The effects of ambient media: What unplugging reveals about being plugged in
An ever-increasing number of us live in a world rich in information and media that provide us with constant access to that information. Besides television, radio, newspapers, and computers, we now carry communication devices with us. Mobile devices with digital content — phones, iPods, PDAs — have become ubiquitous around the world, creating an information environment with as yet unknown consequences for the way we function and the way we think and feel. This study examines responses from students at 12 universities from 10 nations who tried to avoid all “media” for 24 hours and reflect on their experience, and considers the data in the context of ambient media in hopes of better understanding the effects of living in a world of ambient media.