blinking with the arrival of an email.  Like a trained monkey I found myself opening up my email at that hour to see what I might be missing.  Here is what I almost missed while I slept.  Zazzle has a 24 hour sale on Christmas mugs,  Move On wants me to send money to fight the wrong ideas, Heifer International reminds me that last year we gave them Christmas money and Pajamagram had some wonderfully sexy sleep wear for me to purchase for my wife. To think these messages might have waited until the next day to be discovered. 

Right now, for me, the biggest over saturation of media is delivered via my email.  The junk mail outlined above is only a fraction of what I get every day.  If you have ever bought anything on line from anyone, they have your email and they get to remind you of their current economic condition with the stroke of a send button.  And for me that single message is delivered three times.  Once to my computer, once to my Blackberry and one more time to my iPad. Although I have not done a study, I could spend more time erasing email on three different devices than actually reading the mail I want.  Over saturation.

When do we say "break". When do we say for the next hour I will unplug the land line phone, turn off the television, the iPod, the iPhone, the xBox, the iPad, the computer, the satellite radio and just listen to my own internal sounds.  It could be the most important message you will receive all week, but it is being drowned out by 24 hours of useless information.
So to enjoy this holiday season that is exactly what I plan to do just as soon as I finish writing this blog... and after I check out the voice mail and  5 texts I have on the phone, it also looks like I have 8 emails waiting for me.  Wonder if there is something going on that I don't know about.... I better turn into CNN.
As you were,

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