I believe that the media binge and fast were both interesting experiences with very different points they were trying to prove. One thing I realized during the fast was how often I would rely on technology for entertainment. Something that I noticed during the binge is that often the same technology I rely on isn’t always very entertaining. Like most other things in life, technology is all about moderation and finding a balance that works for you.
The most jarring difference I noticed during the fast wasn’t what I saw or did, but what I heard. My very first semester at UNL I had a class with Clark Potter called “The Music Experience” and I really enjoyed it. One thing I remember clearly from the class was his point about how music is less special now than it once was. In times before MP3 players, cds, records, or even the radio, music was something that you had to actively seek out. If you heard a piece of music you enjoyed that was played by musicians, there was no way to hear it again without buying another ticket to hear it performed live. In this time music was a luxury that was difficult to experience if you couldn’t afford to go to performances. Today we see almost the exact opposite effect. There are so many streaming / radio apps available that you can basically listen to any song at any given time. On a technology filled day my bike rides to class have a set playlist of songs that rotate randomly, but during the fast other things stood out. The rapid repetition of clicking from the gears and chirping of birds overhead mixed in a way that made me appreciate that there wasn’t any artificial noise being pumped into my ears. I also noticed how heavy I would have to breathe after pedaling up the bridge going to and from the bottoms, which I appreciated a little less.
The most important thing that I took out of this entire binge and fast experience is that while my phone, computer, headphones, and wide array of other gadgets can be nice, I really don’t always need them. I’ll definitely try to keep this idea in mind in the future, and try to have more offline experiences.