I’ve spent the last couple of weeks forgoing my usual media sources and instead focusing on my wife’s. You can read more about the origins and rules of this Great Media Swap in my previous post. I have tried my best not to cheat and to completely ignore the media I typically consume. The net result is that I’ve just consumed less these last two weeks. But the information and entertainment I have experienced is all stuff Leah would normally see.
So, I feel like this has been a valuable experience. I feel like I know her a little better, like I can empathize just this little bit more (which strengthens a marriage, as I learned from one of her magazines!). Hopefully this exercise has done the same for her.
Leah is an avid YouTube watcher. She has been a follower of the Shaytards since very early on, and she has a number of other people/channels that she subscribes to and keeps up with. So, that meant I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube. She offered up people like Elle Fowler (AllThatGlitters21) alongside channels like Philip DeFranco (sxephil) and The Mom’s View. Now, I will tell you that I had no inclination to watch Elle Fowler, who hosts a make-up and style vlog. It’s just not relevant to me. At. All.
I did watch DeFranco, Mom’s View, and Tobuscus (another channel she is subscribed to). I watched a lot of The Philip Defranco Show, and I am actually now subscribed to it. PhillyD makes a damn-fine vlog. The Mom’s View was actually really engaging, and I love the idea of these independent, internet versions of popular show formats. I want to find a good “late night” style show. Recommendations? Leah will probably be surprised to know that I only watched one of Tobuscus’s video-game videos.
For those interested, Leah can be found on YouTube as Elvnears.
I have really enjoyed having her iPod and listening to her music. Our musical tastes overlap, so I liked almost everything that came on as I shuffled her whole library. I now realize I don’t own the Hairspray soundtrack, and I need to. She also listens to a lot of radio, so I followed suit. I listened to KDUK and also a news station, which is how I found out about third-party presidential candidate Rocky Anderson.
Finally, the print media. Leah gave me four magazines that she reads regularly: Good Housekeeping (January 2012), Self (December 2011), Beautiful Kitchens & Baths (Winter 2011), and Brides (December 2011). I read GH and Self front-to-back because they had actual content. The other two are really just browsing magazines. That said, I really liked these two wedding dresses:
I read the GH on the train back from Klamath. It had a lot of really good information. There were two recipes that I want to try, Cuban Steak & Beans (page 41) and Cauliflower-Lime Curry (page 143). There were also two quotes that I wrote down.
“On the days I don’t feel like running, I allow myself to walk. This way, I’m more likely to get outside and go.” — Kate Westervelt, editorial assistant (page 38)
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” — William Morris (page 88)
I also learned that chewing gum can help fight midday fatigue and the benefits of three-minute meditation (page 44) . There was also a recommendation for a free online-storage and file-syncing service call SugarSync that I am going to be looking into. Finally, I read about the One-Minute Rule, a tip that I think would be useful for Leah, “Any task that can be finished in less than one minute is something I must do” (page 87).
The Self magazine was less appealing to me. It did have some interesting articles, and a cover story about Sarah Michelle Gellar that was more than I expected. Mostly it was a lot of clothing and make-up, but there was quite a bit of health and fitness thrown in as well. Definitely not the worst magazine Leah could be reading. The most interesting article, by Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, was about empathy. Apparently the levels of empathy in American society, according to a study, have fallen. The time of the decline lines up with the emergence of social media. Two interesting thoughts that I got out of the article:
“Empathetic people tend to stay married longer.”
There’s a correlation between empathy, or a lack thereof, and immunity.”
Both are on page 118. The correlation between empathy and immunity is interesting. There’s gotta be a related variable that explains the link.
The original plan for the Great Media Swap called for a two-week exchange. Leah will be stopping by this Wednesday, on her way up to Portland, and we’ll return each other’s media. So, I still have a couple days to continue exploring the places where she finds mental stimulation. Maybe I will watch an Elle Fowler video, just to say that I did.
I will be happy to return to my sources, though. I want to read Engadget and engage with my Twitter feed. I can’t wait to talk with Leah about her experiences with my media. I think this has been a very worthwhile exercise. Maybe her and I can make it an annual, end-of-the-year tradition.