Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Media Binge/Fast

We have social media on our phones, watches, tablets, laptops, and even in our cars! These devices make it very difficult to keep your attention on almost anything else. The constant vibrations, alerts and lighting up of our screens draw our eyes away from things like homework persistently.  During my 48hr media binge I started to realize how much I was checking my phone and how often I received notifications on my computer from the numerous tabs I had open.  No doubt a few of those tabs where indeed social media websites.
            Whenever I tried to hunker down and study something I had headphones in listening to Spotify, which meant constantly leaving my homework to change the song. I noticed when I was supposed to be using technology as frequently as possible I was even checking social media updates in between sentences of my readings. I found I was not very productive during the media binge because I would loose my train of thought and get way too distracted to get any solid research done. When switching costs from academics to social media, my academics were the tasks to “take a hit”. I also noticed that I got a handful of headaches and, found myself trying to do more homework in bed or on the couch rather than a desk and chair. I expected the binge to make me less interactive with people around me, but I can’t tell if that was true or not because I found myself showing my friends and team mates some new video or picture I stumbled upon. I know that I definitely facetimed, snapchatted and texted a significant amount more than usual during the binge.
            The media fast was a very hard task for me, but if it were done on a different date I know it would’ve been much harder. This past weekend was full of studying and moving to the North Bottoms. That might sound like an irrelevant piece of information, but it actually helped me successfully complete my fast. I was distracted with painting, packing, unpacking and studying that I didn’t really have time to check social media. I also had a vet appointment for my dog, a final and a teammates recital, which helped Saturday pass by rather quickly.  I only had to break my fast a total of 3 times to get in contact with classmates and my Veterinarian.
            I think the fact that I moved to the bottoms also helped me get through the media fast because I was within walking distance to all of my friends, and they knew what I was doing. If they ever needed something, or I ever did we would drive to each other’s house. I think I was able to be more productive during the fast in comparison to the binge and how I am with my normal social media usage habits.
            The one thing I thought was the hardest or worst part would have to be not being able to listen to music. I always like to listen to music while I do homework, and it would’ve definitely been nice to listen to music while I painted my room. The other hardest part would have to have been was not checking snapchat/uploading snapchat stories of my ridiculously cute puggle. However, it was fun to watch my notifications pile up! It was like a surprise that I knew I was going to get on Sunday morning! I had 23 snapchat notifications, 26 facebook notifications, 7 unread text messages (some I had to respond to), 4 twitter notifications and 3 follow requests on instagram from just two days! (No I am not that popular, there were a lot of formals and social events I was receiving notifications from and I was tagged in a pretty popular picture from that French Horn recital haha).
            Like Damien mentioned in class, it was kind of a nice break from my technology and constantly trying to keep up with new updates on all of my friends social media. When I knew that I was not allowed to check my phone, I turned it and my laptop on do not disturb mode. A few times I even would leave my phone at home, so I literally could not use it. The fast gave me more time to get a lot of important, time sensitive things done and that was a relief! It was kind of funny how once I finished the media fast, I went on another binger to catch up with everything that I had missed.

            My media fast did not include: Typing, researching , or sending and checking academic/volunteering related emails.

My very cute Puggle, Hudson. (Instagram: @hudson_the_husker)

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