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Technology: Being Unconnected for 5 Days

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By Evan Mason | emason3@radford.edu

Everyone is addicted to their cellphones and all kinds of media, but for the next five days, I’ve decided to live without it.

Nowadays people are always taking selfies, debating politics, creating never-ending Snapchat streaks, tuning the world out with music, watching endless YouTube videos, and dating strangers through apps on their phones.

The world has evolved us as social beings to be more connected yet disconnected than ever before with numerous people staring at their pocket screens instead of talking to the people around them. Moreover, who can leave out the Netflix binges and long hours of gaming when they arrive home while procrastinating on whatever actually needs to get done.

So I decided I was going to uninstall any social media, music, and video apps, and then put up my PS4, only leaving myself with phone calls, and the means to write for the next five days. I foresaw this being difficult because I am a gamer, I love my phone and all of my Netflix binges, but I decided to challenge myself.

Tuesday … and so it begins.

My automatic response when I woke up was to check my messages, look at people’s Snapchat stories, and check my Facebook feed for news, and of course memes.

What I was met with before my brain could realize what happened was the empty void of no apps to indulge in with my morning cup of coffee. So I laid there in my thoughts before finally deciding I was bored and took a shower.

Of all the times I had to go to the emergency room due to not feeling well would be today, which I only texted my mom so she wouldn’t worry too much but I was so restless sitting there in my thoughts at the hospital. I can’t remember the last time I had to sit in my thoughts this long.

I just people watched and sat there forever. The doctors finally gave me medicine and sent me home.

Wednesday

Still loopy from the medicine from the night before, so I drank some coffee to wake myself up.

I didn’t feel well enough to make it to class, and I couldn’t drive anywhere because I was loopy. I decided to clean my apartment, and by clean I am talking about Spring cleaning level status cleaning for 5 hours straight.

In the moments I took breaks I made all my doctors appointments, got bills taken care of, did all my homework for the week, and ate food.

It was almost 7 p.m., and I was running out of things to burn time with, but I was impressed with myself on how much I got done in comparison to many other days procrastinating. Even though I still wanted to play games and check my social media, but I will say I was a lot more productive without it.

Thursday

I woke up and immediately took a shower. I didn’t eat because I knew I was going to go out to eat later.

It was a long wait, but I went to a Kabuki Japanese Steak House in Christiansburg and got filet mignon and shrimp.

Embarrassingly I wanted to take pictures of my food to post about how fat I was about to be while eating the food but then realized I couldn’t because of the five-day rule I made to myself. Other than that, I felt like it was easier to have a conversation without wanting to check random messages every so often.

Friday

I went to my doctor’s appointment, and then to class. It was a little weird because I was about the only person not on my phone and the other half of the class didn’t show up, probably because it was Friday.

I then went to the library to study and keep busy. After my Friday night Tartan meeting, I went home and wrote for my poetry class and had an actual conversation with someone until I got tired and fallen asleep at 11 p.m.

Saturday

I didn’t make it too far into Saturday because I knew there was a Pokemon Go event, and I had already planned on going to a Super Smash Brothers tournament, so I wound up caving and re-downloading all my media.

In the End…

As hard as it can be not to use all the forms of media there are, it was refreshing.

I would recommend people to take a break just for a little while to see how it affects your life. I felt far more productive, and since I had more time to think I was more creative than usual which can help in particular types of classes that may require it.

For my poetry class, I wound up writing what my teacher said was my best poem yet. I also managed to sleep better during the week which is a big bonus. Coming back I can say I don’t miss aspects of social media as much, but I am happy to go back to my Netflix binges, music and games!

Photo Credit: (Kari Shea | UnsplashAttentie Attentie | Unsplash)

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