Many of us like to believe that technology doesn’t run our lives and that we could live without it if we had to. Being deprived from technology for a near 24 hours opened my eyes to the role that technology plays in my life. Knowing that I was going to be spending the whole day without technology caused me to do a lot of pre-planning before the big day.
I started the fast as soon as I woke up and from this experience I discovered three important things. First was that I felt a sense of detachment from the world. Technology has become apart of my daily routine. My morning officially doesn’t start until I have an update on all my social media platforms, check the weather and respond to my emails.
The second realization was that the brain is noisy. On a regular day, I used social media as a “time out” or “catch up on life” time. During study sessions, I use social media check ups as an incentive (“If I get two pages written then I’ll let my self check my phone”). During the fast I was always curious of what my friends were up to on snap chat. What the latest instagram posts were. I guess we take for granted how easily we have access to events happening around the world. We live in a world now where information is at the edge of our fingertips. I often turn to my phone for quick research. If I don’t know what a word means I pull up Google and look it up. If I can’t remember the name of a certain movie, I look it up. During the fast, I realized I don’t even own a dictionary or map, and how dependent I am on technology to provide all those things.
The third realization I had was that I was more bored, which caused me to find creative ways to distract myself. I went on longer walks, worked out, and cooked. I tried to find as many things as I could to distract my self. Spending time with friends was more meaningful too. I was more involved and present with them because I didn’t have a phone to distract my self from reality. My friends still had there phones so there were times they were on there phone and I just felt left out and out of the loop.
When I think back on my media fast I realize that the fact that I had to make an elaborate plan in order to have a media-less day shows how much I rely on technology in my daily life.