No tech doesn’t mean no life

Wavebreakmedia Ltd

by Kalah Siegel

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Our generation is constantly being teased about how dependent we are on technology, and I bought into it. I thought I was no exception to being completely reliant on my phone and computer—until I actually tried going a day without my gadgets. Now, I can honestly say to all the critics of the millennials that we’re not dependent on technology, we just enjoy it.

I decided to take on this challenge because I was tired of my dad giving me a hard time. According to him I’m always “attached to my phone” because I “can’t live without it.”

So I did live a day without it. I didn’t use my phone or computer for 24 hours. I took notes by hand in my classes and was forced to meet up with friends the old-fashioned way; walking and talking to them in person. It was hard at first, but at the end of the day I felt liberated.

In the morning, I found a comfy chair at the new student union and studied—like actually studied, with books, highlighters and paper. When I normally study, I use my computer and I’m constantly getting email notifications or texts that distract me from my work. Without them, I was able to comprehend what I was learning much faster because my undivided attention was on my schoolwork.

As a result, I’ve stopped making study guides on my computer and started making them by hand. The difference was so significant, I felt like it could completely change my study habits. In this case technology may be the easier way to study, but I discovered that for me, it’s not more helpful.

After studying, I met with my friend at Starbucks. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find her without a customary, “Hey, come find me in line” text. However, we found each other immediately and had a great, distraction-free conversation.

In class, I took notes by hand. I found it extremely difficult to keep up with the pace of the class without typing directly on the PowerPoint slides posted on Blackboard. I managed, but I’ll continue to take notes on my computer from now on. Usually, I have the same problem getting distracted with my computer in class that I do using it for studying. However, the necessity of taking notes on my computer in class far outweighs the distractions.

The rest of my day consisted of meeting up with friends and going to classes. I thought it would be difficult to do, but again I found them without any issues and we were more engaged than usual.

Even my boyfriend noticed I was more involved in our dinner-date conversation because I wasn’t thinking about why my phone was buzzing in my bag.

The next day when I returned to the 21st century, I was extremely nervous that I would have missed something vital while I was away from technology for a day.

I had 34 text messages, 12 emails and seven Facebook notifications from my day off. Despite the amount I missed, it wasn’t anything urgent. The world still functioned seamlessly while I was out of touch.

It was pleasantly surprising to discover that I don’t need technology to function. We millennials aren’t quite as reliant on our devices as we’re made out to be. We can live without technology, we just don’t want to. Therefore, the critics of millennials can quiet down. We utilize our surroundings to give ourselves a better quality of life. We’re not slaves to our screens.

Our way of life is easier with the blessing of having information and communication at our fingertips. We are fortunate to have technology. We don’t need it—but we love it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Photo Courtesy of Thinkstock.

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