24 hours without media (sort of)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you tried to function as normal without interacting with any form of media? I tried it. It was impossible.

I participated in a 24-hour media fast last week as part of an experiment for my Principles of Media class. Here were the rules:

For 24 hours… do not engage with the media. No newspapers, books, television, radio, movies, magazines, computers. You can complete course assignments using essential media tools. Otherwise, fast!

I broke the media fast in relation to schoolwork and my on-campus jobs. I wouldn’t be able to do my jobs or complete my class assignments without email or the Internet. That showed me how dependent on media the first-world realms of education and work are.

I’m fine without social media. Sure, I scroll through Facebook and Instagram, but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything important by abstaining from social media all day.

However, I realized that I don’t normally go a day at college without using messaging apps to keep in touch with my friends and family. I was out of the loop with the people about whom I care the most. I missed out on the pictures and little messages that my family sends throughout the day. I wasn’t able to find out where my friends were unless I saw them. As part of a circle of friends with an active group chat, that was strange. I was glad that that lasted only for a day.

The media fast showed me that I use media mostly when I’m by myself. I put on music to fill the air while I’m working. I keep in touch with friends when we’re apart. I answer emails and read articles when no one else is around. I wonder how I’d be if I were to fast for more than 24 hours.

How do you think you’d do with a media fast?

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4 Comments

    1. Thanks for the response, Therese! I think it’s interesting to to compare different people’s experiences. I don’t think people who have never owned a TV or computer would have to worry too much about how digital media affects them, but it would be interesting to see how other types of media do affect them.

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  1. I think it is great that you are fine without constantly checking social media. Without even realizing it, I find myself wasting way too much time on Instagram or Twitter, and it was obvious during my media fast, as i kept accidentally clicking on the apps.

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  2. I had a similar experience with my media fast, except it only lasted like 4 hours. So, I guess not that similar at all. I do like how you outlined the side-effects of going a day without it though.

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