‘Addiction’ grid: Click here or on the grid at right to open up a full pdf poster of what students around the world had to say about how they felt during their 24 hours without media.
To take media away, even for 24 hours, said the students, is well-nigh impossible: “For people in the modern society,” said a student at Chongqing University in China, “communication [media] is as important as breath.” Without media, said a student from the University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Slovakia, “I felt as though everything I knew was taken away from me and that I was being tortured.” Without media, said a student from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, “I feel that not even the sun can warm me.”
Without media, students reported they felt unbearably constrained and ‘paralyzed’: “What really bothered me and made me feel ‘tied down’ was the inability to do what I wanted when I wanted it,” said a student from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
NB: The researchers of this Unplugged study are not health care professionals trained in the diagnosis and characteristics of addictions or depressions, and this study was not intended to assess students’ mental or physical well-being. The researchers do note, however, that many students employed the rhetoric of addiction, dependency and depression when self-reporting their reactions to going unplugged for 24 hours, and that many students also reported both mental and physical symptoms of distress.
Quotes in the grid may have been edited to regularize spelling and grammar.
The ‘Addiction’ treemap grid was designed by Rebecca Goldberg and Susan Moeller.