I started my media binge on Saturday, April 23rd. As a person who already consumes a fair amount of media, I found it difficult to consume even more media. I did my best to always have some form of technology in front of me during this binge. On my media feast I fell asleep with my phone in my hand every night. My nightly routine consisted of going through all my social media on my phone, with a podcast playing and sports highlights playing on the my TV (with no sound) – right away the biggest effect this had was on my eyes. I noticed that I could not keep my eyes all the way open and I found myself waking up in the middle of the night. Another negative I noticed from this binge was that I felt incredibly anti-social. As I would sit in my living room watching TV with my roommates I felt left out of the conversation. I would try to listen to them but would miss details of the conversation and have to ask questions and I could notice that they started to get very annoyed. I also found it very difficult to complete a math assignment that was due Monday. Who knew that listening to a podcast and trying to do calculus would be challenging?
Although I noticed many negative effects from the binge, I did have some positive experiences. I really enjoyed listening to music as I rode my bike to class, although it might have impaired my ability to be aware of traffic and other obstacles around me. By various social media more often I felt like I was more in touch with friends and family who I do not see often anymore and I appreciated that. I also listened to several podcast during this binge and I was generally more aware of current events. Even though it seemed like the media fast was having a negative impact on my sleep I did get on my phone every morning and that did help me wake up. On Monday night, I fell asleep with my phone in my hand for the last time (in the near future) and was very ready to move on to the media fast.
For the most part I appreciated the media fast when I started Tuesday morning. It was very weird to eat a bowl of cereal without having my phone in my hand and the TV on. Although that felt out of place, it was much easier to overcome than the constant urge to check my phone. I thought I could handle carrying my phone in my pocket during the day, but I just could not resist checking my phone every time it vibrated, so on Wednesday and Thursday I left my phone at my house. This was hard for me and occupied my mind for a good portion of the day. I was always worried that someone would who needed to contact me would not be able to get ahold of me.
During the fast I noticed my sleep improved a great deal. I estimate that I slept about an hour longer each night just by getting to sleep earlier without so many types of media distracting me. I also was much more attentive during all of classes. I was able to focus all of my attention on the class and take good notes. Aside from being more attentive in class, I was also more attentive in my social life. When I would hang out with friends I was much more in tune with the conversation and felt like I contributed to the conversation more. I felt more present with everything around me in general and appreciated things like nice weather. Although I had many positive experiences during the fast, when Thursday rolled around I was ready to go back to my usual media consumption habits. Overall I felt like the media fast had a more positive impact on my life than the media binge. I can see myself using a media binge (in a less extreme way) more often after realizing all of the positive effects it can have.