I never realized how much I stare at my phone until I tried not to. The media binge and fast were an interesting life experiment for me. I thought it would be easy. Engaging in as many screens as possible at once was easy at first, but after a while I just felt empty inside. I fell into a blackhole of online shopping, social media stalking and Netflix.
Although the media binge prompted me to get all of my Christmas shopping done on cyber Monday, and helped dramatically boost my social media presence, hours would pass by without me really noticing. I had to charge my phone multiple times a day to keep up. At the end of the day, it felt like I had wasted a lot of time. Constantly being on a smartphone is distracting and the overload of media put me into zombie mode.
In contrast, the fast was a lot harder to maintain. I tried to only engage in media related to work and school. There were times I found myself clicking on social media apps unconsciously. It was also too hard to resist a notification, text or email most of the time. However, when I could resist I found myself being more productive. Instead of getting home and turning on the T.V. right away, I found better ways to occupy my time, like homework, chores and knitting. I ended up knitting an entire scarf during the media fast.
After experiencing both extremes, I think I will follow in the tradition of Aristotle and say moderation is key for media use. Before I was filling up my free time with so much media that it made me feel a lot more busy than in reality. When I cut out all of the wasted time spent using media I was able to be use my time wisely. The internet in particular is easy to excessively use because of its vast content. But in our time, total disconnect from media is nearly impossible. Our technologies improve communication, share news, and connect us in a network. I want to be somewhere in the middle, to stay connected but not become dependent on a constant flow of media.