Saturday, April 30, 2016

Media Binge and Fast

The media binge and fast was an interesting experience that I’ve experienced many times. During the summer I often travel up to the North Woods of Wisconsin to spend some time on the lake. In the area where I stay there is no cell phone reception. I go days and sometimes a couple weeks without my phone depending on how long I stay in the wilderness of northern Wisconsin. When I’m not in areas of no coverage, I’m on my phone quiet a bit. I spend the majority of my screen time on social media apps like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Bleacher Report, as well as the messaging app GroupMe. During the binge, I was listening to music while walking to class. During my down time, I watched Netflix while on social media on my phone for hours at a time. My eyes were on a screen of some sort nonstop. Starting on the first day, my eyes started strain from looking at a screen for so long. I also felt less tired when going to bed at around the same time as I normally do, resulting in a longer time to actually fall asleep. As the days progressed the eye strain increased. Falling asleep was taking longer and my slumber was restless. I woke up multiple times throughout the night. All this media being absorbed into my brain was keeping my head scrambled throughout the night. A positive to the binge is the feeling of being connected and informed. I could communicate with others in a timely fashion. Also, I considered this media binge as “homework” , so technically I was not procrastinating other class work. 

By the time the fast came around, I was ready for it. The binge left me with headaches, strained eyes, and slight sleep deprivation. During my technology sabbatical, I did some reading and a lot of studying. The fast really wasn’t that difficult. It was very helpful because I didn’t have distractions while I was studying. This allowed me to study more efficiently and retain more information. Mentally, my head felt cleared and relaxed. It was easier for me to stay attentive in class, again because I didn’t have the distractions from my phone. My eyes were cured from the strain of the screen time. My sleep returned to it’s norm. I stayed asleep the whole night and my mind wasn’t racing throughout the night

There were parts of both the binge and fast that I liked. Sometimes it’s fun to binge out on technology and media, but only for a short period of time. I also liked the fast because it allowed me to disconnect from everything and clear my head from all the media. If you are going to go on a technology fast, I recommend communicating that you are not going to be on your phone for a few days because it can seem like you're ignoring people. I plan on doing more fasts in the near future. 

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