Last week I decided to unplug myself from the internet and my cell phone for half of a day. I would have done a full day but I had Spanish homework due on blackboard by midnight. I have experienced being without a phone before, due to my clumsiness and dropping things in the toilet, but being without the internet all together was a very strange new experience for me.
One of the very first things I noticed was I had to wear a watch, usually I just look at the time on my phone. Going on break at work became very boring since all I could do was sit there without playing on social media, I would also have to constantly get up to check the time and make sure I wasn’t late on my break, after work was when I decided to put on the watch.
The worst part about it was coming home to my roommates watching Netflix. At first I really couldn’t think of anything to do, so I just read my textbooks for some exams I had next week.
I connected with Jenna Wortham when she was talking about the anxiety of not having a phone. While on break at work I just kept thinking about, “I wonder what my roommates are doing, I wonder if we will do anything tonight. Should I bring them home food?” Her article also made me go through my own social media when I was finished with unplugging. How come all of my pictures are only of big things happening in my life? Why do pictures that other people post make me slightly jealous when they are studying abroad? Having the realization that people only post what they want others to see, gives me a sense that social media can be terribly shallow.
John Peters brought to my attention on just how connected I am with my phone. For instance on my work break I caught myself accidentally listening to customers conversations, when normally I would be engaged in some social media. Last night I caught myself accidentally ignoring my boyfriend while on my phone. Apparently he was trying to have a conversation and I just completely didn’t hear him.
Watching my friends with their phones have brought “the connection” to my attention as well. Over the summer my best friend dropped her iPhone in the ocean while we were on vacation. She was so distraught, but not over the phone itself, over the fact that she lost all of the pictures taken on vacation and she couldn’t upload them onto Instagram.
All of these experiences have taught me just how much we depend upon social media, our phones, and the internet. It also made me realize how this is a new indulgence. I can’t imagine what it was like when my mom was growing up without these technologies. Our world today has become very interested in what others are doing around us, and it has shown through sites like Facebook and Instagram.