First place winner -- Recreational Media: Vice or Virtue?

Lately, I have found my arm involuntarily inching toward the remote to turn on a basketball game when I should be doing my homework.

Is technology getting to be too much? Are people in today’s society becoming obsessed with the new electronics and technologies? Or is it natural for recreational media to play a bigger role in our lives as each year passes?

In my life, recreational media serves as both a distraction and a tool that keeps me connected with the fast pace of the world today.

TV is a perfect example. If properly utilized, TV can be an excellent way to keep up with news stories from all over. I can find out about major events occurring in my local area, I can get a glimpse of tomorrow’s weather and find out about the latest issues facing America as well as other countries. With the press of a button I can see live performances, major political speeches and understand what’s going on outside of my own life. Did I mention that I can do all of this while sitting in a chair?

There’s a downfall, however. TV can also pose as a major distraction. Lately, I have found my arm involuntarily inching toward the remote to turn on a basketball game when I should be doing my homework. If I try doing an assignment while watching TV then that assignment will take much longer to complete than it should.

The quality of my homework, as a result, is not as high as it could be since my eyes are constantly moving from the paper to the screen. When I turn on the TV, I have access to a wide range of channels filled with NBA basketball games, shows and movies. It is this overwhelming choice of things to watch that challenges my self-discipline to sit at a desk and get down to business.

Computers contain a weapon more powerful than any other source of media: the Internet. That’s why they are so irresistible to most people, including me. Computers are an excellent way to communicate with other people and find any information that my mind desires. Through social networking websites such as Facebook, I can chat with someone who is hundreds of miles way. I can keep up with friends I don’t get to see often or reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in years. The Internet is also a place where I can research subjects, work on a school project, and discover new music by watching a variety of music videos on YouTube. The click of a mouse is all it takes.

There’s always a flip side, though. The Internet can also sidetrack me. When I’m on a computer and need to get work done, I sometimes find myself wandering to sites such as eBay, Facebook, or YouTube. Facebook can be a huge distraction because I’ll get caught up and spend much more time on that site than I planned. YouTube is great for listening to music but it’s not hard for me to get sucked in. I’ll tell myself that I’m only going to listen to a few songs, but most times it ends up being more like 10.

There is one form of media that makes my life better without making it worse: Music. Music doesn’t affect me in any bad way because by listening to songs, I get motivated to clean, get work done or get up and do something. Music puts me in a good mood and energizes me, which is why the MP3 player is one of the best creations. MP3 players make it possible to have thousands of songs in the palm of my hand. I’m a fanatic about music and my MP3 player allows me to listen to all kinds of artists in one place.

So is media good or bad for me? It really depends on how I use it and what I get out of it. I may get too caught up with TV, the Internet or other forms of media but I also know how to use things in moderation. I love watching videos on YouTube but I also put time aside for my tasks in life such as chores or homework because those are the most important things in life.

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