Saturday, April 30, 2016

Media Binge/Fast

This week, I challenged myself to the three day media binge and three day media fast. I will start by saying it was a very interesting experience. I had a different experience for each challenge.

I began with media binge. The first day, I woke up and immediately went through every single one of my social media account's feeds [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest]. During the first stages of my media binge, I found that I was often losing my perception of time in the real world, outside of the digital world. I felt as if I was off in another zone for about an hour! I became so engulfed in scrolling through all of my feeds and 'creeping' on every social media account that caught my eye that I lost so much time in the real world to complete the things I needed to do that day. However, I would consider this experience to be somewhat of a normal thing for me. At times I will find myself at home relaxing, and I will pick up my phone for an extensive period of time to scroll through social media, stream music, etc. without even realizing what I'm doing.

The second and third days of my media binge, I woke up and had the same exact routine. I would scroll through every single one of my social media account feeds. I will say though, I really did enjoy the media binge. This week, I feel as if there was a lot going on in the media that interested me, such as Beyonce's Lemonade album release and Drake's Views album. About 90% of what I saw on every one of my social media accounts was people talking about both of these new albums, how they felt about it, and of course my favorite part of the internet: memes. Constantly being up to date on media and what everyone around you is hyping about is something that I find fitting to my personality. Also, during this media binge my friends became very upset with me when we would all be hanging out. They would yell at me to put my phone away and 'come back to real life'. This was my happiest point during my experience because it reassured me that living in the moment instead of on a screen is still important.

After media binging, I began to media fast. As you can assume based off of my media binge experience, fasting was much more difficult for me to accomplish. I would have my phone on, however I would leave my phone in another room so that I wouldn't be tempted to touch it. At first, it was tough because whenever I'm at home by myself either getting ready to go out somewhere or just sitting around with nothing to do, I listen to music. I stream music on my laptop or on my phone, I connect my headphones, and I go into the world inside my headphones. As an alternative, I would just sing songs out loud to myself when it would get too quiet. At the end of the first day, I couldn't help but think how boring my day was. Being from out of state, a majority of my family and friends live far away from me, and in a way I felt very disconnected from not talking, texting, snapping, any of my friends or family. However, I knew I couldn't give up yet. The next two days were just as dull as the first. I found a few saying 'what have you been doing?', 'where have you been?'. At some points, I would find myself reaching for my pocket or my purse to get my phone, soon after remembering that I was media fasting. It's almost as if having my phone in my hand has become so normal to me that when I don't have it on me, I feel as if I'm missing/forgetting something. I made it through the media fast the best that I could, and unfortunately gave up half way through the third day. Computers and cell phones have become such a huge part of my everyday life due to all of the activities I take part in. Being someone who is a music lover, being without music was terrible. I've become so accustomed to scrolling through social media and throwing my headphones on to wake up every morning.

All in all, this experience showed me how dependent people are nowadays on being connected with friends, family, and society as a whole. I personally enjoy the idea of being connected with everyone around you, as well as being able to obtain so much information using media. I am one that loves to learn something new everyday and be able to share what I learn with anyone and everyone. I will continue to love media and learn new things about media as technology expands without forgetting that there is a difference between the 'media world' and the 'real world'. 

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