Over the past week, I binged and then fasted on media. Now, I have experienced a slight version of this before. Growing up on a farm, I didn't always have time to be around Twitter, Facebook or Netflix. One reason is I didn't have time and the other is our internet and cell reception just sucks up north.
However, at the turn of college, things happen a bit differently. With strong internet almost all hours of the day, you get used to media so this was my experience of the media binge and fast from this past week:
During the binge one of the major things I noticed is if I had two screens going at once, usually my phone and laptop, I could not keep my concentration on to one thing. I was focused on Netflix trying to listen to the story but looking at my phone, either I lost what was happening in the show or I never digested what I was seeing on my phone. Secondly, I noticed that I had a hard time falling asleep while starting at screens all day. I also had hard time falling asleep listening to music. Then I would have an extremely hard time trying to roll out of bed, and I'm usually pretty good with that. I seemed drowsy at class and I noticed headaches during class. I typically don't get many head aches. I also noticed I had a hard time concentrating on regular conversations with friends or listening to class discussions/lectures because I was worried about the latest status update.
However, there were some positives coming out from binging on media. Twice my boss called me to change equipment at the last noticed and because I was on my phone, I could respond in a timely manner. Once this happened before I was leaving my house and because I noticed it, I wasn't going to back track and waste more time. I also felt I was extremely up-to-date with my sports and news in the country, including weather. And over the past week, we all found out it's good to pay attention to the weather.
The media fast came on Wednesday and concluded Friday evening. It was like I was on vacation with out leaving the city of Lincoln. My sleep habits got extremely better. I was able to roll out of bed in the morning. I seemed less cranky because not only was I full of rest, but because I didn't check my phone hardly and no one could bother me. I also noticed that my dieting got better. I noticed I tend to snack a bit more when I'm watching TV and not looking at screens all the time made me less hungry. My headaches cleared up and my eyes felt rested. I took a history quiz and I think I did way better on that quiz than any others in I had taken this year.
Like the binge, there were some drawbacks. Because I wasn't paying attention to my phone, I got offered a job and my soon-to-be boss left me a message offering it, because I missed him by 5 pm, I will have to contact him Monday to accept. A student asked me to find something for him by a deadline and because I was not around my phone, I missed it and he had to scramble to find his material. I was able to explain to him the situation and he completely understood and thins worked out.
Overall, I learned going from one extreme to the other is a major wake-up call. It made me realize we are stuck in the media and world and don't realize the positives from staying away from the internet. But, we also have to stay in contact with the rest of the world, so we can get hired for a job.... I think moving forward it's really about balancing the two worlds.