For the next seven days, I am going to be doing something that might seem a little crazy for a college student. We have become so dependent on our electronics, so I’m challenging myself to an “electronic detox.”
Here’s the main rule for the week: no phone at all. This means I won’t have access to texting, Facebook, Instagram, camera, watch, alarm clock, Twitter, music, calendar, Google maps or the Internet from my phone.
I would still have my computer, but it can only be used for school-related things such as email, my.tcu.edu, and updating this blog. I can check my email, but only open messages and respond if it has to do with school.
Otherwise, I will have to use a landline phone (if those still exist). I will blog about the challenges of college life unplugged from electronics. Hopefully I won’t miss too many meetings or sleep through class.
Here’s to unplugging my phone charger and plugging in something called an alarm clock.
Day 5 Update
For five days I’ve been off the grid. People are beginning to wonder why I haven’t responded to their messages.
I’m starting to get used to life without technology, but it’s still difficult at times.
The past five days have made me more aware of how people, especially college students, use their phones constantly.
Walking across campus, dozens of students have their eyes glued to their phone screens.
Holding conversations is hard to do when the person you’re talking with is distracted by their phone.
A week ago I was that student walking across campus. I was always texting, checking my messages while talking to someone else and scrolling through Instagram while I waited in line at the store.
Now I’m beginning to realize how important it is to put the phone away and focus on the moment. The text message or update I thought I needed to read immediately can, in fact, wait.
However, cell phones do come in handy sometimes. Yesterday, the roads were beginning to get bad and sleet was starting to cover the streets.
I was driving alone and without a phone. If something were to happen, I would have no way of contacting anyone.
I’ve been enjoying the challenge of my “Digital Detox,” but I’m definitely counting down the days until I get my phone back.
Day 1 Update
I challenged myself to go seven days without technology. I don’t have my phone or iPad. I can only use my computer to update this blog and work on school-related things.
I made it past the first day, but not without a few obstacles.
The difference between being without a phone this week versus being without a phone while traveling is that I’m a college student expected to stay up-to-date with what’s going on.
My life isn’t on hold like it might be if I were traveling without technology. I’m trying to figure out how to live day-to-day life without the tools I’m used to having.
I live in my sorority house on campus and yesterday I left my TCU ID inside the house. Normally, I would have been able to text a friend to let me in. Instead, I had to sit on the porch and wait for someone to come by.
Another obstacle I came across was trying to plan for when my group can meet to work on our class project.
I can’t text them, I can’t email them. So, they have to plan out when we are meeting and then I have to call them on a landline phone.
My friends and I have been communicating differently than we are used to. We put sticky notes on each other’s doors. We write what we would normally text one another, such as funny stories about our days or asking if we can meet up at Starbucks later.
Giving up technology hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. There are definitely struggles, but there are always ways to work around them. After all, cell phones haven’t been around forever.
I talked to Hayes Clement, the other TCU 360 reporter giving up all technology for a week. He said one of the hardest things for him yesterday was driving to Dallas without music and trying to communicate to co-workers without a cell phone before work.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 9:52 p.m.