I consider myself a fairly moderate user of media. I use twitter, facebook, and snapchat on a regular basis to stay connected with friends and family. But also to keep up with news and events.The media binge and media fast took a noticeable toll on me during the last week. I often catch myself looking at very pointless videos or other time consuming things on social media and that usually means it is time to get off. However, with the media binge, I wasn't allowed to get offline. At first, it felt like work trying to constantly use media and have multiple screens up. I didn't know what I should be looking up or what news outlets to be focused on. Then I realized that it's almost impossible to constantly have multiple screens up in front of you and it to always be productive and useful information. Most of the time I found myself watching videos of pets or reading stupid Memes on tumbler. Therefore, much of it was wasting my time. I noticed it was hard for me to stay focused in school and I had trouble falling asleep. But it wasn't all bad. I was able to capture a lot of information about friends and current events that I might not of before. This helped me be more informed in conversations with friends and family and it also was a good way to start conversations with them as well.
When I began my social media fast, I was relieved to give my brain a break. And on the first day I could see my relationships strengthen with other guys in my fraternity and some classmates. Knowing that I didn't have the distraction of looking at my phone made me want to have deeper conversations with these individuals. I think many of them saw me a different way than usual. But then I noticed a lot of the topics of conversation became about news events and things people had seen on social media sites. Then, I felt a little out of the loop. I did notice that I was able to fall asleep faster and I went to bed earlier because I had much less distractions keeping me up. And I was much more productive in school during the day. I would use my time between classes to be doing homework and studying instead of browsing the internet and facebook.
Altogether, both the media binge and the media fast brought both good and bad. I think there is a middle ground that is the most ideal. I noticed that I myself use too much media on a day to day basis. But as an aspiring broadcaster and journalist, I need more media in my life than most people. I just need to make sure that the media I am receiving is useful information and is not just me wasting my time watching cat videos. Also, a media fast can sometimes make you lose your sense of a common place. The networks and information that I share online with friends and family become common knowledge and without that I can become somewhat of an idiot. And on the other hand with too much media I lost some of the face-to-face interactions with my friends and peers and was able to share more of a common connection with them once I got rid of media. So at the end of the day, I need to make sure that the media I am using has a purpose. Whether that purpose is to gain information or to just get away from the world for a minute. Either way, there needs to be a reason for using it.