Just recently, our class had the assignment of 24 hours unplugged where we all had to go without technology for 24 hours. I can’t honestly say that I enjoyed my unplugged experience. Television is not a big thing to me, although there are a few shows I do enjoy. The internet, computer, and phone I use daily, more than once, so that was a really tough thing for me to handle. My day was completely different in terms of logistics, as I use the computer daily for my school work and email, so I had a lot of difficulty being able to do any school work, or work in general. I also use the phone to contact my family, friends, and boyfriend. I did not enjoy this aspect of living “unplugged”. I definitely hated the fact that I could not do any work or talk to anyone. Plus I am nosey so I love to watch the news and know what is going on daily, and I couldn’t do that either. I would say that it was easy when I first began, but as the hours went on, I got bored and I would have to say that I gave up. I don’t think psychological effects really played a big part, honestly. It is clear to me now, that technology definitely plays a big role in our society, maybe even bigger than people tend to realize.
In looking over the results of my whole class, I would say that about half of us were able to successfully complete this task, as the other half was un-able to successfully complete the task of going unplugged for 24 hours. Sarah O’Sullivan, for instance, was able to complete the assignment, although she stated, “At 9 when I finally checked my phone I had a lot of missed messages and an angry boyfriend. Maybe I should have warned him about the assignment…..The only reason I think this was successful for me was the fact that I was mostly distracted by work”(O’Sullivan, 2013). I would have to say that I definitely understand the part of her boyfriend being upset because if I did not live with my boyfriend and did not answer him he definitely would be upset. Sarah O’Sullivan also states in the same sentence that she felt her working was what made this assignment easier for her. I feel that maybe if I had a job, I too, may have been successful.
Brianna Johnson, another classmate of mine, like me, was unable to successfully complete the 24 hour unplugged experience. She states “During those seven hours, I found is aggravating that even though I had my phone on me I could not touch it, it was hard to keep track of everything without my phone, my phone is literally my life”(Johnson, 2013). I can relate with her because my computer is my life. Like I stated above, I am constantly on the internet, checking email, doing my work, and surfing the web. I feel like at times I need my computer, or it is like I have withdrawals from it. It is a little absurd if you ask me. There was one other comment that Brianna made that I really liked. She states, “I felt as if a piece of me had been taken away, like I was not myself anymore.” You would never really think that technology would have such a big effect on people, but in this day and age, where the world is all about technology, and it is constantly evolving, it actually plays a tremendous part in our everyday lives.
The University of Maryland held this same study for their students. It seemed that they were not successful either. I think that our class was probably a lot more successful at this than they were, although we are a small class; they held the study with 200 students. Some students stated that they were having withdrawals; they were unable to live without texting or Facebook, and those that just simply could not do this assignment (University of Maryland). It is incredible, because one student from the University of Maryland, pointed out that it is not just teenagers or young adults, ages 18-21, who are so addicted to technology nowadays (University of Maryland). Another students states that “When we began our assignment, I could not help noticing while walking down the hallways of the dorms, how many stereos and televisions were simply blaring, and that other students were glued to their phones or iPods”(University of Maryland). It really makes me wonder why so many people are so addicted to technology nowadays, and more so than ever before. I understand that technology is a major basis of everyday lives, but honestly there are some days that I could really do without. I do not want to be bothered; therefore, I will shut the ringer off on my phone, turn my television off, and sometimes just sleep or soak in the warm bathtub.
I have watched my little brother become so involved with the gaming on gaming systems and computers that he no longer has interest in anything else. We literally have to peel him away from the games. His friends will come to the door to ask him to come out and play, and his usual response is, “Hold on, I am in the middle of the game.” It sickens me sometimes. I will call him on the telephone, and if I happen to ask him about one of his games, he can go on for literally hours and hours about the game and the things that go on. It worried me after we read the article on “Relationships: Connection, Intimacy, and Self-Image”, especially when they stated that according to a research study, teenage boys who spend at least 30 hours per week on gaming systems can be prone to developing social disorders, depression and anxiety problems(Steyer, P. 31). My brother spends way more than 30 hours a week. If he had his choice, the only friends he would have are those who are gamers as well. I will say that he does manage to keep his grades up, but as stated before, the only thing he does in his free time is play those darn games. It really makes me worry about him. Of course, I am sure, we have all played games in our lives, but to spend all of your free time on a game can’t be to healthy nor good for a person, particularly a younger person.
It really boggles my mind, seeing how technology really affects our world. I know that it was extremely hard for me to succeed going without technology, and I do not use Facebook, nor do I have cell phone. I am sure if I did, it would have been even worse for me. I see people that are so addicted to Facebook that they are constantly on just to see how many “likes” they got, or if a new friend request was received. I also tend to see people glued to their phones, whether they are talking or texting. At one point, I did have a cell phone and it caused many fights between my boyfriend and me. Heaven forbid I received a text message and did not respond instantly. It was, what are you doing, why aren’t you answering me and who are you with? It was insane to me to argue over a text, call, or even Facebook, that I ended up saying I am completely done with it. Technology consumes us as a whole. It makes me wonder, what would happen if technology was done away with completely? Would people be able to survive? To be honest, I do not know if I would be able to.
Johnson, Brianna. “Re: 24 Hours Unplugged.” Blackboard Discussion Board. Blackboard.
27 October 2013. Web. Accessed: November 14, 2013.
O’ Sullivan, Sarah. “Re: 24 Hours Unplugged.” Blackboard Discussion Board. Blackboard.
14 September 2013. Web. Accessed: November 14, 2013
Steyer, James P. Talking Back to Facebook. New York: Scribner, 2012. Print.
University of Maryland. A Day Without Media. University of Maryland. 2010. Web. 19 September 2013