Dirty Binge Fest and Fast
This last week my peers in my communications class and I were required to binge on all of our media accounts for a few days as much as we could. Then, later on in the week we were suppose to drop off of all that media into fasting. When I first thought about this assignment I panicked because of my constant use of media. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake.
When it all first started, I had no problem binging on all of my social media accounts because that’s what I normally do anyway. That’s what most young millennials do nowadays. I had my phone out whenever I possibly could, scrolling through my news feeds and liking statuses, photos, tweets and so on. I could do that all day but unfortunately the time came where I had to cut media off almost completely.
The reason I say “almost” completely is because for me, fasting my media was a very difficult task. I attempted the first day of fasting to not use my phone at all, even though it was in my pants pocket the whole time. Throughout the first day, I continuously felt vibrations coming from unending notifications from friends and family. It took alot of of courage to ignore them and move on with what I was doing. I tried talking to my friends about fasting my media and then ranting about how how it’s been for me on the first day. It was really difficult even talking to my friends about my difficulties with this assignment because they themselves were almost always scrolling through the apps on their own phones while I was trying to talk. The only response I got out of my ranting was to turn my phone on “do not disturb”. I had no idea that was a thing. My friend was kind enough to do it for me so I could resist the urge to check and notifications. After that, my phone never vibrated in my pocket again and it led me to forget that I had it with me. However, as the day went forward, I began to struggle some more.
I met up with a few of my peers in my class and noticed that they were rebelling against this assignment and didn’t give media fasting a try - that made it all the more so difficult for me! As I would tell them about how much I was struggling, I would remember that I really have no reason to worry. Every notification, every text message, every snapchat, and just everything would still be there when I would return to using my media. That thought didn’t last for long though.
By the end of the first day of attempting to media fast, I gave in and had to check on all my social media accounts and text messages. It felt so good to respond to everyone who has been trying to get ahold of me all day. I did learn something from media fasting for the majority of the day.
What I learned was that for most people, giving any type of media a break is one of the hardest things they can do. We’ve reached an age where basically everything is online and the only way to contact distant friends, family, coworkers, and bosses is through media. The only way to retrieve certain types of information is through media. The problem here is that even though the use of media is important and is becoming more important, it is also very important to be able to live outside all media for a little while. It is important to rest your eyes from heavily pixelated and bright screens. It is important to have real and in-depth conversations. It is important to have eye-to-eye contact. It is important to allow yourself to go outside and breath and see views you’ve never been able to see before because of those distracting media screens.
I know I can’t say much because I myself have difficulties freeing myself from my own media. I honestly do believe it is possible to media fast (if it weren’t for those darn Snapchat streaks) and I want to encourage my readers to consider giving it a try. Take little steps, rant a little (it helps, I promise), set your devices to “do not disturb” and set yourself free. Everyone and everything will still be there upon your return.