Friday, April 29, 2016

Nick Rock Media Binge and Fast

Overall I will say the media binge and fast posed a far greater challenge than I originally expected. I anticipated the media binge to be fairly easy as generally I do spend a great deal of time behind a screen whether it be tv, an iPhone, a computer screen or other sort of media device. The fast presented an opposite effect as well, going into it I expected it to be a great challenge where I would be constantly worried about how or what I was missing when in reality it proved to provide a great sense of freedom. I will begin outlining the series of experiences I faced with the binge. I started early in the morning at breakfast, the first day was anything but difficult, I was productive and stayed behind my laptop getting a great deal of work done. I was up to date on the news, I had finished watching a season of Friday Night Lights on Netflix and I was responding to text messages and snapchats at incredibly fast speeds. I did not expect it to change as I fell asleep that night after checking twitter one last time…. Then I woke up an hour later, tried to fall back asleep and woke up again at 2, then again at 345 then again at 430 then again at 6 or so. It was perhaps the most restless sleep I have experienced in a while. The next day despite being sleep deprived I felt even more drained than I knew I should’ve. I had a pulsating headache trying to scroll through my twitter updates and snapchat stories. I had a yearning for something of substance yet everything around me screamed a sense of superficial existence. Everything was gone within a flash of light and the meaning could never be contemplated or explored to a deeper level as it was always replaced by the newest status update on Facebook or “breaking news” from a cnn update. The amount of times I had a new poll flash up on my phone was frankly absurd. The third day after yet again a restless night I had to give up it got so bad. I had a headache and nausea that made even attempting to produce quality homework a challenge. Even my workouts were affected, I noticed my workouts were a lot less intense than what they were usually and additionally I saw myself eating less and not having the desire to push myself like I usually do. I was very lazy, very tired, very self-absorbed and towards the end I felt completely cut off from society. I hadn’t had a substantial real conversation in three days past “hey what’s up” and I would proceed to not listen as something in my hand was playing or buzzing. FINALLY the fast happened. Fortunately it timed out well to be over the weekend. Often times when I was in boy scouts on campouts we would go without phones. I felt a sense of peace then and to try and recreate it I went to a river about 15 minutes away from campus with a buddy and explored the different landing areas. I listened to the wind, the water, I felt very relaxed and so completely the opposite of what I felt during the binge. Even with my friend Jacob I felt as though we were having a more meaningful conversation than usual without subconsciously wondering what was happening on my phone. The next two days felt great, I paid more attention in class, I went on more walks and I was observant of everything around me. I noticed that on my way to class when I would walk I would usually play music and  instead I found myself talking with guys in my dorm I had little to no relation with all year.  I heard some of the stories they had from growing up in a rural Nebraska town opposed to my upbringing in a metropolitan city. I greatly enjoyed everything about the fast, this may even propel me to take on my own self-imposed Sunday fast of giving up technology to have time to myself and observing the world around me more fully. I hope I can continue with it.

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