To be truthful, I struggled with both portions of this assignment. Although the media binge was less difficult, it was still hard to be constantly engaged in media and focus on multiple things at once. I found myself a lot of the time having to reread and rewatch what I was engaging in. If this was the case, was I really engaged? I would argue no since I had to go back and focus on each thing one at a time to really make sense of what I was looking at or watching. The binge was helpful since I had so many group projects to work on. Keeping in contact and up-to-date on them made the group project process less stressful since everyone was on the same page with group chats. In all, I felt like the binge was the closer extreme to my daily media life than the fast.
The media fast was extremely difficult to adhere to and remember. In order to hold myself to the fast, I ended up turning off the data on my phone and turning on the do not disturb function to prevent myself from looking at my phone as frequently to see if I had any notifications. The fact that I had to do those things scares me a little. Primarily because if a simple task of NOT doing something is difficult, what does that say about the importance of it in our society? It says that we place greater importance on catching up on our social medias rather than completing more meaningful tasks or interacting with individuals face to face. After a day or so I got used to not being as attached to my phone. It was nice to not have to worry about it so often throughout the day knowing that I didn’t have any red notification symbols to tend to so they could disappear. I also felt like I was able to accomplish a lot more homework since I didn’t become distracted on Facebook or YouTube. On the other hand, it was difficult to finish group projects because I wasn’t seeing the messages right away. In the end, everything worked out, though. I actually really enjoyed the peace of minimal to no media during my fast. It’s also good practice for my summer job working as a counselor at a camp that excludes the use of cellphones while camp is happening (unless it’s an emergency). In the future, I hope to adopt more of a media fast mindset so I am able to use my time in a more productive manner and strengthen current, non-online relationships. In the long run, I think a daily media routine similar to a media fast would result in being less stressed. Let’s see what happens!
A lot of the issues I came across while participating in the media binge and fast relate to some of the readings we did earlier in the class. Specifically, I found my attention getting scattered to other articles, quizzes, and videos. I would go onto Facebook to do a quick check and would get distracted and waste more time than I intended to spend due to my attention constantly being scattered to other links. I also wouldn’t thoroughly read articles, I would power browse. Once I noticed myself doing this, I started to thoroughly read some articles and ended up gaining more out of them when I did scanning them.
Both extremes had their positives and negatives when it came to adhering to them. I feel that my daily life is similar to the media binge but my ideal daily media routine is similar to the media fast.