Our Media Diet

Over the course of the last several months my wife and I have been on a personal quest to pare down our possessions, including our relatively extensive media collections of books, music, movies and magazines. We started by getting rid of our back issues of all the magazines we had subscribed to through the years and unsubscribed from the one print magazine we still got mailed to our home.

Maybe even more radically, we quit reading print newspapers in favor of electronic ones, quit buying print books in favor of electronic ones and quit buying music albums in favor of electronic ones. Besides digital media being cheaper to own, between my Kindle and iTouch I can carry my book and music libraries with me wherever I go, and my local library is a convenient resource for much free media, including books, music and movies.

Each year I chronicle what I call my Media Menu and halfway through this year I have read 16 books, attended two concerts, listened to four new albums, watched two movies at the theatre and viewed 12 videos online or via disc, all of which only cost me about $70 given my frequent visits to the public library. And about half that total is due to the couple of matinees my wife and I saw together.

Our efforts at simplifying our media lives extend to our use of social media as well. For example, we favor emailing to chatting, instant messaging or texting, we don’t activate comments on our blogs, and while we are professional members of LinkedIn we are not on any other social media sites, preferring instead to interact with real friends in real life.