Sociology of Happiness
Field Exercise #3 – Meditation Practice and Social Media Fast
This week’s exercises are to do and track two happiness activities for at least 6 days: daily meditation and staying off of social media. Please read the guidelines closely.
Do a daily meditation practice of 15-30 minutes depending on your interest and track your happiness. I recommend you do your meditation at a similar time each day, perhaps first thing in the morning or before bed. You may meditate in silence, to music, or do a guided meditation.
This is a link to a binaural beat musical selection I like to listen to:
The free app Insight Timer also has many guided meditations and meditative music.
Social Media Fast Rules:
-refrain from reading and participating on any social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbler, etc). It might help to at least temporarily delete all the apps from your phone so you are one, less tempted, and two, don’t automatically open them
-limit your texting to important information like meeting locations, and save all chit chat for face-to-face
-no video games or hand held games
-limit television to no more than 60 minutes a day, or one show. Avoid all binge watching.
-avoid You Tube except for assignments
-limit time spent reading or watching the news to 20 minutes a day
-in general, try to minimize your time online
– This is not an all or nothing assignment. I expect you to make an honest effort to reduce time online, and, if you slip up, own it, and write about it.
What to do instead:
-listen to music, talk on the phone, read a book
-all face to face interactions permitted with social distancing (talk, play live music, dance, eat – go on a picnic, visit with friends, play ball, card games, hike, kayak, play charades) – be creative and enjoy yourself!
Journal about the experience of meditating and staying off of social media. Pay attention to how it feels to stay off of phone apps. Are you uncomfortable, agitated, happy, and/or relieved? Note when your feelings change through the day and why. Observe what is easier in your life as well as what is difficult. How did your social media fast affect the way you interact with others? You are free to discuss this assignment with others (both in and out of our class) and some interesting data might include their responses (i.e. “I could never do that!” – probe them why not, or “how fun – I want to do it too!” – explore why they think it is appealing).
After your week meditating and completing your social media fast, spend a little time digesting the experience. Write a 3-4 page typewritten paper analyzing the main findings from your data. Describe your meditation practice. How did it go overall? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not? What did you notice about certain days being harder or easier to meditate? Are you going to continue meditating? Why or why not?
Reflect upon times during the day that you unintentionally started to check social media, and then stopped yourself, and what this felt like. What did you learn about society and how people communicate? Did you have a lot more free time? Were you more productive with school work? What do you think of this? Would you do this again? Why or why not?
# of hours of sleep
(the night before)
Quieted mind during meditation
Looked forward to meditation
Felt refreshed after meditation
Stayed off of social media
Spent time with friends/family
Read a gripping novel
Created art (draw, dance, play music, etc)
Cooked a satisfying meal
Took time for self
Felt antsy/aggravated – missing social media
Please include the scale with the paper.
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