This is one of the most mind opening assignments I've ever participated in in college. The past week has opened my eyes to how addicted I was to my phone and the constant stream of news and information. I started my media binge on the 22nd of April and it wasn't anything I wasn't already used to. I'm someone that's constantly connected to media and being connected. I tried my best to up the ante in a way that it felt like I was binging rather than just going on about my day. I used this opportunity to get caught up on TV shows, articles, podcasts and more.
First, I started to re-watch the previous season of Game of Thrones in order to prepare for the upcoming season premiere last Sunday. I have a problem with watching new shows because I like to be on my phone at the same time, which leads to me re-watching several seasons of any show. Since I had already watched this season of Game of Thrones, I was constantly on my phone and just caught the juicy bits of the season. Just enough to remember all the big events. I also took time to browse social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, all the while also playing some mobile games on my phone as well.
I would also leave the TV on to watch Premier League games but also read some of my comic books at the same time. I also tried to do things I didn't normally do before like listening to podcasts instead of music when driving and walking to classes. I felt connected more than ever before. I also would leave music, podcasts or videos on while I was doing chores just so I could still hear them while I was moving around my apartment. It was crazy to see that even though I'm someone that already consumes a lot of media, that it was possible to consume even more.
Then came the media fast. The media fast was one of the most weird experiences for me because I'm someone that likes to be caught up on all things pop culture. I know exactly when the next big movies are coming out, when they decide to release the 27th trailer of Captain America, when Kayne has decided to edit the fourth song on his new album and much more. One of the things that I like to be caught up on are things in entertainment. I follow a lot of news on music, comic books, films and TV shows. I like to follow comic book creators on twitter and I always know what books are coming out every Wednesday.
It's a habit of mine to pick up books I'm following every Wednesday because I already know what's coming out. I wanted to take full advantage of experiencing this media fast so I stayed off my phone as much as possible. Which means I only made and took phone calls when I needed to and only texted when it was for something important. I stayed off all the apps on my phone as well as turning notifications that weren't phone calls or texts completely off. It was a mind opening experience.
I had no clue what was happening in the world of pop culture and honestly, I didn't like it. I like being caught up on things and knowing what's happening and what's making headlines. It's probably because I'm a journalism major. But, it wasn't all bad. I'm a person that's prone to procrastination so the media fast really helped me focus on getting my homework and finals projects done a lot earlier than what I was used to. I usually spend hours just browsing random websites that I can be on my phone and computer for hours and not even realize it.
I used my free time to devote to studying, writing my papers and working on group projects. I also noticed that my sleep improved. I'm a pretty late sleeper and it's normal for me to stay up past midnight and go to sleep at around 1:00 am or even 2:00 am. I usually get into bed at around midnight or half past midnight and just check up the latest things on my phone but during the fast I gave up this up completely and found myself falling asleep a lot quicker.
I think this was one of the most interesting assignments of my entire college career. It was the first time I ever fasted on media and I don't think it'll be the last. I gained a lot of insight into how my mind worked and some bad habits that I have. I think this class, if not this assignment should be required of most millennials just because of how eye-opening it was. I have no clue just how connected I was and the feeling of not knowing what's happening around the world was an experience within itself.