Going Unplugged

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Nicholas Pratt
Professor Campbell
The Unplugged Challenge
Back to the Stone Age. That is what went through my mind as I prepared to begin the Unplugged Challenge and disconnect from the internet for five days. Several questions crossed my mind before I began. How will I stay connected with people? What if I miss an email naming me the Publishers Clearing House ‘Grand Prize Winner?’ Could I live for nearly a week without the search capability of Google or the hilarious videos of YouTube? It seemed to me that living without the internet was akin to losing an arm. Would I be able to survive without it? The first morning of the challenge I awoke to a blaring alarm clock. Really, 6am already?! I dragged myself out of bed and grabbed my phone to check the news and weather, like I normally do. Wait, NO!! I quickly reminded myself of the challenge and put down my phone before the browser could open. Wow, I thought, only fifteen minutes into the challenge and I have nearly had a failure. The rest of the first day was a bitter struggle of human willpower vs. technology. Every ten or fifteen minutes I found myself instinctively grabbing my phone and dialing up Facebook or Google. Each and every time I had to consciously remind myself of the challenge. Back away, I told myself, put the phone down, and everything will be alright. Though everything turned out alright, by the end of day one I felt quite frustrated and disconnected. I just wanted to post a Facebook update or send an email to a friend. With four more days of disconnect ahead, I began to question whether or not I would make it. The morning of day two found me with a newfound resolve and determination. I scolded myself for my poor attitude on day one, and began to formulate a new plan for success. I turned off the Wi-Fi on my phone, and put a yellow sticky note on the front saying “No Internet, No Excuses!” I put a similar note on my laptop at home, though the temptation to logon from there was not as great....
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