Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Day Without Technology

My day without technology began Saturday September 21st around 10am and I was surprised at the success of this transition. It helped immensely that my sister was in town to visit causing me to have a rather busy and social day. The last time I interacted with technology was with the awful sound of my alarm at 9:00am on Saturday the 21st, waking me up to a dreadfully gloomy day, a day that would be perfect to snuggle in and watch movies. However, I had a canoeing trip with my fitness course.

I spent the better part of the day paddling in the lake, which even in the windy rain is quite a way to forget about Facebook. For the first time in years I wore a watch to keep me sane, I am used to checking my phone's clock every two minutes to witness time crawling by. I noted that time actually flew by as I socialized with my classmates and awed at the Blue Ridge beauty that is too often looked beyond. Lauren, my sister, knew to pick me up at 2:00pm so there was no need for a text.

Next we decided to grab lunch and catch up. I might have slightly bent the rules by utilizing an ATM to check my balance before dining, but I thought that it was a step below checking it online.

We decided to eat at Panera. While it has delicious food, it is also is one of the few restaurants that does not have televisions. We dined there and hung out for a few hours while catching up. I asked Lauren to please leave her phone alone during the meal, in part because I had nothing to distract myself with.

At this point it was around 5:00pm and while I was ready to have a digital free evening, but felt anxious that I was without phone and a connection to my friends. Luckily, my roomate and I had been invited to a party earlier that week so we had at least one plan that didn't require cell phones. For the first time I remember we were going to wing it and hopefully run into people there.

After getting home from Panera I wasted so much water taking a shower until the hot water ran out. I had found a need to avoid technology by occupying myself in other ways, no matter how mundane. It was easy to avoid television at my house because we don't have cable, but my Lauren and Christine are glued to phones all the time. It was a weird sensation to be half listened to through the constant stream of social media. It made me realize that multitasking is actually pretty annoying.

If only I had a horse or a bike that could fit three people and groceries. Over the next few hours we ran errands to the ABC store and Food Lion to prepare for the evenings events. When we got home we finished trying on every combination of clothes we had and waiting for the evening to unfold. I do want to note here that my ears cheated, because Lauren and Christine needed music to move the night along. In my defense I didn't ask them to put on the music.

Around 11:00pm we got a ride from a designated driver to a block party around the cottages. I could not get over being around 150 people so connected and lacking in real life interactions. Everywhere people we taking photos and videos the record this awesome night instead of enjoying it. It felt freeing to be out without technology because I was really with all the people I cared about and was able to better experience the night.

By 3:00am a fight broke out, I have no idea why, but the party absolutely ended after that. Luckily the designated drivers had gotten wind that there would be a lot of business there and we were able to flag one down like a cab.

My head hit my pillow around 4:00am and slept solidly until 12:00pm on Sunday. The technology hiatus was over and after checking my phone I realized how little I had missed. Mostly I had texts regarding what I was doing Saturday and also Snapchats from random events. As I reviewed the same photos and post I see weekend after weekend I realized what a silly cycle this social media seems to be. Then I Instagrammed a cute photo of me and Lauren from the previous evening