The media beige was easy for me. Working full time in the Registrar’s Office, I’m on a computer eight hours a day. With my family living in Missouri (we just found out my dad has severe cancer and my grandpa has been on hospice all semester) and my daughter having severe asthma, you’d be hard pressed to find me without my phone in my hand or at least in my pocket just about every waking moment of the day. It’s so bad I even sleep with my phone under my pillow. I’ve noticed over the past few years that all the apps that are available for download now it also increases my screen time significantly. My most used apps are Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, MLB At Bat app, Gmail, U.S. Bank, Facebook Messenger, and Evil Apples (it’s like Cards Against Humanity, and it’s awesome!). There’s multiple things that I do on my phone that do make my life easier, but I know that my constant use of it causes problems as well. When I lived at home and even occasionally now with my own family my phone usage has caused problems, mostly in the form of hurt feelings.
The media fast, however, was a lot more difficult for me. For the reasons listed above it was a challenge for me not to have my phone with me all the time. Like mentioned in the Powers article, not having my phone made me feel anxious because I felt like I was missing out on something. Not having a phone is a scary feeling, but after doing this beige I think it’s even scarier to know how dependent I am on my phone. Screens truly run my life and I know that, yet I still “connected” constantly. One experience of this fast that really stood out to me was my walk with my daughter. On nice evenings I try very hard to get us out of the house by going for a walk with our dog. On most occasions I push Natalie in the stroller, have my puppy Annie on the leash, and talk with my Grandma on my phone. Last week when I was fasting though, I did not call my grandma. I know she would be upset if she knew this, but it was so refreshing. It was a nice, cool day and I just walked our usual path. I didn’t have to think about how to keep the conversation going and didn’t have to repeat myself constantly (grams is my favorite, but her hearing is starting to go!). I was able to enjoy the scenery around me and enjoy the peacefulness of just walking with no talking.
Being connected has its advantages, but un-connecting and taking time to just be in the moment also has its advantages. Now that classes are over and there’s about a month until summer classes begin I really hope to take some time away from my phone and enjoy the time I have with my family and friends. This semester more than ever in my life I’ve realized how short life really is and how fast things can change.