Saturday, April 30, 2016

Media fast and binge by Sam Wyrick

When this assignment was first proposed to us in the beginning of the semester I was looking forward to it. Often, I find myself wishing that I lived in a world with less technology. Going into this experiment, I had some general ideas on how it would go. I “hypothesized” that in the fast I would feel more connected with those around me and focused on what matters most in life. And, in the binge I would become very distracted and focus on the wrong things in life. I was very much looking forward to figuring out how the binge and fast would affect me.
Last Saturday, I started the binge and carried it out through Monday. I absolutely dove into technology, I attempted to use every device in my possession to constantly be around technology. I always had at least three screens running while I was at home, for example, I would be reading articles or typing papers on my computer, scrolling through twitter on my phone, and watching Netflix on my TV in the background. I specifically tailored my weekend schedule to the binge, I didn’t really leave the house much and spent most of the day just immersed in technology. Saturday and Sunday looked pretty much the same, a lot of video games, TV, Twitter and texting. Then, Monday rolled around and I had to go to class and work. At the risk of getting in trouble on the job or at work, I continued to try and check my phone as much as possible. At my job, I use three computer monitors as well which was a perfect part of the binge.
In analysis of the binge, there were some good things and bad things that I think were directly caused by the overuse of technology. The first day I honestly felt more connected with the world outside of my own home. I’m typically bad at responding to text messages because I hate taking the time to text out of my busy day. For first day, I was great at getting back to people and I spent way more time on what I was actually saying in the texts. I focused on having witty responses or sending out caring messages to my friends. I felt as though because of the binge, I didn’t miss social opportunities online that I normally would have. I was interacting with other people more on social media than I usually do. The next two days were not as easy, I started to get headaches from staring at a screen so much and honestly my neck was really hurting from staring down at my phone throughout the day. My mind felt even worse to be honest, I felt as though I was just trying to get through life as fast as possible between new tweets being uploaded on my twitter feed and you can only text so much before nobody wants to text anymore. I felt as though nobody liked me and no one wanted to talk to me.
It was truly refreshing to start the fast. The first day was absolutely perfect because I was so sick of technology by then. I felt so free and went for a bunch of walks and runs to clear my head. On the first day, I spent as much time with my family as I could and then on the second day I spent a lot of time with my friends playing sports and just hanging out. The second day I did begin to notice that I kept absentmindedly grabbing for my phone in my pocket or wanting to turn on the Xbox. The second day was pretty tough because I felt as though I needed to entertain myself with technology, so I started reading books again and felt pretty great. The only downfall to this is that there are some things in life that technology can be very helpful with, like texting a friend to come over if they are in class and can’t receive a call or something.
In analysis of the fast, I really liked it a lot more than the binge. I felt better connected with quality and less with quantity. I’ve always preferred nature and meaningful contact with other people over the surface level of social media and technology. One very interesting thing I noticed was that my quality of sleep app on my phone showed that during the binge I slept pretty terribly and during the fast I actually slept pretty well. I think this is evidence to the fact that the overuse of technology can be harmful. But, technology if used in moderation can be helpful to our lives as well.

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