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Unplugged: Going three days without technology

I reach into my pocket — for what seems like the tenth time in as many minutes — only to be disappointed. Nothing there. This habit I created over years of having my phone constantly is actually hard to break.

At first, no technology for three days did not sound like the end of the world; it actually sounded relatively easy. I am never on my phone that much to begin with, TV should not be a huge problem as I do not watch a lot of it and to be honest, the one I was most worried about was actually the easiest to give up: my computer.

I had it all planned out. At night, instead of playing on my phone, I would read a book. I would be practicing golf throughout most of the day so I would not need my phone then, and when I was at home I would be more productive and hang out with family and friends.

Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Day one started out easy. I woke up around eight, at least I believe it to be around eight. I had to estimate since I did not have my phone around to tell me the exact time. I made my way downstairs after a few minutes staring at the ceiling and contemplating if I actually wanted to get out of bed. As I sat down for breakfast, I had this sudden panic about my phone. “Where is it?” I thought to myself frantically, only to be brought back to peace by the sudden reminder of my mission: no technology. Multiple times throughout the remainder of the day I found myself checking my pocket for something that was not there.

Day two was a rough one. It rained. I was trapped inside all day, no golf, no distractions, just me and my absence of technology. I spent most of the day in my room reading and writing. I even took uncharacteristic naps to try and pass the time a little faster. My friends came over to hang out for a little bit, but even they had their phones.

One thing having no technology made me realize was how much we are subconsciously addicted to our devices. We need them in our hands, even when we are not using them for anything. Just having that sense of comfort in your hand has a vice-like effect on us as humans. We have become addicted to this technology that in all actuality is not bad, but it makes our interactions so much less vulnerable and real. I found myself longing for conversation, real conversation, not fake, surface-level talk, because for those moments that was all I had.

By day three I was used to it and honestly ready for it to be over. It was an eye-opening experience, but it was rough and tiring — I needed my vice back.

Technology can be a great and wonderful thing, but oftentimes it gets in the way of what truly matters, and that is what I learned. Whenever I found myself digging into my pockets or wishing I had headphones to drown out an unwanted conversation, I just thought to myself, “Human interaction is much more important than whatever is on my phone,” and it is true.

I was forced within these three days to make myself interact with people even in unwanted situations. I had to talk to those I didn’t want to. I could not ignore someone by looking down at my phone; I had to actually talk and listen to somebody, otherwise I would have no communication because any other form of it was gone.

These three days without technology, although hard, were very eye-opening, and I learned things I otherwise would not have.

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