Dear New York Pilot Research Collaborators:

Welcome! This is one of your two ‘assignments’.

Please post your assignment reflection — and comments to others’ reflections, if you so wish. Amelia and I might also comment and ask something related to your post. Check for those during the research period, and a few days after. In case there are additional comments to you, it would be great to if you have time to briefly respond.

This experiment is about realizing what we have, when it’s gone. Many of us have experiences of more or less voluntary or involuntary ‘media diet’ or ‘media fast’ in special circumstances, such as during vacations.

A while ago, the NYT posed the Unplugged Challenge: It asked some readers, ‘ordinary people’, to experiment on being offline. Here are their stories. This seems to be almost a trend: There are numerous bloggers (!), such as this one, who advocate a media diet and let the world know about their efforts. Also, several academic research projects are currently addressing the question, like this and thisone.

But what if we tried a media fast on an ordinary day — no cell phones, computers, no games, no movies, no iPods or Pads (and we would even stay away from those old-fashioned media, such as TV, radio, and newspapers, magazines…)?

Decide on a diet day during the research period that least interferes with your important routines and work. Go on a 24-hour media ‘fast’, or a shorter diet, as long as you can manage. Then blog about your experiences— think of reasons and possible consequences of your experiences in terms of communication.

Remember: This experiment is about YOU. Hence, you will have the competence to determine which experiences are important, interesting, relevant, noteworthy. In our research, potentially everything is! So keep an open mind, enjoy the experiment, share your thoughts and observations here, and read what other collaborators experienced during their diet!

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