Tuesday, December 8, 2015

True Life: I am Addicted to Media

Is there a such thing as too much media in your life? Should today’s society tone down their use of all media? If the answer to this is yes, then a person experiencing a social media binge would have a very rough time. If the answer was no, then a person would love binging on media, but struggle immensely with the fast. Personally, I am that person who is addicted to their phone. I am entertained by all forms of media so the binge was not a big deal to me, but the fast was a whole other story.

In another one of my classes we recently had to watch the film Miss Representation and they stated interesting stats about the amount of media is actually in the life of a teenager in one week. In one week American teenagers spend 31 hours watching TV, 17 hours listening to music, 3 hours watching movies, 4 hours reading magazines, 10 hours online. That’s 10 hours and 45 minutes of media consumption a day.   

The morning of the first day of the fast I woke up with my phone, doubling as an alarm clock and then as soon as my eyes were clear enough to read I picked up my phone and began to scroll through all of my social media apps. The interesting part is it had only been seven hours since I had last been on any form of social media, so essentially I did not miss much. This was not only because I was asleep for a very short seven hours, but in that time period everyone else was also sleeping. This morning routine is usually what happens even when I am not participating in the class media binge, but also continues to happen over the 2-and-a-half-day binge.

Throughout the day, I really did not have any trouble staying off of media. I would walk to class while using my phone and then take out my computer in class. There were certain classes that I was not allowed to use any technology/media while class was happening so I did not use anything in those classes. When I was in those classes I felt like I was missing out on something that was happening in the media. In such a small amount of time I had become accustomed to wanting to be using some type of media 24/7.

After classes were over for the day I would go back to my dorm and attempt to start my homework, but due to the fact I had my phone and computer sitting right next to me the whole time it was a challenge to start my homework and it took me much longer than usual to do my work. Every time I would look at my phone while doing homework I would remember what we talked about in class, it takes a person twenty minutes to initially gain or to re-gain full focus. Even with that though in the back of my head I would still continue to pick up my phone, or open a new tab for all of the wrong reasons.

Half way though the media binge I received the dreaded text from Verizon stating that I had used 75% of my monthly data plan. I am no stranger to receiving these text messages, but every time I do I panic a little bit because I know that I will have to cut back on the use of my phone and to me that is very difficult.     

                  Once I got the text message I figured I should probably not use as much data, but then the media fast began. Going in I knew that this would be a challenge just because I am so addicted to my phone.
                  In the morning, I still used my phone as an alarm because I do not know how to use my actual clock…..but as soon as I woke up I did not check my phone I simply set it aside and continued to get ready for the day. This was a good thing because it forced me to get right out of bed and not just sit there on my phone, it made the risk of falling back asleep much less likely.
                  Throughout the day, I tried not to use my phone when walking to class, and only use my computer in class if necessary for what was going on in class. I have never had a huge problem when it comes to using my phone in class because all of the schools I went to before college had a very strict “no phones during class” policy so not having my phone out in class is very normal to me.

                  Later in the night during, the media fast when I went to start my homework I realized that I got a lot more accomplished because I did not have my phone sitting right next to me, and I tried extra hard not to open any unnecessary tabs.
                  Taking a break from your phone throughout the day can lead to a much healthier lifestyle in many ways. A few are as follows: less stress, living a more active life style, and having more meaningful interactions with others.  

                  In conclusion, I had no problem with the media binge, but I struggled with the fast. I personally think, even though the fast is a challenge, it is good to take a break from media every now and then because it has countless positive outcomes. I think that most people get so caught up in what is happening online that we forget to think about what is actually happening around us…I know that I am guilty of this and it is one thing that I would like to change. 

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