Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review: Fast Media; Media Fast

My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5
Are you on the computer ALL the time? Are you losing nourishing connections to other people by looking at a screen all day? Have you become a consumer instead of a creator?
Fast Media; Media Fast: How To Clear your Mind and invigorate You Life in an Age of Media Overload, by Dr. Thomas W. Cooper, will help you make choices about your relationship to mass media.

About The Author
Thomas Cooper, Ph. D., is Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College and the founder of the Association for Responsible Communication which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is his seventh book.

A Practical Guide To Reclaiming Your Life From Media Over Saturation
Dr. Cooper has done extensive research on the role of media in our lives. The author explains how he went on a month long "media fast" in 1989 and how it changed his life. He stopped watching television and movies, listening to radio and CDs, and reading books, magazines and newspapers. Web sites and the flurry of new media were not yet in the picture.

In the two decades which have followed, Dr. Cooper has guided and assisted thousands of students, groups and colleagues with their own media blackouts (no media), practical fasts (as little media as is practical), and media diets (selective media intake).

Dr. Cooper has studied media addiction in children and adults. The cravings for the mass media stimulus may be traced to it's instant numbing of real-life problems and the provision of emotional "highs," a sense of security, surrogate companionship, heightened sensuality and a variety of other sensations.

An entire chapter in this book is devoted to group fasting. Dr. Cooper shares his experiences in leading groups, families and classes on mass media fasts. There are specific guidelines for group leaders and some tips on how to measure the results of the fast.

My Thoughts
Most people think of food when they hear the word "fast".  Dr. Cooper has taken fasting to a new level. He shares his academic research with his readers but it is written in a manner that a layman can understand.

What would you do with your time if you had NO computer, NO television, NO movies, NO radio, NO cds or dvds, NO books, NO magazines and NO newspapers. Can you even imagine what your life would be like?

I believe the purpose of this book is to encourage you to THINK about how mass media is changing your choices and lifestyle. It is not practical for most people to eliminate all media from their lives, but perhaps it is time to take a look at our priorities.
I recommend this book to anyone who is seeking the truth in a world of "fast media".

"We adults consume more than five hours of TV and video per day while consuming four hours of Internet, not to mention music, hand-held devices, faxes, radio, movies and much more".
Dr. Thomas W. Cooper

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