The title of this TED Talk terrified me! Quitting the Internet for One Year!? HOW!? I am thoroughly impressed with this guy, because I know it’s something that I couldn’t do. At the beginning of his talk he said that he had “contracted the ‘sickness.’” I think if you were born around the time I was (1995, but could apply back to the late 80s as well) or later, you were automatically born into a world that changed so quickly you were set up to contract this ‘sickness.’ The internet evolved so quickly all at once it seemed and then suddenly everyone was using it. To avoid it altogether would have been hard even then. He also said that the internet is all he’s ever known, and he didn’t know what life was like without it. I can relate. I remember using the dial up internet and only getting one hour a day to use the internet. I was always trying to sneak more time. And that was a long time ago. I was probably 7 when I first remember using the internet. He asked two really good questions: how does the internet use me, and how do I use it? This leads in perfectly to the prompt questions for this blog. Do you feel that you use technology mindfully? Unless I’m doing schoolwork, I am not very mindful when using technology. I wander so easily. Even when I am doing schoolwork, I often find myself back on Facebook or watching a random video on Youtube. When do we need to be more attentive? There have been times when I read an entire article (while taking breaks to scroll through Facebook) and then I get to the end and start my assignment and I have no clue what I read or what I’m supposed to be doing. I need to be more attentive during times like these. I have told myself that I’m going to put my phone away until I get a set amount of stuff done, but it never happens. What do we lose by being permanently tethered to our device? A lot! I am sooo guilty of being glued to my phone. When I’m around people I don’t see every day, I try to put it away and only check it occasionally. But when I’m at home, I’m always on it. My boyfriend is too. I get frustrated when I talk to him and he has no clue what I just said. I try not to do the same, but I know it happens sometimes. Some days, we just hang out at home, sitting on the same couch, each on our phones. We should be out doing stuff! Instead of making memories we are killing brain cells.
The additional readings this week were really interesting. Simplify the Internet suggested quitting Facebook. My anxiety level went through the roof at the thought of doing this! I don’t know why, but I LOVE Facebook. I love being connected and sharing the exciting parts of my life with my friends and family. I recently got 2 kittens and I share tons of photos and videos of them. It’s much easier than sending them to everyone individually. She suggested narrowing it down to just 1 or 2 social networks – which I have done! I pretty much only use Facebook (and Snapchat – if that’s a social network?). I use Twitter for this class, but haven’t really gotten comfortable with using it for personal use.
The Teens Disconnect article had my heart racing just reading it! I commend the people who participated because it was definitely not easy. I think it was an important lesson for them, especially since they have always readily had technology available. When the day comes for me to have children and eventually teenagers, I’m sure technology will have advanced even more. I don’t want to be a “mean mom” but I think taking the technology away every once in a while will be good for them. Right now, I spend a few weekends every summer camping in the mountains and there is no cell service. When you get back home and reconnect, it really makes you appreciate it more, and while you’re “unplugged” it gives you an opportunity to appreciate the world around you.