By: Kevin McGovern
“Wake up Kevin! Don’t you have class at 9:30 on Wednesdays?” said my roommate Parker. I jumped up and into an upright position. I quickly glanced at my phone – it had died overnight. My old, unreliable phone charger had a habit of not charging my
phone, and on this occasion it had done just that, thus my alarm never went off. In a drowsy, messy daze, I glanced over at my clock. It was 9:05. Just enough time to run to class, yet not enough time to eat, shower, charge my phone, or really anything I deemed essential to my morning routine. “Well, time to knock that out that ‘Day without Technology assignment,” I glumly thought.
As I dashed out of my apartment, I reached into my pocket, grasping my headphones. Pulling out the tangled mess of wires, I reached into my other pocket, taking out my dead phone. I paused in the middle of the sidewalk, trying to understand my unconscious actions. “How am I supposed to listen to music without my phone, and why exactly did I feel the need to do so despite telling myself I am not using technology a mere five minutes ago?”
An hour and fifteen minutes later, I left class feeling hopeful for the rest of my day. “It won’t be too bad not using my phone or computer!” I thought optimistically. I couldn’t be more wrong. As I sat alone, eating my lunch, I looked around trying to think of something to entertain myself. I had two hours until my next class at two o’clock, and other than eating lunch, I simply did not know what to do with myself.
After triumphantly killing two hours, I gathered my things and went to class. For a change, class was my savior. It took my attention off of my insatiable craving for my phone or computer, something that was surprisingly powerful as I ate my lunch. Yet, class eventually ended, and my electronic demons came back to haunt me. Having finished my classes and with the rest of the day ahead of me, I was actually somewhat scared. “What do I do now? Sure I could go for a walk and go to the gym, but then what?”
I read, I ran, I worked out, I cleaned – I did anything to keep me occupied. I had no other options. On this particular Wednesday, I finally realized how vital technology was to my everyday life. Without music, e-mail, texting, video games, or television, I was like a fish out of water. I caught myself almost physically and assuredly mentally craving my electronic devices. I felt isolated from the world, or at least what I viewed as the world. In reality, my world was an electronic, Internet-dominated one. It was scary to think that my day felt so long and I felt so disconnected without electronics.
Yet, looking back, I was more productive and healthy than I had been in weeks. It was a difficult experience, yet a necessary one nonetheless. Now, I’ve cut back on my electronic use, more often reaching for the book on my nightstand than my laptop. I had conquered my technologic demons. I had defeated my electronic cravings. And you know what? It felt pretty good.