Monday, May 1, 2017

Media Binge and Fast

During the binge portion of this assignment I found that it wasn’t hard, at least for me personally, to always have a screen in front of me. I always have my phone on me to text, make calls, or to look things up online, and I always have my laptop on me for easy access to online assignments and blackboard throughout the day. I am someone who takes most of my notes online and I do all my homework with the assistance of Word. I don’t take hand written notes often and all of my classes require typed papers, which leaves me with little other option than to use my laptop or a school computer. When it comes to looking at assignments posted on blackboard I need a computer to access them in the first place, but I also read some assignments, such as the posted required articles for this class, online. I don’t take the time to print them out and read them on paper because it seems like a waste of my money (because I have to pay to print them out) and time. When I wasn’t doing school work with my electronic devices it wasn’t hard to do other things in order to keep one in my hands at all times during this binge. I would often turn to Facebook, news articles, IMDB, YouTube, and other random websites to look up information when I found myself bored or not doing anything, so I at least had my phone in my hand at all times. When I was at home I would have my laptop open more than my phone. I would watch Netflix, I went back to Facebook and YouTube a lot, and I would type up papers and finish up assignments or just study for finals with things like Quizlet. This binge honestly wasn’t much different from how it usually is in my life because I require the internet for everything pertaining to my school work on top of most things pertaining to entertainment and things to pass the time. I would say that the purge was much more challenging for me compared to the binge.
When I started the fast I found myself drifting and using the internet and my phone or laptop quite often. It was more out of habit than anything, but I had to catch myself and put one or the other down many a time. The fast was hard for me when it came to my school work because I would often have to print things out ahead of time, such as the required articles for this class, in order to not use my laptop for whatever I needed later. It was hard for me to print off the articles because I’m not someone who likes reading long articles on paper (not to mention I don’t like putting money on my printing account when I never actually use it). I am also someone who loses things quite often, so more than once I misplaced the articles for class before I was done with them.
One positive thing that does come out of printing the articles, on the other hand, is that I was able to mark them up the way I wanted and highlight what I thought to be important parts of the articles. Reading them by means of paper and not computer also allowed me to pull it out easier and read it anywhere, such as the bus or in a car. It was hard adjusting, and it actually made it harder for me to be motivated to even read the articles in the first place, but I eventually got them done. Besides the articles, it was hard for me not to use the internet to check my grades, look up facts or pieces of information, and look up important dates on the UNL website. I did have to cheat a little when it came to this fast though. I had to check my email with important information pertaining to final projects and my current (as well as my future) job, I still used my phone for important text messages between group members for a final presentation assignment, and I accepted every call I received in case it was important. Besides those things I tried to stay off the internet completely, which was especially hard for me in terms of social media and other forms of goofing around online in my spare time.
I am someone who will always turn to my phone when I am bored or have some time to spare between obligations. I will often mindlessly open the Facebook, Tumblr, or YouTube app on my phone without even really thinking about it. I do this so often that it was very hard for me to break the habit for the few days that the purge required. It was hard for me to stop relying on those things for daily distractions when I had down time throughout the day. Through this experience I realize that I am very dependent on electronics for sources of brief entertainment to get me through the day, and it has made me realize that maybe I should cut down a bit more. In the future I will try to use the internet less as a source of entertainment and maybe try buying more hard copy books instead. During this internet purge I found myself reading more, which is something I use to really enjoy but have strayed from recently. The internet was just a much quicker distraction rather than getting invested in a book, but when I actually sat down and started I realized I really missed it. Other things I did when I was bored was take walks, study hand written flash cards for finals, and listen to music. I was nice being cut off for a while, but I know that over time I would miss the internet, so I found that moderation would be het best course of action.

I think that this binge and fast assignment has been beneficial to me in some ways, such as helping me to see that I should cut back on my use of the internet as a source of entertainment. I would like to cut back my use of the internet overall, but until the end of the semester I don’t see that happening due to the internet dependence needed for most classes. In today’s day and age the internet is a necessity and you can’t fully shut it out. All of my college courses from freshman year until now have all involved extensive use of the internet. The only thing that doesn’t require internet for most classes is the class textbook, but even those can often be found online. The internet and electronic devices are always shoved at us and were turned into a necessity over time, so I don’t think most people will ever be able to extend an internet and electronic fast permanently and still be able to get along ok in society. I do, on the other hand, think that moderation is important. People can try to cut back and still be in touch with the rest of the world. People will just have to find the right kind of moderation that works best for them, and then they can try to live a life that’s less internet dependent.   

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