The Galileo Journalism staff recently embarked on individual challenges meant to push their boundaries and lead to improvement. Each challenge lasted between one to two weeks and was meant to evoke some self realization. Here are their stories.
I took on the challenge of giving up Netflix for a week. Within the past couple years, I have developed a strong relationship with Netflix and usually spend some time everyday watching a show or movie, either when I get home from school or before I go to sleep. I usually spend around an hour a day watching Netflix. It keeps me occupied and takes my mind off anything that’s troubling me.
I decided to take on this challenge for a few reasons. I mainly wanted to reduce the amount of technology I use daily, to see if I find any benefit from it. Throughout the day I am constantly on my phone or on a computer, which is not how I want to be. I don’t want to become reliant on my phone or social media, so this challenge seemed appropriate to help me better myself.
The first day of the challenge, I went to my computer and logged into Netflix before I realized I wasn’t supposed to watch it. Instead, I decided to bake cookies and watch whatever was on TV. I should have done something that didn’t involve technology, which helped me further realize how dependent I am of it. Not being able to watch Netflix made me feel like I was missing something in my daily routine, but I didn’t feel an extreme withdrawal when I went without it.
Throughout the week there were a couple of occasions where I considered cheating on the challenge, but I didn’t let myself because of the guilt I know would follow. For three days, I worked out when I got home instead Netflix, which made me feel energetic and productive.
Whenever I wanted to watch Netflix, I would either sleep, do homework, color, draw, listen to music, or workout. I wanted to substitute these activities for Netflix because they are calming and help me do something besides sit on my couch and watch a show. I wanted to be more productive with my time to see what I could achieve.
Overall, the week was better than expected. I didn’t miss Netflix as much as I thought I would, and it actually made me feel better doing other things with that time, however I missed the comfort of watching something before I went to sleep. The most challenging aspect was finding the motivation to do the other activities, especially when I was tired and really didn’t feel like doing anything besides watch something.
By the end of the week, I felt that I would be capable of doing this again, which made me feel more in control of my life. When I would workout or draw, I was able to reflect on my current life and think about a lot of personal things I don’t usually think about daily. I want to continue to lessen my use of technology, and this challenge was a good start for me.