Saturday, April 30, 2016

Media Binge and Fast: Being Involved

The media fast and binge was an eye opening experience that helped me realize my social media tendencies and habits.  I looked at this binge and fast as an experiment that would effect my sleeping habits, my day to day routine, and obviously my social media intake.  At first, the binge and fast did not seem like a hard concept to grasp, and I did not think much would change.  I use social media daily and am involved in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (just to name the main ones).  I use visit them all multiple times a day, so the binge shouldn’t be too hard for me right?
The social media binge was hard.  It really effected my sleeping, because I would stay up late at night flipping through the apps on my phone.  When I finally decided to go to bed, I realized it was harder for me to fall asleep.  There are studies out there that say your phone light should be avoided right before sleep, because it can have a negative impact on the quality of sleep and ability to fall asleep.  I felt this right away.  The physical aspect of this binge was here, but the mental aspect left me feeling like I always needed to check social media.  I felt like I was missing out on someone’s posts or missing out on seeing a new picture.   This went on throughout my media binge.
            The social media fast was needed at the end of the three days.  The first day I fasted, I felt that I was missing out and everyone wanted to see what pictures I liked or were trying to get in contact with me, which clearly wasn’t the case.  The second day of the fast was nice, because I felt that instead of interacting with people through my phone, I was seeking out conversations with people I live with in my fraternity.  Instead of staying in my room, like I did for the binge, I would ask people to hangout or go get food, etc.  This fast was nice in that I used it as a vehicle for opening up conversations with people I may usually not have.

            Overall, I think the social media binge and fast was a good experience for me and can be for you.  It is easy for me to feel like I am involved in people’s lives through social media.  I can be involved in 100+ people’s lives and like their pictures, comment on their posts, and share their Facebook status, but when it comes down to it, is that what being involved in someone’s life is about?  When was the last time someone said, “hey thanks for liking my picture, it really set my day off right and it meant a lot to me.”  Often times, we may not know how much of an effect we have on peoples lives, but I guarantee in person interactions are more meaningful than a Facebook like.  This media binge and fast has changed me and pushed me to be involved in people’s lives, not on social media, but to be really involved in their life.  Even if it doesn’t change my life completely by starting a conversation with someone, it may change his or hers. 

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