In the 80s, kids watched too much TV. Then along came the 90s and “Internet Addiction.” What did the early years of the 21st Century bring us? Let’s call it “Technology Super Abundance.” No, make that “Technology Super Abundance–Extreme Edition.” And that’s a great thing, isn’t it? I love all the choices!
Earlier generations were worried about “watching too much” or “sitting too close” or “surfing 24/7.” But now, it’s different.
Technology has become the key ingredient in our whole way of living. Our smartphone/camera/do-everything devices, our laptops, our tablets, our Facebooking, our Tweeting, texting, and IM-ing…they’re are all essential elements of life these days, and for very good reasons. But, could we live without them?
One of our interns, a freshman at UC Santa Cruz, bravely volunteered to find out. As part of a class assignment, he and his fellow students went on a 24-hour “Technology Fast”. First, they had to identify all the different technologies embedded in their daily lives. And then they had to unplug from it all <shudder> for an entire 24 hours.
Here are notes from his Technology Fast :
“What do I take notes with? Can I still use my iPad if I only take notes on it?”
“Well this sucks. What am I supposed to use for an alarm clock? A rooster? I don’t have one of those.”
“Sat in the coffee shop where I always get my latte and check my email. Boring. But kinda peaceful, actually. Oh God, I just realized I can’t check my email. NOOOOO!!!!!”
“I actually found a pay phone. I have no change.”
“It’s not that I miss Facebook all that much…it just feels like I should be doing something right now.”
“I almost ordered a book online last night but thought it would be fun to see if I could find it in town. I heard there was a bookstore there. But I couldn’t look it up. I guess I’ll just have to go down there.”
“I cheated. I totally cheated. No Tech=No Fun.”
“Got change for the pay phone…but all my numbers are in my phone. The guy at the laundromat says he thinks he has a phone book in the back. Do they even list cell numbers in phone books?”
“I forgot to let my friends know I’d be off the grid today, I wonder if they’re still texting me? I’ll go ask.”
“I decided movies weren’t tech, so I went to one. I never noticed how many people text and talk on their phones until just before the movie starts. I was very jealous.”
“At lunch I told my friends about this assignment. They laughed. I suggested they try it. They REALLY laughed.”
What would you miss most if you were asked to do a tech fast?
Your smartphone? Your TV? Your laptop?