Well here it is my last post for EC&I 830!
This debate was a timely one in the sense that I have never been so consumed with technology in my life as I have been this past 6 weeks. With report cards, the never ending school emails, a dozen wedding and baby shower group chats, AND this class. Sometimes I look at my phone or computer and feel overwhelmed and stressed before checking to see what new notification I even have. Summer could not come sooner for me. I cannot wait to move back out to my lake, where I am able escape the world of Wifi / the world of being expected to be constantly connected.
Escape is the big word I must question after Tuesday’s debate. Can I really escape from technology? Casey N. Cep states in the New Yorker,
“Unplugging from devices doesn’t stop us from experiencing our lives through their lenses, frames, and formats. We are only ever tourists in the land of no technology, our visas valid for a day or a week or a year, and we travel there with the same eyes and ears that we use in our digital homeland.”
I guess we don’t ever “escape” or “unplug” completely, as Amy suggested on Tuesday, a large majority of people use running apps or listen to music while going for a run. When I go to my cabin I am still connected. Could I really imagine spending my entire summer disconnected from all my friends and family at home? No! My ability to not open my laptop to blog, input marks, or answer an email I happily leave behind. Please don’t expect to see regular facebook, twitter, or blog posts from me all summer. The large majority of days my phone stays in my cabin. This to me is true relaxation. This is my escape and I will love every minute of it. This being said, I love using the apps to track my fitness progress and will continue to wear my fitbit! I also have the convenience of using data to pay my bills online while I am away! All the relaxation but yet technology is still there, I am merely escaping the technology overload, not the technology.
Aubrey raised an unanswered question on Tuesday. She wondered what is the definition of unplug. Does this mean we are totally not using anything for a month like Steve challenges his students to do. This weeks article suggest that in fact technology does not improve productivity therefore, could the definition of unplug be more loose? Could it mean we take a break from our devices to be more productive?
I guess if you see unplugging as an extended period of time, then I disagree we shouldn’t unplug. Technology is everywhere and it makes many aspects of our lives better. If this is how you define unplug I hope the radio is off in the car to hear breaking news, weather, etc. Or have a land line to contact loved ones.
Personally I feel unplugging is more about taking breaks and letting your phone and other devices be untouched while you spend time with family, friends, or with just you!
- Eat a meal without being distracted by incoming messages
- Go for a walk or a bike ride
- Lay by the beach with a good book
- Play sports
- Go to the gym
Do we need a National Day of Unplugging? If someone was addicted to technology, by saying no to it is only going to make them crave it more and perhaps binge when they return and let the world know how amazing they feel after this experience. Let’s talk about moderation. Let’s teach youth and ourselves to use technology in moderation regularly and encourage creativity and healthy lifestyle choices. It could begin by reducing technology use, like the screen time diet Mary Beth Minton suggests in this weeks Ted Talk. In order to screen diet, we need to provide alternative engaging activities to our kids. Give them an alternate plan for what they will do instead.
Plug in or unplug regardless, all in all I think it is important to take a daily “escape” from technology! Take a break and enjoy something that is not found on a device. Take time to build relationships or to relax and be at peace with yourself!