Saturday, April 30, 2016

Media Binge and Fast- Swanson, Jacob

     apprehensive and uncomfortable, i attempted the media binge. I am not one to spend serious time on the various social networking sites, which is actually odd because i am definitely a social person. Admittedly i am not good at being alone so i reach out to friends often and try to minimize alone time. While things like Facebook or Instagram can make people feel more connected, i would argue that the connection is weak and often (but not always) meaningless. Additionally, I spend so much time on the internet at work already that i avoid looking at a screen any more than i have to.
     About half way through the binge and i felt completely drained, my head filled with all of this worthless information from Facebook click bait, and surprisingly uninteresting posts from friends. I remember when i was twelve and signed up for a Facebook account, pretending to be a high schooler as was required at that time. Facebook was new and interesting, it was nearly ad-free and kids using the service were saying edgy things. Facebook used to be cool. In recent years i have deactivated my Facebook account probably over 10 times, only to remember that you have to have one now to sign up for just about anything. More than ever it feels as though Facebook as the primary source for logging into other services is the status quo.
     The binge was also hard to accomplish because i had so much going on in my life at the same time, so i was almost too busy to pull it off. As you would likely expect then, the fast was a breeze. Outside of my work, i completely stayed away from Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, et cetera. This part of the assignment was almost too easy. I had so much homework piled up and so many tests to studying to do for tests that i had no time to miss my media.
     By day three of the fast i did have the urge to catch up on my shows, but i did not crack under pressure. One of the biggest things that this showed me is that while i do not enjoy social networking i still depend upon it in order to achieve certain things. I need to have GroupMe in order to get into contact with other students in group projects with me, i need Venmo to exchange money with my brother in NY. I need facebook to know about local events, like graduation parties and such. So i guess that you could say that i need these services, but i do not surf these services. I dont care to fill my down time with mindlessly flicking through other people's lives, and while i can understand the appeal to some i just dont do it.
     I also want to just say that i believe that social networking services like Instagram or Snapchat are huge contributors to people's low self-esteem and the ever expanding plague called depression. Before social networking people couldn't manipulate how others viewed their lives, their camera phones couldnt enlarge their eyes or slim their face with press of a single button. How can anyone be happy with their lives when they inundate themselves with images of everyone else's "perfect" lives. If you open instagram and flip through it for just a few minutes, you would be led to believe that everyone around you is living a better/happier life than yourself. I think that this has really dangerous implications for our collective futures and that this problem will get far worse before it gets better.

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