Life Without Worrying About Battery Percentage
“I know exactly what I’m going to post as my status when I go on facebook,” was the main thought racing through my head during my media fast. When being asked to observe this fast, I seriously thought that my opinion wouldn’t change about the time I spend on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. Yes, I did know that I spent a good chunk of my time on these various website, but this media fast truly opened my hazel eyes and taught me precisely how a big of a chunk it was. I always hear my mother state that she isn’t addicted to smoking and smoking “two or three cigarettes a day doesn’t mean I’m a smoker.” Before this project, I thought that going on Facebook just a couple of times a day was not an addiction, but now, I realize it was an addiction, and I am a recovering from Facebooker.
Firstly, let pinpoint what applications go under the category of “media” for a media fast. To me, it was all of the social networking sites, including, but not limited too, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Tumblr. However, for the sake of the experiment, I tried not to use my phone to just see how I would react to what I thought were awkward moments of life. Ten minutes into my media fast, I liked someone status on Facebook. After realizing what I had just done, I took a moment to think what Susan Maushart, author of The Winter of Disconnect, would say and I believe her response would, “Simplify!” I knew what I had to do; I had to get rid of even the possibility of going on the applications, and that’s exactly what I did. On my iPhone, I deleted all my social media applications and reused an extension, StayFocusd, I had used a while back; you give the extension specific websites and they block that entire website and there is no way around it. Now with even the slightest possibility of me going on these social media sites out of sight and out of mind, I could start my media fast… again.
With the intention of having those sites impossible to reach, I now had free time. Living life without a small 1136 by 640 pixels screen definitely seems and sounds easier than it actually is. From being on it, what seemed like, every moment since I got it, I felt naked and not in the loop. I literally just laid in bed and slept. After sleeping, I read The Winter of Our Disconnect and finished the rest of my homework for my other classes. Knowing I had work later on in the day and trying not to use my phone, I went on a hunt to find out the time. I had to travel through two rooms to finally recall there was a clock in the kitchen. I saw that I had 27 minutes to get to work, so I got dressed quickly and ran to my car. Now, only left with 19 minutes until I start my shift at work. Now my main issue, I know multiple routes that get me to my job, I just don’t know which way is fastest because of traffic. So I take out my phone and tell my personal assistant, Siri, to find me the fastest directions. Now reviewing my action, I am astonished that I needed a computer to tell me what the fastest way when it was quite obvious to take the smaller streets since it was rush hour. Although, knowing myself I knew that the only reason I did use Siri was because I needed someone, or something, to tell me I was right. Indeed it only took me 13 minutes getting there, leaving me with a whole 6 minutes left before I clock in. As I walk in, I get a weird look from my manager and she says, “Why are you here so early?” I look at my phone confused, and I see that I’m 20 minutes early, and I figured that my clock at home was off. So I respond with, “Because I obviously couldn’t wait to see your beautiful face!”
In addition to running early to work, being at work really took my brain off of not being able to use my phone. However, it was three and half-hours into my shift, and it was time for my break. I took my fifteen, and I was bored out of my mind. I got my meal, went to a table, took out my phone, searched for my facebook application, and then realized I’m fasting. Weirdly enough, it’s been a few hours into my fast and I was still forgetting that I was not allowed to use technology. This was just another example of how hung up I was on technology and how badly I thought I needed it. Back to my meal break, I just sat down and dug my sorrows into the bowl of macaroni and cheese in front of me and tried to waste my time away. Only 5 minutes had passed when I finished eating. I had two worries in my head – the first being what was I going to do for the next ten minutes and the second being worried how fast I ate the bowl of macaroni and cheese. I stared at the lemon-colored wall, then at my coworkers, and then at the wall again. Only after wasting 7 minutes, I did the unthinkable. I got off my break early. It was only a few minutes earlier but still, I’d never think that I would go back to work early from my break. I was safe for the next couple of hours, distracted from my fast.
The day was coming to an end, I clocked off, went home (not using Siri this time because I wasn’t in a rush), and got ready for bed. This process entails making sure all my homework/books I need for the next day are packed away in my backpack, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, and setting out my clothes for the next day. I was perfectly fine but my only issue was picking out my clothes for the next day. What I do usually is I have an application, Swackket, which tells me specifically what type of clothing to wear for the location and weather I am going to be in. For example, it will tell me to wear shorts if it’s going to be ninety plus degrees outside. I was astonished at how difficult choosing what clothes to wear the next day was for me. I used my phone to find the weather but I still didn’t know what to wear. It wasn’t a hard choice but I was afraid of making the wrong one. I just put my big boy pants on and made a decision to go with jeans and t-shirt, perfect for all weather. Anyhow, this process of getting ready for bed usually takes me from an hour and a half to two hours. Without using my iPhone, and not without distractions, it took me an hour. My day was finally over, and I laid in bed all giddy that I had an extra hour of sleep but, of course, after I turned on my iPhones alarm clock for the next morning, I know realize how I was still dependent on technology
Observing the media fast was a lot harder than expected to be. I accomplished the goal of the project; however, I thought before the fast that I wasn’t going to learn anything new, but I was wrong. After reviewing and analyzing the twenty-four hours, I’ve come to a conclusion that I do not know the fine line of when I’m using my phone or when my phone is using me. Such as picking out my own clothes, I am old enough to look at the weather and know what to wear. Technology has made me rely on a piece of hardware more than on my first instincts; such as, what to wear or what’s the fastest route to my destination. I discover how much time I really do have and that in the morning, instead of wishing that I could have more time to sleep, I should actually wish I spent less time on my phone the day before. However, I have come to a conclusion that technology does give me a sense of comfort when I am feeling bored, awkward, or alone but at times I go straight to my phone to take the easy way out of sticky situations. For instance, when I’m on my meal break at work and I have no one to talk too, I can easily distract myself with the use of my iPhone. With not using facebook, for what seemed like an eternity, and reviewing my actions and emotions, I can proudly state that I now have deactivated my facebook.