At times I get so wrapped up into my phone and laptop that I lose sight of what is in front of me. I miss out on adventures and beautiful sights to see, because I’m so stuck on media. I’m constantly checking my email, twitter, Instagram, or texting someone. My mom used to tell me all the time that I’m too attached to my phone and that I needed to put it down more often. Of course, I just thought she was over exaggerating and just being a mother. But throughout my Media Diet Project I realized that maybe my mother was correct. Maybe I was spending too much time on my phone and on social media. Media is a big part of my daily life because that’s how I keep up with the world and communicate with others, but I’ve learned that I must lessen my time spent on media.
I truly don’t believe that media is a bad thing. I do believe that we need media, because it is a major way that our society communicates with each other. I also believe that too much media can start to cause problems in my life. I was so focused on what was trending on twitter or how many likes I got on Instagram that I couldn’t even enjoy family time. My family and I would go to dinner and over half the time of us being there, we were all on our phones. Whether we were texting, scrolling through our emails, or trying to make plans for later on that day. This project helped me learn how to measure my time spent on using media. I can honestly say that after my 72 hour testing period I’ve stopped using social media as much.
While taking notes on my media habits I noticed that my biggest problem in my opinion was that I was using twitter way too much! I would tweet any and everything that came to my mind. Whether it was a negative or positive thought, I was going to be tweet it. (Some things the world just doesn’t need to know.) So I came up with a proposal. The proposal stated that I needed to work on my tweeting habits and limit myself to less tweets per day. I began limiting myself to three tweets a day. I could have one tweet in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. None of which could be negative! I struggled when I first started this proposal, but it got easier and easier as each day went on. Then I started my 72 hour period and I couldn’t tweet at all. During my 72 hour testing period I wasn’t able to tweet, so many of my comments I had to keep to myself. I had to find another outlet to express my thoughts. I had to find a healthier outlet. I found that simply just writing my thoughts out in my notebook made me feel better and I wasn’t sharing all of my business with the world.
I was using media at least 6 hours a day. 6 hours was the minimum amount of time that I would spend using media, whether the time was spent emailing, texting, or on social media. I realized that I needed to cut down on my media use as a whole. I wanted to focus on something as simple as cutting back on my texting and calling my family and friends more often. After discussing the Utopia and Dystopia views on texting in our blog, I realized that a simple phone call could improve my relationships with the people in my life as well as cut back on my media use. During my media project I began calling my family more so we weren’t texting as much during the day, because I would usually just have a phone conversation with them at night and cover everything that happened throughout my day. Conversations weren’t too long and I was also improving my relationships, because the communication was clear (as we know communication can be unclear at times while texting). Luckily I was able to “kill two birds with one stone.”
I noticed that throughout my Media Diet Project I began to interact with more of my teammates and I became more active within my team. I was able to finally put my phone down and just have fun at that moment. Don’t get me wrong, I still used Snapchat and Twitter to communicate with my friends and teammates. The thing is, I just cut back from using it as much. Thompson suggested that life outside of media is extremely important to our personal life and finding who we really are. I would agree with this idea! I realized that I had to cut out some of the social media so I could focus on the amazing experiences that were right in front of me! Then I would maybe snap a picture of that amazing moment that I was having and post it to social media later on that day. I think the two go hand in hand. I needed social media to express and show the world those amazing moments and adventures that I was having in my life. But too much social media would stop me from having those amazing moments. So I had to find a balance between the two of them.
Overall the main thing I learned from this Media Diet Project, you can use media because it is a big part of our society but don’t overuse it to were you aren’t enjoying what is going on around you. Try to lessen that media time and focus more on family time, or school, or other hobbies that you might have. Life is going to pass me by if I’m constantly looking down at my phone or laptop. I use media as a way to express what is going on in my life, but now I know to lessen that media time. I’m very pleased with this project because I truly think it has helped me change my media habits in a positive way. I learned a lot of different things about myself and media during this project. I was finally able to admit that I was too attached to my phone and media and that I needed to find a way to change it. I’ve changed some habits and I’m still working on changing those bad habits that I have! I’m definitely a work in progress!