Time and time again, I wish I lived in a different time period. My father always has some great stories from when he attended college in the early 1980's. Things were much different then, yet very similar. Friend groups didn't have group messaging, they would just talk about plans much earlier and have to rely on those plans not changing.
I never really grew up on the iPhone, as the current younger generation is. I love having a phone on me constantly that can be used as a reference, a medium of communication, as well as a life-line. You never really know how critical something is in your life until you no longer have it.
I started without all of my electronics and accounts for my fast. Turned off my phone, disabled internet on my MacBook unless I needed to submit something on Blackboard, and put my accounts on hold. Initially, I loved the change of pace my life was at. I was able to take things one at a time, rather than attempting to juggle multiple at once. I was able to spend more time on each task, assuring myself that I did it correctly. Communicating with my friends and professors was much different, it was strictly in person. Conversations were much more meaningful, and memorable. I did not forget things as often since I was able to remember the location, the setting, and the tone of each conversation. I enjoyed not having to turn to my television for entertainment, instead I would read the magazines or the newspapers that still come to the house. After a couple of days, it was nice not to have to turn to Facebook or Twitter to see what was going on. I still had basic cable running in the living room of the house I am at, which made getting news relatively similar to 35 years ago.
After the fast came the binge. I turned to my phone for everything. I stopped using textbooks for one night of studying, attempted to locate everything on-line. I was able to find things from different universities across the country, as well as notes from some students using a Quizlet. It was enjoyable to be able to skip commercials when using my Netflix/Hulu streaming services. I got back to texting people I needed to get in contact with, along with group messaging through GroupMe. The biggest change was between using and not using the GroupMe app. In a fraternity, group messaging is essential to quick and simple communication between a large number of people. I am currently in about a dozen groups that are constantly active. It is absolutely tiresome, to say the least. Most days, it turns into an argument that shouldn't start over digital communication. I realized how much nicer my life was when I actually had to walk around the house to talk to those I deemed necessary. If any news that was at the utmost importance, people know where my room is, they could come and find me. I was much more distracted in class once I was binging on social media, Facebook videos are endless. I would start with watching a recipe on frozen drinks and end up watching numerous videos of a hydraulic compressor smashing random objects, it was very distracting.
In the end of the fast and the binge, I had much more appreciation for people who grew up without all of this technology. The fast was much more enjoyable, personable, and meaningful compared to the binge. It makes me double down on my wish to have grown up in the 70's and 80's. Technology is helpful, yet so very troubling.