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Unplugged My Personal Experience - Essay Example

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Before this experience, I was quite sure that I would be able to handle it no problem at all. It did not seem like I spent that much time using technological devices anyway, so I thought that I could make the transition quite easily…
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Unplugged My Personal Experience
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Unplugged – My Personal Experience Before this experience, I was quite sure that I would be able to handle it no problem at all. It did not seem like I spent that much time using technological devices anyway, so I thought that I could make the transition quite easily. I did expect that I would have some problems though, especially to do with the use of my iPhone. For me my smart phone is a great way to keep in touch with all of my family and friends because I am almost never home. Always being on-the-go means that my iPhone has become a necessary means of communication and something that I cannot go without. If there was one device that I might get withdrawal systems from, then I knew it would be this one. Because of my fears, I turned off my phone and gave it to one of my close friends for safekeeping while I was taking the unplugged challenge. For things like my computer and television, I didn't think to hand these over to anyone because I didn't really use them that much anyway. I did not expect these devices to be a problem being near to me. I prepared for this experience mainly by trying to get myself in the right frame of mind and promise to only use technology if it was absolutely necessary. I told most of my friends that if they wanted to get hold of me then they either needed to send a message to someone else to pass on or they needed to come and visit me in the flesh. As I have said previously, I was expected to be able cope without the use of technology for a length of time. I know that the New York Times challenged readers to go without any form of technology for four weeks, but I did not simply think this was possibly. I set myself a timeframe of seven days. I thought that this would be more realistic and achievable than a whole month. I feel sure that if I had tried to go without technology for four weeks then I would definitely have failed the challenge. I just don't think that it is possible for someone who lives in this modern world to go without technology for more than a few days at a time. As for my experience, I was expecting it to be relatively easy during the first couple of days because not much would happen. I thought that later during the week the urge to check some form of technology would grow because I would feel like I was missing out on my inner social circle. I am pleased to say that I passed the challenge except for the second to last day when my friend gave my iPhone back to me. One of my friends from long ago somehow found my number and wanted to catch up. This was important to me as I had not seen them for a very long time, so I don't feel this was breaking the rules of the contest. I made sure I let them know that I couldn't talk for long and I promised to catch up with them once the seven days had passed. Being unplugged gave me a strange feeling after three or four days because I felt like I was out of touch with my friends and also the rest of the world. I rely on technology to communicate with those closest to me but also to keep up-to-date with the daily news from around the world. I had to rely on others to tell me about different things and it was not very nice to find out second-hand. I prefer to learn about something for myself because that way there will be less bias involved. One positive thing to come out of this experience is that I had a whole lot more time for studying and doing homework. I usually procrastinate and wait until the last minute, but I found without the use of technology that I had much more time to complete all of these things. What this made me realize is how much more I could get done if these technological devices did not exist. During the day it was not so bad because I often had classes and I had to concentrate on my work. Also, I could at least communicate with my friends and find out how they were. The good thing about my life is that my daytimes are so busy anyway that I didn't really notice the lack of technology. The main problem was at nighttime because I usually use that time to check Facebook, post on Twitter, read entertainment blogs, etc. Time seemed to travel slower at nighttime because I did not have all of these things to keep me busy. What this experience caused me to reflect on was the fact that we spend so much of our time consumed with all these different technologies. While there may be some benefits involved, I actually think it makes us more selfish because we don't get to spend quality time with other people. Also, during this experience I felt like I could think more clearly because my mind was not so cluttered with all this extra stuff. Patricia Greenfield's study shows that even though our visual skills improve with use of technology, it actually causes us to lose some critical thinking skills (University of California 2009). I feel the same way having gone through this experience myself. Now that the challenge has ended and I have somewhat gone back to my old ways, I feel like I need to set some ground rules that will help me to stay focused on what really matters. The major rule that I now try to abide by is to turn off all of my electronic devices before a particular time, and I have settled on 10 p.m. (Conley 2011). I feel that this time is appropriate enough because it means I can still talk with all of my friends, etc., but it also means that I have some downtime before going to sleep. I feel that if I can stick to this plan then I will be able to maintain much greater control over my technology use. Works Cited Conley, Dalton. "Wired for Distraction: Kids and Social Media." Time Magazine. 19 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. University of California - Los Angeles. "Is Technology Producing A Decline In Critical Thinking And Analysis?." ScienceDaily, 29 Jan. 2009. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. Read More
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