Going into the media binge I thought - this will be a piece of cake. I'm already on media throughout the day anyway - I was a little off. True life, I’m a binge-watcher on a normal day. So, when it came to “consciously binge” I completed a season of One Tree Hill in about 3 days – that’s about 24 episodes. This was more extensive than my usual binge watching and I almost began to feel sick, physically. I felt like I was trapped in a box – unable to move from my bed. I was in dangerous need for some light and fresh air or any interaction with people that wasn't through a screen.
My world of idia reached full capacity during these 3 days… I replied to a text-message within 5 seconds, was within the first 10 people to like every Instagram post I followed, and liked every Facebook status – even my mom’s lame, inspirational quotes. After refreshing every app about 1 million times a day I became very tired and annoyed with people – the media binge was harder than I thought. Being on media 24/7, I actually felt more disconnected from the people around me – ironic. I never looked up from my iPhone – avoiding people walking, never paying full attention in class, having to say “wait, what did you say” when my friend finished telling me her interesting story of the day. I felt unfocused and drained by the end of the days of the binge - always looking down and running my fingers at high speeds.
It came to my understanding that moderation is key – like mom and grandma always said. Honestly, I will never isolate myself from media all together, however, through the constant use of media, the nature of my experience changed. I realized although a smart phone brings convince and security, it takes away true separateness and consciousness of life around you.
Transitioning to the media fast was probably one of the most irritating and aggravating things I’ve done. The contrast was a lot to handle. I couldn’t go on Instagram and creep on people for 2 days – that was hard. Everyone whips their phones out in class, at the dining hall, during study hours – and then there is me. Looking at them wondering what is going on in the social world. Although it was very hard to control myself from not checking Snapchat, Instagram, etc I noticed how absorbed people are unconsciously. For example, during diner my friends were on their phones roaming around on media while I was trying to have a conversation. They still seemed to interact – but not on a deep level that I expected. While I was giving my full attention while they were giving maybe 40%.
During the fast I became more involved in the personal aspects of others rather than being absorbed in myself + my interactions online. It was hard to stay away completely but the absence of media made me more productive and conscious of what I needed to accomplish for the day. I believe we’ve gotten so used to the presence of media, it’s hard to imagine life without it.