This past week I attempted a three day media binge and then a three day media fast. I say attempted because while I think I did a pretty good job, I wasn't perfect about it. I thought this would be a pretty easy assignment, but it turns out, being attached to media for three days and then trying to detach yourself from it for another three is harder than I had thought.
I unfortunately did not have to adjust very many of my habits to go on a media binge, just escalate my actions a little. That was when I realized how already dependent I was on my phone without even trying. I rely on so many things on my phone to get information, whether it be email, texts, or Facebook. Whenever I get bored or just want something to do I grab my phone and catch up on social media sites. So for the binge I continued doing that, but more often and I tried to explore more things on social media than I normally do. I started looking at the "moments" tab on Twitter which will get you up to speed on trending topics by swiping through about fifteen tweets on one subject. Also, I usually watch Netflix while I eat lunch to get away from school work for a while, so during my three day binge I continued doing this but also checked things on my phone at the same time. This resulted in me losing track of the show I was watching and having to rewind. Clearly I'm not as good at multitasking as I thought. Throughout these three days I really got sick of social media. I'm very aware that I already check it quite a bit, but I was looking at it in such excess during those three days and I became very annoyed with it. I looked at social media all the time, was checking news sources so often that there was no new news to look at and I started to worry that I looked rude by constantly being glued to my phone when I was in public. During the media binge I honestly was running out of things to look at. I know that there are constantly new posts and updates on all platforms but I was picking my phone back up and refreshing it so often that I felt like there was nothing to look at and I didn't really want to look at it anymore anyways.
As for the media fast, the first day of it was really nice. I had gotten so sick of staring at my phone while also catching up with things on my laptop that it was a really nice break. But after that I started feeling like I was missing out. I wondered if I was missing important things on social media and the news outlets that I generally check. I also missed my daily dose of Netflix, but honestly I did not need to watch Netflix at all during dead week so the media fast was a blessing in disguise. But I can only take so much of homework and studying so I did start reading a book that I've had sitting in my room all year when I needed a break from school work. I did continue checking my email during these three days which probably broke the rules, but I needed to get updates and correspond with my teachers during this busy end of the semester. I also didn't stop texting during the fast... guilty. But as a whole I did a pretty good job of fasting media and that was very beneficial to me as I needed to be studying anyway.
At the end of the week I realized that I do not need to be on my phone/social media as often as I was before, which will take some conscious effort. It was something I didn't even realize that I did so often. But I don't want to be cut off completely, I still enjoy catching up on news and seeing what other people are doing. This is something I need to do on my own time though, not when I'm in the presence of my friends and family, because they deserve all of my attention, not my phone.