Have you ever truly considered what a burden it is to not look at your cell phone or to not surf the web? Well not only did I consider this but I had to actually do it. It was two long miserable and stressful days without my electronics. It took all of the effort inside me to fight the urge to give up… and I still didn’t succeed in avoiding media.
One of my biggest obstacles was retrieving everyday information without an electronic device such as a TV or computer. For example, a small task like getting dressed soon became a huge hassle. I simply wanted to know how the weather was outside so I would know what clothes would be the most comfortable throughout the day. I normally would have just pulled up weatherbug.com on my phone but today this wasn’t allowed. I couldn’t even check the weather on the TV. This obstacle had surprisingly shocked me because I had never felt like had no solution before. It’s really sad that it took me a few minutes to think of just walking outside and feeling the temperature for myself. I began to wonder how reliant I am on all electronics not just for everyday use but on an emotional level as well.
I realized soon enough just how challenging this assignment was for me emotionally. I am in a long distance relationship. I live here in Baltimore while my boyfriend lives all the way in Charles County, Southern Maryland. He is two hours away so cell phones and Skype are what keep us connected most of the time. Not being able to talk to him was giving me serious anxiety. I constantly wanted to check my phone to see if he had texted or called me. I then, was worrying myself to death about him getting mad that I wasn’t texting like I usually would even though he knew about my assignment.
Sleeping also became a problem for me. I have a habit of calling my boyfriend right before going to sleep. It comforts me to hear his voice before going to bed and we usually joke around and talk about how our day went. The first night it was literally driving me crazy that my phone was sitting next to me and yet I couldn’t call him. I’m going to be completely honest. I definitely gave in and called after about an hour of just laying there in my bed. Not having the normal comfort that I have become accustomed to was torture for me.
The whole two days just made me worry about how attached I am to a material object. Yes, it does connect me to the people in my life but it was only two days. I feel like it should not have been this much of a struggle to go without media. What is even more interesting is that having the TV off for two days didn’t bother me at all yet not being able to text was absolutely killing me. I even experienced what people call, “phantom vibrating. I felt my phone was vibrating but when i looked down my cell phone was off like it was supposed to be. I wanted to know if i was experiencing some sort of mental withdrawal so I looked online and found this video explaining that phantom vibrations are basically hallucinations.
Overall, I’ve decide that even though I struggled and found the assignment rather bothersome I did learn some valuable concepts. I’ve learned that new generations of young people like myself are becoming more and more attached to their electronic devices. We are, in a sense, trained by the media to constantly check the web and our phones for texts, advertisements, and news. Everyone is slowly becoming reliant on solely the internet and their cell phones to connect themselves to the world and culture. I’ve also come to realize that because my cell phone connects me to the most significant people in my life it is only natural that I become so attached to it. My cell phone, in a sense, has become my security blanket; without it I would feel lost and detached from my life.