I was doing my daily scanning of Yahoo headlines and I came across this article: http://news.yahoo.com/90-days-without-cell-phone-email-social-media-015300257.html
I had talked about another hero of the day HERE, so here’s a new one for you…
This guy had turned off all his social networks and cell phone and TV for 90 days. I am one of those people who often says that we rely too much on these gadgets and aren’t appreciating the world around us anymore, but at the same time I cannot bring myself to stop. I, too, am guilty of having my iphone in hand constantly searching for something to play with or watch or learn on there. For someone like me who can be shy in some social situations, it’s a savior. On the subway my theory is if I bury my head in my iphone, the elderly people won’t talk to me and I won’t have to have one of those weird conversations where I smile and nod because I have no idea what they want to tell me (due to difference in language plus a great mumbling talent they have). Or the awkward conversation where the drunken ajosshi asks me if I’m from Russia and I’m forced to resist rolling my eyes. I also won’t have to see people staring at me because I look different. I understand the staring and I like looking different, but some days I’d rather just not be noticed. So I put in my headphones and play with something – anything on my phone to be lost in my own personal world where I feel less alone. And I’m certainly not the only one. One day soon I will snap a pic for you of the Seoul subways where entire rows of passengers are staring at their mobile devices, watching TV or texting. Can all of this be classified as an addiction? Like some kind of drug?
Point being, I greatly admire what he has done with his project. Could you do it? Could I do it? Should we attempt some small version of this to see how it affects our life? For example, should we commit to trying one month where we vow to turn it all off for two hours a day? Or even one hour? And if we can’t even commit to one hour a day, what does that say about our society and where we are headed in the future? Is this what we will end up like? (FYI – it’s a reference to Wall-E so if you haven’t seen it, watch it just for this effect of the future human world…)
Without technology, I think I’d study my Korean for more hours. I’d read more. I’d spend more time at a coffee shop watching the people on the street, instead of watching the people on my screen. I’d relearn how to have an actual phone call (I am notorious for avoiding phone calls because for some reason they make me anxious). I’d probably sleep more. I’d have more time to simply lie on my bed and think while staring at the ceiling, like I used to do when I was a kid. I’d actually look out the window. I’d appreciate the architecture of the city (not that Seoul is known for that but still) instead of appreciating the sidewalk making sure I’m not tripping while texting. I’d get off my chair and dance around in my pjs without stopping to instant message someone. And maybe I’d stop and appreciate how cool it is that I live on the other side of the world.
What do you think you’d accomplish if you turned it all off?
- The Amish Project: Man disconnects from everything for 90 days (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
- Life Without Cell Phones and Social Media (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Cellphone Etiquette on the Subways of Seoul and Taipei (allthingsd.com)