Looking into Our Technology-Free Day


Infographic by Julia Kim

Many of us are so glued to our technology that we sometimes forget what life is like without the constant presence of our devices and social media.

Julia Kim and Simrat Singh

Imagine waking up oblivious of the time, blind to what is going on outside your home and drowning in the depths of the your own sentiments rather than being surrounded with social media.

In order to experience the role devices play in our lives, on Jan. 19, we decided to spend the day completely unplugged.

Starting the challenge, we were confident that it would be easy, unaware of how much we use technology today. Thinking back to our past when our lives consisted of playing with Legos and not video games, we slowly forgot how dependent on our devices we have become.

Early Saturday morning, the welcoming rays of the sun accompanied by a symphony of chirping woke us up. Instead of hearing our favorite songs on Spotify, we were able to experience the surprisingly comforting silence of our thoughts. Rather than immediately checking our phones for the latest messages, we took our time to immerse ourselves into our immediate surroundings.

Throughout our day, we were drawn to novels as a gateway to a different world, allowing us to explore and expand our imaginations. This new outlet for our thoughts and time actually forced us to focus and pay attention to minute details, a skill that was suppressed by the fast-paced nature of social media.

Despite this, there was always an inclination to look at our phone and text our friends, check social media, the latest news or even just the weather. The gentle tugging in our hearts almost taunted us, tempting us to just check one message, but our challenge directed our thoughts to document our feelings on pen and paper instead of typing away on our laptops.

There was a strangely comforting feeling of being able to jot down all our frustrations and observations, because being left undisturbed by notifications allotted us all the time in the world to write down our reflections, not only on the day, but also ourselves. After all, how many times a week do we stop to think about how we truly feel?

Slowly, it became apparent that as humans we revolve our days around technology to the point where we have become lost, and sometimes helpless, without it. Through this challenge, we returned to the experiences of our past, reading and eagerly anticipating meeting up with friends.

Beforehand, we set up a time with friends at a park in order to see what would happen without any access to technology. Luckily, we leaned towards more physical activities like playing basketball or penny boarding, but we still felt frustrated when we couldn’t call our friends to make sure they were coming or even text our parents to let them know we would be outside.

Without our devices, we spent more time in touch with ourselves, realizing that there is more to life than just our phones. At the same time, however, the benefits and ease that our current technology has provided us undoubtedly helped improve our quality of life.

Sometimes, there is beauty in the silence, and taking time to unplug from your screens and tuning into your thoughts will definitely help you discover parts of yourselves you never realized you had lost.