Monday, March 19, 2007

Stretching out of Media Hibernation...

Even though it's 3 degrees Fahrenheit outside, I can feel spring a-coming (and see it on the weather forecast in the guise of more above-freezing weather to complement the melty stuff we had last week). Along with this feeling, I'm beginning to literally become more active and less media-dependent, as I do each spring. And so I wished to spend a bit of time reflecting on the seasonality of my media use, because every year this pattern seems to recur in some form.

Every year once spring comes (particularly here in Saskatchewan, where it's particularly welcome) I find myself stretching my legs, abandoning the need to watch my TV shows and my insistence on movies. Even when it's cold outside I find myself becoming more active inside the house: spending less time on my computer playing Triple Yahtzee or watching DVDs. More time turning on music and dancing to it. More time thinking about all those physical projects (like sorting through papers) that I've always intended to do but somehow haven't gotten around to yet.

I even find myself making a greater effort to keep in touch with friends and family, which interestingly, with many of those far away, increases my use of communications technology.

So yeah, it really does feel like waking out of a hibernation and rejoining the world of life and activity. It's not that I wasn't joined to it in many ways throughout the winter (including going to the gym), but the motivation to do it more is back, and once again is growing with the ice puddles outside.

I find a similar pattern to be the case with my creative writing--in the spring and summer, I often spend more time collecting new writing material, whereas in the winter, I'm more likely to spend time reflecting on how that material fits into the rest. This year, I find it a bit reversed--the winter seems to have been the simmering time, and now the creativity is starting to churn again (which is quite nice). But no matter which way things go, they always shift about this time.

My question is whether in the northern climes this is an average pattern. Is it just me, or do many of our individual patterns of use of media and communications technology follow a seasonal cycle? And does it affect everyone the same, or like SAD, does it affect some more than others?


Em said...

Deb, Deb, Deb,

It's just Spring. It has nothing to do with media technology. The Gophers are waking up too, and they don't have TVs or computers.

But I love ya for trying,


Deborah Leiter said...

em, em, em,

It's not that I think media technology has an effect on Spring. On the contrary, I'm fascinated that the seasons, even in our highly technologized world, has such a strong effect on my patterns of media consumption. It's something media researchers might not always keep in mind. And I'm fascinated by the way that the things that change aren't necessarily the ones you'd expect--I might actually, for instance, use some media more, or at least more energetically, because it's Spring. Ironies abound.

But yes, I'm glad the gophers are also waking up, and I appreciate the irony that my long stretches of playing Triple Yahtzee have been so similar to his actual hibernation. :)