In contemporary society avoiding media has become a challenge. If exposure to media was once confined to a number of well-defined spheres and moments in the day, today the media is omnipresent and continuous, requiring no disengagement or resumption. The ubiquity and convergence of the media has transformed the act of turning it “off” from a routine unmarked moment into a conscious effort and a personal statement. “Not watching” now signifies the adoption of a “media avoidance” lifestyle, a lifestyle which is flexibly defined and interpreted depending upon community and class context. In this paper, we seek to gain insight into this cultural and technological period of transition through an examination of individuals that make the effort to remain—to some extent and in relation to some media —“unplugged.” We approach contemporary media saturation not by studying those who partake in it, but rather through a study of those who negotiate media in a critical fashion—either by setting limits (no cable) or through complete avoidance of television. This paper is part of a larger work-in-progress that explores patterns of non-use of communication media. Here we focus on bloggers who reflect on their discontinuance, rejection or limitation of television viewing. Viewing their discourse as a constructive practice, we analyze how they define television as a problem, the solutions they propose, and the consequences of adopting these solutions. The analysis highlights the ways in which bloggers draw upon lay theories of communication to explain their media avoidance practices.
|Published - 2008
|International Communication Association Conference 2008 - Montreal , Canada
Duration: 24 May 2008 → …
|International Communication Association Conference 2008
|24/05/08 → …