5500 minutes. That’s 91 hours and 40 minutes. That is about how long it takes to finish all of Game of Thrones. No, I am not saying that I spent my media binge with that much Game of Thrones, but I sure tried. Watching that series was a lot to handle alone, but I didn’t stop there. No, I added looking at facebook, twitter, instagram, vine, and youtube during the binge. I would even take about an hour before I went to bed and just watched youtube videos. It would actually hurt my eyes from how much I was looking at a screen.
So then, how did I feel after it? Connected. Through the internet at least. I felt as if I was not missing anything in the world. If there was a news story, I was able to see it quickly then talk about it with people that I was with. I kept up to date with all the information from all of my family, and I even spoke with my family much more than usual. I researched things that I would not have usually (i.e., owning a motorcycle and how to ride one).
A problem with the binge was that I found myself not paying attention to the things around me as much as I should have been. I was staring at my phone while walking and not being cognisant of my surroundings. I was also becoming distracted from some of my studies. Instead of paying attention during a group meeting, I found myself just focused on my phone.
Talk about a drastic change. It was like falling off a cliff. The self-discipline from my military training came in handy with keeping away from my phone. It was tough though. I cut myself off to the point of only answering texts if they were important. No social media, no television, just people. During my fast I experienced some storm chasing, and watching the storms and people reacting to them was fascinating. I even took better pictures during the chase because I paid attention to those surroundings.
Again, how did I feel after it? Connected. In a more natural way. I felt as if I was more in tune with the world that surrounded me. I noticed things that I used to miss everyday. Things like how much people are on their phones. They do it while they drive, eat, talk to others, etc. I was actually wanting people to get off their phones and look me in the eyes when they would speak to me.
A problem I noticed with the fast was that I was disconnected with the people farther from me. I didn’t speak to my parents, nor my friends from home while on the fast. I felt a little out of touch with my followers on my social media accounts, and I was wondering if they were noticing if I was not posting or not. You could say that maybe friends in real life are more quality friends over the social media “friends.”
The media binge and fast has been an eye-opening experience. It made me realize that it is necessary to incorporate both worlds in my everyday life. I must have the social media aspect to keep connected with people who I do not see every day, but then I also must connect with the world that is occurring around me. Balancing these two worlds is a must, and will keep me as connected as I can with the world.