Does media isolate?

I was thinking about Media and how we had been discussing diasporas in class and how minorities are more connected to their homelands.  While living in Budapest  I had access to very little information about what was going on in the U.S.   In order to have television you had to sign a two year contract with a cable company, so most people who were there temporarily did not have television.  In addition there was really only one English news source in Budapest and it was relatively difficult to get your hands on.  Of course you could check american websites and things but there was a definite sense of seclusion.  For me what made it so strong was the fact that there were all of these media sources, and yet it was still so challenging to find out news, let alone actually communicate with people from home.  A phone call was incredibly expensive and one of the only places any of the American students had internet was at campus or in this little Mexican restaurant we all used to hang out in.

The point being is that I think that having all of this technology and knowing that its there and yet still feeling disconnected is more disheartening than if it wasn’t there at all.  It makes you feel more estranged, like you’re the only one in the world that can’t get in touch with people  “back home”.   It also made me realize how much we rely on other people and physical cues to keep us “up to date”.  Weather its overhearing someones conversation or catching the headlines of someones newspaper on the metro.  Suddenly not being able to understand these things, and then having little access to other sources, can make one feel completely out of touch.

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One Comment to “Does media isolate?”

  1. I could not agree with you more. Yes, when we realize we do not have technology or any form of media, we begin to see how much we have been “wrapped” up with technology. It is almost like water. We take it for granted. When we go to another country where they are lacking water, we see that water is important and how we do not show much appreciation for it. I went to Kenya 3 summers ago, and I lived one week without any form of water. Students from my school had to walk about a mile away to get water from a low running river. I could not do that because I was afraid to get sick. So, I walked 6 miles to the next town just to get a gallon of water that hopefully would last me for a few days. I could not bathe or even wash my hands. There were no running water. So, I realized how much I took water for granted. Once we got our running water back, I was thrilled, but also made sure I did not waste it.
    To direct back to your point, when we are in a remote area with little access to our sources, we become isolated. It can be a good thing, but sometimes frustrating. We learn how to appreciate each other’s presence, write letters, take the time to talk to people, and not become too “busy” with our phones, computers, favorite television shows, and so forth. But, at the same time, it is frustrating because we do want to let our loved ones know that we are doing okay or how life is going or even make sure that your home country is still the same. It is weird when you know that there are so many different technological sources in the world yet in some countries, there are none.

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