This Blog Post was Written First on Paper
Since Tuesday morning, I have been severely limiting my use of technology, by request of my American Lit teacher. I’ve been checking my email once a day, following along in my programming class, and printing out anything I needed a hard copy of, but for the most part I’ve had my hands off of technology, whether it’s a computer, a tv, an MP3 player… I used my cell phone to answer one call from my parents, but otherwise it’s been sitting untouched on a shelf.
So this blog post, while clearly computerized now, was first written with pen and paper, then set aside until the restrictions were lifted.
So why did my American Lit teacher ask us to try this? There’s a very simple answer: we’ve been reading Transcendentalists. This week, it was excerpts from Walden. So I can only assume that she intends this as an experiment in simplifying our lives. Well, it’s easier than packing up to go live in a little cabin next to a pond for two years.
So the question is whether I’m getting anything out of this experience. As I’m right in the middle of it, I can’t tell how I’ll feel at the end of it, but I can tell you that the hardest thing to deal with has been the boredom. It’s midterm week, and I only had one test, so I’ve been much less busy than usual. Normally I would have filled up the time blogging, internet surfing, reading other blogs, and watching tv. In addition to reading, of course. Instead, I’ve had little to do but read, so I’ve gotten quite far in Villette. I spent a bunch of time hanging out with people also, but I really missed having that easy source of entertainment to turn to.
To tell you the truth, I almost decided to quit earlier today because I was bored again and I frankly couldn’t see much point in continuing. I don’t consider myself one of those people who have a problem with technology addiction. I do everything in moderation, and I never let it get in the way of things that are more important, like homework. In fact, I’m not even involved in many of the things that I see other people spending hours on. I don’t have a Facebook or a Twitter. I don’t text. In fact, I have a basic flip phone that I use almost exclusively for making and receiving calls. (Not that these things are bad, but I think that the fact that I choose not to engage with these things proves that I’m already the sort of “nonconformist” that Emerson and Thoreau would approve of when it comes to technology.)
But if I’m truly not addicted to or overly dependent on technology, I should be able to go without it for two days with ease. And that’s why I’m still doing it– to prove to myself that I can.