Media Fast and Cultural Values
On Friday 04/22/17, I promised myself I’d stay away from any social media platforms or other forms of digital entertainment. My generation has grown accustom towards relying on cell phones, televisions, and other technological devices to communicate or entertain themselves. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I knew I had to adapt and change my schedule in order to survive the weekend without giving into my temptation of checking Facebook or texting close friends. This was an opportunity to really prioritize important tasks to be accomplished; for example homework, going to the gym, reading a book, and finally approaching people in person rather than online. In doing so I realized an important lesson, life was much more simple and spontaneous without digital technology.
The first day was rough, not being able to make plans in an instant, not being able to see what my friends in other states were doing, and most importantly not entertaining myself with the items I normally use. I couldn’t stay in my dorm and watch Netflix or play mindless games on my phone, while simultaneously Skyping close friends of mine. It was difficult, but in doing so I learned to value the importance of personal communication; for example knocking on a friends dorm and see if they were free to hangout or actually attending a professors office hours instead of emailing them. Growing in an era where it’s practically a necessity to have a smartphone or the latest apple watch makes purchasing those items seem effortless in order to stay hip.
I didn’t have a phone or laptop until my freshman year of college here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My family could never afford to keep up with the payment plans at the time, so I was out of luck until I was capable of buying either for myself. Life before college was fairly simple; in high school I’d just wait to see my friends in class or try to visit them down the street. Once I came to college everything changed once I left home and was out living on my own in the dorms. Without these devices I couldn’t contact my family as often or connect with fellow students as easily; my life changed completely. I started growing a sense of dependency where I needed my phone or laptop to check my emails, message friends, etc. All of that changed on April 22nd, I had to rely on my creativity and schoolwork to keep me busy throughout the weekend. The biggest struggle was not being connected to the outside world of the city campus; I had no idea what my friends and family in Omaha, Nebraska were doing.
It was an interesting experience, having to wake up on my own without an alarm, not Snapchatting my friends to see what crazy adventures they were having. Life was simple. Simple enough to just study in silence or go to work out at the city campus recreational facility; both of which I did without using any device to listen to music. It was a strange feeling walking across campus not jamming out to whatever was on Spotify or working out and not having that extra motivation to help myself. I began to notice how many people were starting to ignore their friends in the dining hall or fail to greet each other, because everyone was staring at their phones. Quite honestly I was disgusted with the reality that was presented towards me. I couldn’t fathom how drastic life was without technology in my hands. I was never someone to stare at my phone walking down the sidewalk or during meals, but I was guilty at using it waiting in line or during a lecture.
I’ve come to the realization that life is full of moments; specifically ones that are described as “Kairos”. Being able to live in the moment and appreciate the small details of college life around me was an unforgettable experience. Now I’m back to living my life practically the same as it was before this deprivation of digital technology; however I’ll try to incorporate times to ignore my phone, and reach out to people on a more personal level. I hope this experience was just as enlightening to others, as it was for me. This challenge, this opportunity would be something I’d be interested in trying again in the near future.
Here are some important links I'd like for everyone to checkout if you found this blog interesting
This one right here ^^^ brings up some great benefits to having a Media Fast. I also like how it incorporates information on physical and emotional health.
This next one...
This article approaches this topic in the importance of personal relationships and how they're affected, as well as the proper etiquette which all people should try to strive for in this new digital age.