Sunday, April 30, 2017

Media Binge and Fast

Starting off the week, I didn't know how this process was going to go. I personally view myself as an average consumer of media, not too much but still pretty often, so having rules surrounding my consumption of different types of media was an interesting process.

In the beginning, I wasn't having the best time. There would be times when I really didn't want to have something in front of me, and I really just wanted to stop being on my phone. The amount of times I refreshed my twitter feed hit an all time high this week and I don't know if that is an accomplishment or not. However, it did teach me constraint. After the whole binging process was over I was tired and ready to not be on any type of media for a little while. It showed me a balance that I didn't know I needed.

Additionally, the fast strangely taught me similar things. During the binge I was always aware of when I was supposed to be on my phone/computer, and during the fast I was always aware of when I shouldn't have been. Whether it was waiting for the bus and wanting to scroll through social media, or walking to class and listening to music or a podcast (all things that, at this point, I do subconsciously) there was a part of me that was always aware of what I was doing. It wasn't until I noticed this that I realized I may have a slight problem. It took a strict schedule for me to realize that I use media as a crutch. Whenever I feel uncomfortable in a situation, or don't want to converse with other people I always fall back on some type of media.

Now, I won't sit here and say that "social media is ruining social interaction" because I don't really believe that. I think social media provides a new and unique window in to communication that 20 years ago people didn't have. Sure, some people are becoming more anti-social in real life, but being social online is still valid and worth looking at.

If anything, this experiment taught me one thing, people generally fall into one of two groups. You either believe that social media is ruining our generation, or you think that it is providing something new. Truthfully, I can agree with both sides as I think both arguments have something to say, however, we cannot dismiss one or the other just because we can't align with it. Social media, and media as a whole, does provide a different idea of communication; and I think that it is time that we explore it.

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