Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Week of Media Fasting & Binging

My fast from media was pretty tough at first.  Now I’m not someone who is constantly on social media, in fact, I barely use it.  I do, however, check the news on my phone multiple times per day and when I’m not doing that there is a good chance I’m watching YouTube or Netflix.  To take a break from these things for a few days didn’t sound so bad at first, after all, I had just gotten back from my spring break in Zion National Park where cell reception was spotty at best.  What I didn’t account for was the fact that all my electronics were within feet of me and they all worked perfectly. I just couldn’t use them.  It’s one thing to go camping for a week and forget about your phone but when watching Netflix is just a click away it takes a little more self-control.  I won’t lie I caved a couple times, but for the most part, I successfully completed my fast.  What I missed most during my fast was the ability to quickly check the news on my phone.  It made me feel very “out of the loop” not knowing what was going on in the world. 
My media binge was much easier.  I already watch plenty of Netflix and YouTube, so continuing to do that was no burden on me.  Playing more video games wasn’t hard at all, especially when I had homework piling up that I needed to procrastinate.   Aside from my declining desire to study I also found that I was spending less time with friends.  Instead of actively trying to see what everyone was up to I would just stay in my room and continue watching TV or playing on my phone.  Another negative effect of my binge was that I was sitting around all day instead of getting up and walking around, which I’m sure is not great for a person’s health. 
Overall I liked the experience, but I’d like to live somewhere in the middle of a fast and binge.  While the fast was relaxing, our society now is just too dependent on quickly accessing information.  It is hard to get things done when you can’t communicate instantly with other people.  The binge was just too much media consumption for me.  I like to think that I can live my life with a relatively small use of technology and staring at a screen 24/7 just doesn’t do it for me.  I think that a little bit of media is good but no one should constantly depend on social media for happiness. Real happiness is in the face-to-face interactions with people and that’s the most important thing that my fast and binge has taught me. 


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