I think what I missed most was Facebook. As I sat on my futon reading my biology textbook, I could only imagine scrolling through the endless news feed, reading futile status updates and creeping on embarrassing photos. Oh how I yearned to post on people’s walls. How many more rapping toddlers were attempting Nicki Minaj songs? Did Obama tweet about African politics? What crappy music was iTunes advertising as the top ten?
The Office of the Chaplain and the Albion College Hillel co-sponsored a “24 Hour Technology Free-Sabbath” on Oct. 14, and I took the challenge head on. Ironically, their Facebook invitation calls all participants to “turn off cell phones, video games, cameras, computers, television, laundry machines, iPads, iPhones, microwaves, cars, and other electronics.”
After deciding to avoid techno tools, I had two thoughts. First, to the religious folk, this is probably not the best way for you to eulogize Steve Jobs. Second, as an 18-year-old college student, what exactly do you suggest I do for these 24 hours? What do we do without our Macs, music, Twitter, Facebook, cell phones, or television?
At midnight on Oct. 14, I turned my iPhone off for the first time ever since buying it in May. Then, I proceeded to unplug my TV, iHome, and microwave. Lastly, I shutdown my MacBook. The latter hurt the most. I immediately felt cut off from the world.
I woke up the next morning, and out of habit, felt the urge to check texts on my phone, log onto Facebook, and tune into CNN to catch the day’s headlines. It’s the first thing I do every morning. Usually, one would resort to face-to-face contact with someone, but I do not have a roommate. So, I sat in my room, stared at my posters, and then decided to read. I read all day.
Numerous times I felt as though something was missing during the day. I felt primitive having to walk to friends’ dorm rooms instead of texting them. It was beyond annoying to have to tell time with an actual watch instead of reading digits.
So, readers may ask, what happened the next day? I turned on my cell phone on Oct. 15 to find a few texts. Okay, by a few I mean three: from my friend, sister, and father. When I checked my Facebook, I had a few messages and notifications. It wasn’t exactly the cry for Nick that I had imagined.
That Saturday became one of the longest days I had in quite some time. I realized I do not have the knack of spending countless hours reading and introspecting. I need technology and all of its divine abilities to distract me from the realities of academia. Unlike my fellow anti-technology classmates, I did not participate in this event because of religious reasons. However, I can say that I now know what hell feels like.