My Mass Communications professor challenged our class to pick one day within the next week to attempt to not use technology. We are bombarded with electronics in our everyday lives and I know it is something I personally struggle with separating myself from. My cell phone is my main distraction because I am constantly communicating with people via, text, email, phone calls, or social media. I want to get my head out of my phone and enjoy life but it always finds a way of sucking me back in so I knew this was going to be difficult for me. I decided I would chose Saturday as my day without technology because I was going duck hunting on the White River Refuge and would not have good service anyways. My dad always gets on my case about being on my phone too much so I thought this would be a great opportunity to focus on the present moment to better enjoy the hunt and the people who surrounded me.
The challenge began at 10 p.m. Friday as I laid down to get some rest because I knew I would have to wake up early the next morning. Sure enough, as soon as I closed my eyes I awoke to the sound of my dad opening my door and telling me it was time to get moving. I ate breakfast and started packing on all my layers of thermal tops and pants because the temperature was projected to be in the mid 20’s. Which as we Holland’s like to say, “is bone-chillin cold.” I packed my blind bag like usual with my Canon 70D, GoPro, cell phone, snacks, plenty of hot hands, and shells. I planned on having my dad take pictures for me that day so I wouldn’t miss anything important. It was pretty easy to stay away from my phone but it was difficult having to direct my dad on how to operate the GoPro off the app on my phone and also how to use the Canon. I did grab my camera once because I wasn’t going to miss such a good photo opportunity of my lab Mya retrieving!
I made it through the rest of the hunt successfully not using technology but then when we got back to the cabin I couldn’t help but check my phone. I had 15 snapchats, multiple messages, and Instagram notifications. I responded to one person because it was important and then I put my phone away again. It was killing me not being able to look at the pictures and videos we took today on my laptop. We ended up killing almost a four man limit of mainly green heads too! I also use my Instagram page to promote my morals and outdoor experiences so it was hard for me to not post about that days hunt. Once I got over the anxiety I realized it was kind of nice not being pressured to feel like I had to post to Instagram or check in on what everyone was doing. I found a couple of old crossword puzzles and attempted to answer them but realized I was not smart enough for to complete them without looking up the answers. I realized I have become so reliant on technology to give me almost everything I could ever need at the end of my fingertips. It made me want to be more knowledgeable so I could be able to compete the crossword puzzle on my own.
I think I need to better learn how to balance my cell phone with my life because if I let it, it will consume me. Having 11,000 followers on Instagram and handling business on my phone takes up a lot of my time and even though social media has given me so many opportunities it has also added a LOT of stress into my life. I haven’t posted to Instagram in the past three days and I don’t plan to until I don’t feel pressured to. I will not let my phone control me. There are both positives and negatives to technology, the key is learning how to balance it with my daily life and let it be an asset to me rather than a burden. Even though I thought I was going to hate it, I am glad my professor made us do this challenge.