24 Hours Without Technology…
From A Tech Addict!
Recently, a college professor asked us to give up all — yes, ALL — electronic media for 24 hours. Really! As a 20-year-old weaned on technology, how was I to survive?! We barely put our phones down for classes or church, yet alone an entire 24 hours. Life as I know it might end. No one will have live updates of my life on a Twitter feed! What will I do? How will I contact people? “I am going to be so bored,” I thought. I was a little [honestly, extremely] worried about how this would go.
I know what you’re thinking, did I cheat?
I used my phone for an alarm in the morning. (I have not had an actual alarm clock since junior high. We live primarily in a world where technology wakes us up.) Additionally, I completed some homework that required a computer. But that was it.
Confessions from a Tech Addict
We don’t realize how much we rely on these devices for such little tasks. They play such a large role in our daily lives. Although, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how my day went. When I first told my family and friends, they were shocked. Anyone who knows me knows I have a media addiction. It is bad. My parents were mostly upset that they would not have contact with me for an entire day — questioning me about how they would know that I was safe. Funny what modern technology achieves. That being said, my parents encouraged me to rise to the challenge. (I think most of them just wanted to see if I could succeed.)
But with a little help from my friends, and a lot of self-control, the day flew by. Here are four things that I observed throughout the experience:
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1. The Challenge of Being Around Others (While They’re Using Their Devices)
I should emphasize how challenging it is to watch others on their phones. I am the type of student that always arrives to class early. I usually sit on my phone and patiently wait for class to start. I had no idea what to do with this spare time. Everyone used their phones, while I struggled to find something to preoccupy my time. A day without media allowed me to step back and realize how much we use technology and rely upon it to entertain ourselves in so many circumstances.
2. Lost in Time
I quickly discovered that none of my classes contain clocks. Classes seemed to pass by much faster without media and without the desire to constantly monitor the time. However, it was a bit unnerving to meander throughout the day never being certain of the time. My phone was not persistently buzzing with an email or text, giving me the urge to check it. Maybe this is why the day went by so quickly? Maybe I should do this more often!
3. An Unexpected Blessing: More Motivation, More Productivity
It felt as if I had a lot more motivation to actually get up and do things. Before beginning this assignment, I thought I was going to be extremely bored and have no idea what to do with my time. I anticipated a lazy day, yet I got a more accomplished than normal. I did not have the urge to sit down and watch television or check social media for hours on end. This provided more time to get tasks done. (And if you were wondering, yes, my house is clean now!)
4. The Greatest Lesson: Rediscovering the Joy of Time Spent with God
Along with having a bit more time on my hands, I also found more time in the day to read. I started a great book a few months back called “Jesus Is.” As a full time college student, I have, unfortunately, lost the pleasure to read most of the time — not my proudest Christian moment, but I found that my classes were not the problem. My addiction to my phone, laptop, and television were taking this desire to read away. These things were taking treasures away from my relationship with God. When I did not constantly have one of these devices with me, I had more time to myself — more time to get ahead in school and read for sheer enjoyment.
And that was the greatest lesson taken from the assignment.
I am ashamed to say that there have been times when I skipped campus church just to lie in bed and watch Netflix, thinking my week had been hard enough, and I deserved down time. In reality, what I needed most was church. Part of me wishes that No Media Day would have been on a day when we had church so that I could have gone without technology and spent some quality time with God. Next time we sit for a sermon I am going to make sure I make it “Alone Time.”
Are You Up to the Challenge?
I hereby challenge you to take the 24 hour challenge — no technology at all for an entire 24 hours! It will absolutely change your day, and perhaps your life!