What is the Impact of Media Fasts; Should Students be Spending More Time Away from Their Screens?


Courtesy of Marsh Photo

Senior Kyle Bouley reading a book instead of using his phone.

Although media fasts have been around for at least a decade they have been popping up again recently. With the COVID-19 pandemic people have found themselves attached to the media and decided it was time for a break. 

Recently people have been testing themselves to see how long they can go without using not only social media but electronics in general. Some believe this may help increase the mental health of high school aged students who have spent most of their lives on social media. 

Social psychologist Erin A. Vogel says in the article ‘I’m a Psychologist, and These Are the Benefits of Taking a Social Media Fast’

“Being disconnected from the highlight reels of other people’s lives can be really helpful in helping us feel better about ourselves and about our own lives.” Others think this may make kids more depressed because they are so connected with people through social media.

Senior Kyle Bouley has done a media fast twice in the past and had so me good things to say about it. 

¨It helped me a lot in school, I was more focused and got more work done,¨ said Bouley. He thinks more kids should try it even for a few hours. 

¨Things aren’t as big of a deal as the media makes them out to be, everything is made such a bigger deal on social media,¨ said Mr. Joseph Galante. He thinks that we would see a decrease of stress and anxiety in teens. Galante has never done a media fast per say, he has gone many hours without his phone and said it felt good. ¨

On the other hand Sophomore Christian Coco thinks the opposite. ¨It doesn’t really matter because we will just get whatever we are missing out on the next day when we go on our phones again,¨ said Coco. 

I tried media fasting recently and I am not sure what to think about it. I think it definitely helped me be more focused in school but I found myself slowly getting frustrated and more antsy than usual. I use my phone not only to distract myself, but also to do research in class, so that was a pain having to get my chromebook out every time I needed to do something. 

12pm – I just put my phone away. Since I am at school with my friends I am feeling okay. I don’t think this will be that hard. It’s the end of the quarter so I have a lot of work to finish and I think my friends will do a good job of keeping me distracted. 

12:45 – Now it’s lunch time. I haven’t thought about my phone that much. I haven’t even reached for it to even check the time. I’m not feeling deprived of it yet. 

2:13 – This is definitely going to be the hardest part of the day. Coming home and not being able to have my phone. Since I left my friends at school I want to talk to the people I don’t go to school with like I do every day but I can’t. 

3 – I am doing okay. I’ve just been doing homework. I have gone to reach for my phone a few times. It is getting a little hard not being able to talk to people. But I think I’m going to take a nap to pass some time. 

5:30 – I just woke up from my nap and reached for my phone. This is always the time I talk to my friends the most. I’m going to eat dinner so I wont think about my phone.  

7:30 – I just finished eating dinner and honestly this may be the hardest time. The time between dinner and going to sleep. I have a little more school work to finish but then I know I’m going to be so bored and go insane. 

8:45 – I just realized I had been staring at my wall for literally 10 minutes because I am so bored. But it’s too early to go to sleep so I broke and I had to turn on my TV. I wish I could have gone longer but I was going crazy.