These days without technology have been a roller coaster to say the least. Although I wouldn’t have expected so, I’ve learned a lot about my self and others. The experiment has had its clear ups and downs. At times it has been difficult and at other times it’s been a breeze. The inconsistency was dreadful.
Without a doubt, the hardest part for me was not being able to text. Considering that I was the leading “texter” prior to the experiment, with over 17,500 texts per month, it was a huge struggle for me to have that taken away from me. Texting for me is my primary form of communication. I find it far more efficient than phone calls or any other sort of communication. A quick text on the go gets the message across very simply.
I love technology for the simple fact that I always feel “connected”. It allows anyone I know to be within reach whether they are in the next room or across an ocean. Keeping up with friends and family is a cinch with the ability to text and Facebook. When those things were taken away from me I felt way out of touch. I found myself not keeping track of most friends. On a normal day, I would be forced to meet up with my closest friends right after school and then hang with those same people for the remainder of the day. I can say however, that I have become a lot closer with my closest friends, but on the downside my other friends have drifted away.
Being stripped of technology has had its benefits. I found myself being more active and outside. One Saturday morning, I actually ran to Dave’s house because I had nothing better to do and wanted to get out of the house. My friends and I hit the gym a lot more often and kept active by playing sports. This fact alone leads me to believe that today’s advancement in technology might have something to do with our rapidly-increasing obesity rate.
Not having a cell phone of my own for those ten days really forced me to keep a watchful and judgmental eye on those who did. I noticed things I would have never noticed if I also had my phone. The big thing was cell phone etiquette. It was ridiculous to see how rude people were when it came to texting while engaged in face-to-face conversations with people. I could be hanging out with someone, having a great time and all of a sudden they would pull out their phone and proceed to text. It was so frustrating. It really makes you feel unimportant or boring. The sad part is, I know for a fact that before this experiment I was one of those people who would talk to someone in person and perform the “no-look” text simultaneously. I now, however, realize how disrespectful it is and will refrain from it now that I have my phone back.
Not texting while out with friends really allows for me to focus on what people are saying and take things in. It definitely brings about deeper conversations and you can truly learn a lot more about the people you are with. All in all, the benefits of this experiment totally outweighed the downsides. In all honesty, if I was challenged to do it for a longer period of time I probably would not have made it, but the 10-day experiment was definitely sufficient to learn a lesson or two. I am glad to have been part of this and recommend any students across the nation to try it out for themselves.
Will is one of five teens from William Tennett High School who agreed to ditch all their technology for ten days and let the NBC10 Investigative team document their tech-less adventure.