Medium Response #5: Study Abroad & Traveling
COMS490 Sp16

Last year I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Paris, France. During my time there I did not find that technology hindered my experience at all. I think this is mainly due to the fact that I did not have data at all times and could only really use my phone if I were in a place that had free access to wifi. This allowed me to become less relient on my phone, read a map, and focus more on my experience there then what was happening on social media back home.

If anything, I believe that technology helped me. I used a lot of blogs to find out all the good places to eat in Paris, where to eat and all the sites that were less touristy so that I could find the actual culture. Then, once I left to do all these things and visit all these places, I could not use my phone, so rather than defaulting to find entertainment within my cellular device, I was forced to socialize and enjoy the experience I was having abroad.

And for the times that I wanted to communicate with my family and friends back home in the states, technology made it easy to do that. Even with the distance between us along with the major time change, apps like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, made it much easier to share my experience without having to spend so much time trying to get into contact with them.

I would say, ironically, that technology ended up becoming a supplemental aid in the experience I gained while studying abroad rather than hindered it. Due to the data plan I had when I went abroad, I did not have much access to my phone when I was out and about. So this taught me to be less dependent on the device. I can see this in the ways that I use my phone now that I am back home as well. I find that I am not as constantly on my phone as I was before and that I do not constantly have to be on social media to know what is up with everyone in my social circle. Studying abroad allowed me to get away from the world of social media for a bit.

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