Unplugged The world is full of technology; Almost everywhere you look you will see some form of technology, from a cellphone that can speak to you, to a computer that can run anything your heart desires. As Martin Lindstorm writes in his article “Friends who have accidentally left home without their iPhones tell me they feel stressed-out, cut off and somehow un-whole. ” (Lindstorm). People tend to be overly attached to their phones, as if they were people capable of loving them back.
I see how this could be possible because your phone does connect you to the people that you care about and when you can’t contact them life is a little bit more difficult. The people of this country seem to always need the fastest and newest piece of technology, often because it is viewed as a part of one’s social status. For this assignment I was tasked with going a full 24 hours without using technology. Since, society is so connected, I found this project to be very interesting, and relevant to the present day.
This seemed like it would be an easy task that would not take much effort or thought; however a simple 24 hours unplugged from technology subsequently unplugged me from the world. I have never seen myself as someone who needs their devices so much; however we often learn new things about ourselves. Once I began tracking my usage I noticed for the first time how much I use technology. I thought that I only used my phone and other technology when the situation required it as well as a little bit of recreational use. In my usage log I recorded mostly a few texts, my laptop usage and the movie I watched on my Xbox.
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I did more in my trial period then my log shows. I texted more then it displays; I really texted people once or twice to set up plans with them to hang out later in the day. I also did not record every time I checked my phone for the time; I forgot at the start and then realized that my phone is really just a rectangular clock. I realized that I use my phone mostly just to see what time it is because I always have it on me so it is always the first place I look for the time, instead of running around trying to find a clock.
It opened my eyes to my frequent usage and excellently foreshadows my experiences the next week. Getting away from technology is a difficult task today. I found my hardest task was not stopping myself from using technology but instead distracting myself from those who were using it. In an article for Time magazine, Dalton Conley writes, “children ages 8 to 18 spend 7 hours and 38 min. a day using entertainment media” (Conley). People are using their technology all the time, making difficult to avoid.
For example, my roommate loves his music and it was impossible for me to be in my room without listening to it so in this aspect I failed to go the full 24 hours. Still, I made it through most of the day without technology but I was left thinking that the only true way to be able to successfully complete this assignment is to stop everyone from using technology. Today everyone has some kind of a phone, portable music player or handheld game. This is why this assignment is so difficult, because even though you are not allowed to use technology everyone else is.
Every junction yields a reminder that the use of technology is restricted; a reminder of what you cannot do which then provokes you to break the rules. My experience was not difficult because of my deprivation but because everyone else still could. We rely so much on technology and to be the only one not using it makes the world just seem to pass by. Time seems to slow down, and the more I think about it, is not because I couldn’t use technology to pass the time but because everyone else still was. My 24 hours unplugged were spent doing almost nothing.
I decided to go from 6pm on Friday to 6pm on Saturday, not that smartest idea. I started hanging out with my friends about 15 minutes before 6, which was good so that I could hang out with them without having to use technology to make plans. But the next morning was a different story. I didn’t plan for the morning because I wasn’t thinking of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to use technology. So I wound up just sleeping until about noon and then didn’t really do much for the rest of the time. I tried to study some chemistry but to no avail to do to the fact that I needed to look something up but I couldn’t.
Experiences can change us. We can look at the world completely differently because of one small adjustment to our routine. This assignment has changed my perception of myself. I started out thinking that I didn’t really use technology much and that it didn’t completely run my life and that I could live without it. However; now that I have grown used to my phone in my pocket and my laptop on my desk, they are comfortable parts of my life and are hard to do without. I don’t know if I could go longer than 24 hours but I think I would be willing to try this again with a different view and a etter plan of attack; a view that technology is important in my life and a better understanding of how I use it. Admittedly I had a bit of trouble finishing this assignment but I think it is because I could not escape technology, it was everywhere I turned. In an article by Tamar Lewin, the author noted “The average young American now spends practically every waking minute — except for the time in school — using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Lewin). Most of society is wrapped around their technology unable of putting it down. I now acknowledge that I need technology to stay connected to the world and up to date with my homework. It is a vital part of my life that previously I did not think was essential to my day to day life. I saw technology as a toy to be enjoyed but now I see it as a very important tool to accomplish the task at hand.
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