Over the course of this assignment I learned something surprising about myself, but also confirmed something I already knew pretty well.
The media binge was quite a shock to me - not just the being in front a screen every minute of every hour, but that their is such a thing as a media binge. I am on my phone a lot (my parents think it is because I am mildly ADD and need to constantly being doing/reading something ) so my first response to this assignment was rolling my eyes and saying “oh wow being in front a screen all day, thats hard”. But I am humbled to report that it was really difficult! The first day wasn't bad, but as time went on, i would refresh pages and no new content would appear. I was getting so bored and frustrated at staring at the same posts over and over again, praying that someone would log online and give me something new to look at. I even started to keep up with the news more (well buzzed, so not really formal news) just to cure my boredom and was more in the loop this week than I have been in awhile. It easy to keep the time looking at memes or reading Tumblr, but I rarely take my time to keep up with current events during school. I tend to just stay in my little college bubble until a scandal breaks the news comes to me on twitter or some other social media. Over all the binge was much more painful than I expected and the fast after was very welcomed.
The media fast portion, was the least surprising part to me. About a year ago I was feeling overwhelmed with life, and wanted time to focus on other things in my life. So I made the decision to give up all social media - I went almost three months without facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, etc. And without the use of those apps I was barely on my phone at all (I’m not a huge texter, I prefer to chat in person on via phone call). During that time, and again during the media fast, I felt relief and and overall sense of calmness. I think the issue with social media, and really media in general, is we know too much about everyone else. But we only see what everyone else wants to see (instagrams of lavish vacations and Facebook posts about their perfect relationship, etc.) not their reality. Essentially they are filtering their life for you - not with an algorithm but with calculated posting. Its easy to see these things and compare them with your own life/reality. It can lead to resentment, jealousy, and can change the way you feel about people. When you take away the social media you remove that filter and get you information/ can form opinion based on your own interactions and observations of them. So long story short, it is not difficult for me to “media fast”, in fact, I wish i could do it more often. Its so relaxing to not obsess about everything and everyone and just take time to reflect on my own life.
In summation, I learned that I am indeed not on my phone as much as I could be - a fact that I personally cannot wait to clap back at my parents with when they accuse me of being on it too much. And i also furthered my belief that time away from social media is very valuable and important to do from time to time.