Viewpoint: Spend 24 hours unplugging from technology and reconnecting with life
By Kaitlyn Resline, Student Life Editor, and Daphne Riddle, Junior Editor-In-Chief
Technology over the past hundred years moved from black and white film and corded telephones to self driving cars and CGI technology. The improvements of these automations make everyday life easier for humanity, and create higher quality communication, science work, and entertainment means.
Although technology helped to enhance the lifestyle of millions of people, it also has features that can harm the minds and bodies of people who take it for granted. Everyone, especially younger people, easily become obsessed with their phones, computers, televisions, or any other forms of technology that provide entertainment. These devices act as a distraction to real life, and get in the way of people completing what they need to do every day, or should do every day.
“Negative effects of technology: What to know” by Jon Johnson outlines some of the negative effects of using technology too frequently. These issues include poor sleep quality, lack of physical activity, social issues like anxiety, and aggressive behavior.
Being on a phone and watching a streaming service, playing a game, or scrolling through social media is a fun way to pass time, but it oftentimes gets in the way of doing things that are more important. When people spend all day with technology surrounding them, acts like spending time outside and reading books get lost, and seem like they have lesser importance.
Understanding the negative effects of using technology too often, Leonid staff writers Kaitlyn Resline and Daphne Riddle decided to go 24 hours without technology. This idea came from an assignment given in Honors English 3 from Mrs. Jane Dennish where the students did the same 24 hour challenge without technology. The assignment was inspired by reading “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, where he reflected on simple living and reconnecting with nature. After completing the assignment, Kaitlyn and Daphne reflect on what the experience was like for them.
Towards the end of March, I had only been in quarantine for a few weeks, but I found myself spending more and more time on my phone.
As I spent more time on my phone, I found that I was becoming more irritable, more detached from my family, and less productive. I decided it was time for a change. I decided to go 24 hours without technology.
Since I wasn’t using my phone or watching TV, I got a much needed relief from the constant stream of COVID-19 news. I was able to not worry so much about what was going on in the world and have a moment of peace.
Throughout the day, I spent a lot of time reading. Since I had spent so much time on my phone, I had forgotten one of my old passions. Long before I grew attached to doing nothing, I spent time discovering far away lands and reading stories of magic and adventure.
I also spent more time with my sisters, Kiersten, 13, and Carlee, 10, playing games together. We learned how to play Yahtzee, although it was a bit difficult trying to understand the instructions without being able to look up a video on how to play.
My sisters expressed to me that they felt I was only spending time with them because I didn’t have my phone. It made me realize that I had cast them aside to just scroll through the internet mindlessly. I would rather text friends virtually than have conversations with my sisters. I made them feel like I had better things to do on my phone than be with them.
Although I encountered minor inconveniences, it felt much better going throughout my day without technology. I was more productive without my phone to distract me and had more time to do activities for myself. I definitely found some peace of mind during the 24 technology free hours.
Spending 24 hours separated from technology was harder than anticipated. I never noticed how much we all rely on technology in our daily lives. Throughout the day, I would find myself wishing I could mindlessly scroll through social media to take up time, instead of looking for better, more productive activities to do.
When I woke up, my first instinct was to reach over and grab my phone. Usually, I spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes on my phone when I first wake up, whether it is to respond to messages or scroll through social media. Not being able to do that first thing in the morning, however, actually made my mind start off more at ease and less stressed out.
This ease continued throughout the rest of the day since I was not exposed to any pressure or conflicts that we all see every day on the internet. It was nice to not see the drama of people on the internet, or unrealistic lifestyles on social media. Instead of spending hours online, I got to do things that I never make time to do on a normal day.
I spent the day continuing the Harry Potter books, which I have failed to finish after a few years of trying, getting in a few miles of running, and playing board games like Clue with my family. These are hobbies that I always put to the side when I have my phone or the television sitting right in front of me. Spending time with my family, in particular, was nice. We are all usually preoccupied in our own lives that doing things together gets to be more rare than when technology was more scarce.
Overall, I noticed that a day without technology was refreshing, and definitely something that more people should try. It made the easy distractions disappear, and let me take time out of my day to relax and not worry about the pressure that can be caused from being on technology too much.
It was nice to take a breath and step back from the new ways of life that are controlled by our devices. The lack of distractions made it clearer what the important things in life are, and made me want to spend more time doing these things instead of mindless pastimes that technology provides.
We encourage everyone to try 24 hours without technology and to share their experiences with us!