MEDIA BINGE AND FAST:
My first call of action for this experiment was to think of all different kinds of medias I use each and every day. Even though I am not a huge social media person, I quickly realized that I depended on media so much more than I thought. In this thought process of narrowing it down to the technology and medias I use daily, I had to focus on binging and expanding as well as completely cutting myself off front it and fasting. The social medias I continually use on my phone and computer in my daily life is Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchap, and GroupMe. These two devices are also a huge source of communication between the groups and clubs I am involved in on campus, and provide as a source for researching and completing assignments for classes. Before I begin explaining my experiences with the media binge and fast, I first want to dig deeper into what a depth experience really is. Many see depth experiences as big moments in your life that remind you what the meaning of life really is. But I’m here to say that depth experiences can occur through media and the Internet also. You might make unforgettable memories or experience once in a lifetime experiences through media and technology. But throughout this week I am experimenting with my dependence and reliance with media.
From Sunday through Tuesday this week I cranked up my use of technology up as notch. The adventure began when I downloaded three new apps on my phone and made two new accounts to social medias I was not affiliated with before; such as Twitter and Instagram. On an average day, I just listen to Pandora while walking to classes, but choosing to people watch or talk to the person next to me over looking at my phone and constantly checking social media. So making this change was a difficult habit to embrace. I instantly realized how isolated I felt while looking down instead of straight ahead. I didn’t feel like I was connecting with my surroundings and didn’t have much time for thinking on my own. I felt as if I never had time to myself; that my mind was constantly moving from one thing to the other. I am very much an introvert, so feeling like I never had time to myself and time to contemplate my day was very exhausting. By the end of Wednesday, I had formed a great urge to be looking at my phone all the time and grew more and more antsy when not looking at it.. I would definitely say I became addicted to checking social media constantly by Tuesday just within those few days.
Even though I consider myself outside the realm of the average college students use of social media, I still fall short when being completely cut off. From Wednesday to Friday, I did my Media Fast. From going to one extreme to another, I felt extremely awkward and uncomfortable when not looking at my phone; especially when walking to class. I immediately realized that I was becoming more aware of my surrounding. I felt like I was apart of this world rather than the outside world being apart of my own world. Just from not listening to music while walking to class, I didn’t feel like I was in my own little world. Also, while being headphone-free I didn’t feel like I was in auto-pilot while completing a task or walking to class. When I mean “auto-pilot” I mean that I was not mindlessly going through the same routine as always and putting no thought to it. I enjoyed using that time while walking to class to think and pray about the day to come. I discovered that I had a lot more time on my hands than I had though previously to this experiment. I also discovered that my sleeping pattern had increasingly improved since I began this media fast. I fell asleep much faster at night and did not feel constantly tired during the day. By the end of the fasting experiment, I was connecting with those who I walked past by making eye contact and smiling at them. To my pleasant surprise, I truly did enjoy this time of taking a break from all things social media and technology in general. In taking this little break, I had a chance to clear my mind and take a step back.
Overall, I really do appreciate the media and how it affects our lives everyday. It provides more ways to communicate with the people around us. In doing this experiment, from one extreme to another, I can now see how much the different medias affect our lives and how society depends on it.