I keep up with the Kardashians more than I would like to admit.
I have very serious Thoughts about conscious uncoupling.
I know my crazy celebrity baby names from Sparrow to Moxie Crimefighter (yes, that is an actual little girl).
I can name more “facts” about politicians’ personal lives (read: salacious gossip) than I can name things they have actually done professionally. (This one may be a fluke…)
My name is Nic, and I am a media addict.
Here’s the deal: March is a time of preparation for Spring. It’s not really spring just yet—it is sleeting outside as I write this—but we know it’s coming. Spring is good for being fresh and new and full of possibilities. I want to be ready to ride the wave of good springtime karma, as Spring/Summer are my best seasons medically.
What’s standing in my (mental) way?
Waaaaaay too much media.
It’s clouding my “All things fresh and new” springtime vibes.
I’m really glad that I was born when I was, because had I been born just a few years later, I don’t think I would have the media-clarity I do. I can recognize that life is sustainable without it.
See, if you were born before like, 1992/3 ish time, you got to grow up with a very different kind of media, in that it wasn’t surrounding you like a suffocating cocoon all the time. You turned the TV or the radio (!!!) off and it was gone. It didn’t follow you around like some creepy stalker. I feel like a zillion years old when I mention that there was a time not too long ago when billboards were not digital, and ONE picture sat up there for months, maybe even years.
I have had a front row seat to the rise of the Internet, and with it, Internet culture. I’ve watched Facebook develop from a “thing for college kids only” to the monstrosity that is responsible for people using the words “Like” and “Follow” in ways they had not been previously (plus, you know, changing our society as a whole). I can no longer keep up with what the newest, latest, most fashionable Internet “It” Thing is. I lost track around Instagram.
Oh, but I am guilty, so, so guilty of getting caught up in it all anyway.
I can sit here and tell you about the great special I watched on PBS about Edwardian era manners, but does that 1 hour cancel out the fact that I watched the whole E! Red Carpet special for each and every award show this season? I knew Guiliana Rancic was mean-girl-ing everyone (Amal Clooney’s gloves at the Golden Globes-anyone?) before she got in trouble for it.
It’s kind of ridiculous, but I indulge anyway.
Afterwards I feel kind of like one does when they eat half the container of ice cream when they didn’t intend to (not that I do that either…).
There is only one thing to be done.
I must cut myself off.
No more US Weekly, no more People.com. I’m quite sure the E! Network will continue to march on without my unwavering attention.
I’m only checking Facebook on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I post my blog stuff.
The plan is to do this for at least the month of March. I’ll reevaluate come April, but I have a sneaking suspicion that once I get used to doing things differently, I might be more inclined to keep it that way.
What do I hope to gain from this media fast?
Well, it’d be nice to regain control of my own brain cells.
Just in the last few days I have been doing this, I have spent more time reading and working on my transcriptionist class.
You know, doing stuff that uses brain cells and doesn’t just lull them into a Technicolor stupor.
Apparently I missed some seemingly huge debate about what color a dress was.
Let me tell you: When you are on the outside, and have no idea what someone is talking about, it sounds completely far-out and incredibly odd that something like that would get enough attention to go “viral.”
I am not alone on my quest to be media-free. Type in “media fast” in Google (ironic, I know) and 1, 230, 000, 000 results pop up. One of them is a great article by a fellow millennial about doing a social media fast: http://greatist.com/happiness/social-media-fast-week-zero-introduction
What I find the most –Comical? Bizarre? Frustrating?— thing about media fasts is this: There will be withdrawal.
Yep. I walked around yesterday feeling like I was forgetting something important, when really, I just hadn’t checked in to see what Facebook did over the weekend.
If there is withdrawal, one can convincingly determine that there is in fact some sort of reliance or addiction going on. Depending on your level of Internet intoxication, you may feel slightly “off” for a few days, or you may go full on Gollum:
Thankfully, my eyes have yet to bug out of their sockets, so I think I am safe.
Eventually, it gets easier, promise.
Have you ever done a media fast? How did it go? If you haven’t, want to try it with me? I’m not going completely dark-screen (obviously); instead I’m working on limiting my media intake. Baby steps, right?