Saturday, April 25, 2015

Media Binge and Media Fast: Did I Succeed In Both?

Last week, I was asked by my professor to participate in Media Binge from Monday to Wednesday, and Media Fast from Thursday to Saturday. Media Binge required me to be on my technological devices constantly, scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other apps, and in a way, not allowing myself to rest from all the media. Media Fast, on the other hand, required me to stay away from all technological devices, spend as little time on social media and websites as possible, and go outside and do something else. As much as I wanted to participate in both, I ultimately failed in both bingeing and fasting.

At first, Media Binge seemed really easy, because this meant that I would spend most, if not all, of my time on my phone and laptop. Before Media Binge, I was already on my phone and laptop for about 70 to 80% of the time. I was surprised that this did not seem to be the case for the 3 days, because in those 3 days, I actually managed to put down my phone and had face-to-face interactions with my friends, especially during lunch and dinner times. At those moments, I did not feel the need to check on my phone about the latest status updates on Facebook, tweets on Twitter and pictures on Instagram or Snapchat. It seemed that I was more ready for Media Fast at that time, as I could stop using my phone and listen to my friends sharing about their stories to me.

When Media Binge ended, it was Media Fast, and again, I thought that this would be easy as well. This was because for the first 17 years, my parents limited my time spent on technological devices on weekdays because I was still in school, and I would be able replicate this into the Media Fast days. However, things took another turn for the worse and I realized that I could not stop myself from checking emails or surfing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at all. I had work and club obligations that required me to check my messages and emails constantly, and this became a habit for me to be checking my messages and emails the first thing in the morning. In the end, I decided to forgo media fasting and instead continued on my daily life as if fasting did not occur at all.

From Media Binge and Media Fast, I have learned that once I have started using technological devices every day, it would start on taking over my daily life. I have never been so dependent on my technological device before. I found it extremely hard to put down my cell phone and read a book, because my book, A Game of Thrones (which if you have not noticed, is the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, and has been adapted into a popular HBO television series) as a matter of fact, is a Kindle e-Book which required me to use my Kindle Fire to read. On the other hand, I also found it easy to put my devices down if I had a hearty conversation with my closest friends. I did not have any problems putting my phone down to listen to my friends sharing their stories to me. I could really see that I was reacting the opposite of what I was supposed to do for those days.

Ultimately, I had failed in media binging and fasting, but did I regret failing it? No, I did not. It taught me that as much as binging can be overwhelming, fasting can be overwhelming as well. I believe that as long as I could balance between the two extremes, having weak ties on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and strong ties with my friends here in college, technological devices can be used moderately.

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