By Cici Chen
(A baby photo from the internet to attract attention)
If you are familiar with the Meh List in the New York Times Magazine, here’s my meh item of the week: day without technology.
Before I rumble on about the little things that were predictably different (like I didn’t text anybody) because I did not use a phone and laptop, let me offer my two biggest feelings. One, it was inconvenient. Two, I was exhausted of spending the entire day thinking “boy I am intentionally not using my phone let’s see what’s different in life so I can write about it in my blog post.”
The time I saved from not checking my emails was wasted somewhere else I don’t even recall now. I did pick up a physical book called “The Professor” that was lying on a table in the library because I had no other stuff to play with, but I liked physical books anyway, even when I had my phone and laptop.
I think my day was not so special because the lifestyle I lived in did not change due to the absence of my individual phone. My whole being and mindset was still the one shaped by the technology packed world. What exactly is a technology mindset? I have no idea. But my guess is that it has something to do with my natural tendency of watching the Daily Show on a lovely evening instead of watching the stars. Staring at my laptop and typing and laughing and crying is what natural to me. Going outside to “experience the nature” is an adventure; it is unusual and almost pretentious.
It would perhaps be another story if the whole world stopped using their phones and laptops for a week. But then when I think about all the statuses I will be seeing on Facebook after that week – oh forget about it.
Another thought that persisted in my mind through my day was that “please let there be unread texts or voicemail when I turn my phone on,” which reminded me of my insecurity as a semi-loner. But in the end, I think as drastically as technology changes our world, people really don’t care about it that much. If the world wakes up tomorrow and all the phones and laptops are gone, will the world end? No, not even close. People will get over it, and in 20 years they would wonder how did they even live with all that fuss.
What we don’t ever get over with, however, is the need to be connected with other people. Modern technology simply changes the forms through which we do so.
When I finally got back home that night and turned on my phone, I smiled in my bed, because I had unread texts and a million unread emails asking for my money (especially the ones from the Obama campaign).