Six Hours Without Technology
It may have well been divine fate that I was meant to go without technology for six hours this weekend. On my way back to my small hometown, my phone decided that charging was overrated, and it wouldn’t bother starting up. I had planned on removing myself from technology during the time I would be home, but now I had a true motivation for doing so.
Right off the bat, there were challenges with not using technology while visiting my home. First, it makes it that much harder to ignore your family on your phone. There’s no easy way out of parental lines of questioning without a Twitter retreat. Furthermore, technology encompasses all there is to do. The closest Walmart to my house is over 20 minutes away. To say we’re a boring place would be an understatement.
As I parked my car, I began to think of what I should do with the next six hours. I had planned a few activities during the day with my sister, but they would be dampened by the lack of technology. I had a good three hours or so planned and accounted for, so I was hoping I could find something else to fill the time.
My sister and I had made plans to attend a local festival, Apple Butter Makin’ Days, that was about thirty minutes away. My sister drove, leaving me without a phone to look at while sitting in the passenger’s seat. Queue my Gen-Z-style realization that we had to sit there and talk about our lives during the drive. I was also thankful that I had previously worked in the town where the festival was, because that meant not having to rely on Google Maps to get there. We stopped for lunch before and then went on to the festival.
The festival was busy and hot, so I didn’t spend too much time thinking about how I could have been online. I mostly enjoyed my time at the festival, looking at the booths and spending time with my sister. Not having technology didn’t make a big difference.
On the way back to our house, I saw a pumpkin patch in my hometown that I remembered visiting as a kid. My sister and I decided to make a stop and buy pumpkins to paint at home. I wanted to check my bank account, but the lack of a phone to use made it impossible. We purchased our separate pumpkins and I had my sister take a picture of me for Instagram later — since I didn’t technically take the picture myself I don’t consider that cheating. I hated not immediately getting to post the picture, but I waited until the six hours was over.
When we got home, it was fairly easy to continue ignoring technology. My family “cut the cord” this last year, so we don’t watch television often. My sister and I started painting our pumpkins while she played her country music Pandora station from her phone. I had to come up with a design for my pumpkin on my own, where I would usually utilize Pinterest. My sister modeled her pumpkin after a design she had pinned earlier.
When we finished painting our pumpkins, I still had about an hour to be free of technology. Being home, I remembered that I had few hangers left at my apartment now that I had taken out my fall and winter clothes. I decided to go through my old clothes so I could take the hangers to use. I had my sister play music again, as I normally would have thrown on an episode of Bob’s Burgers from Hulu while I did this. However, that wasn’t an option.
By the time the six hours was up, I was getting ready to go back to my apartment. When I checked my phone, the amount of notifications gave me a sincere amount of anxiety. Since it was Saturday I didn’t miss any major work or school emails, but I had friends who were contacting me or people texting me Mirror or SGA questions. Once I cleared my notifications, I was able to turn on my Spotify premium for the drive home.
It was nice getting to unplug and get away from technology for a bit, even though I feel like it was mostly possible due to my free Saturday. If this had been during a week, there is no way I could have ignored my phone for that long. Sometimes I’ll have meetings where I ignore my phone for an hour during the week and I have to spend a considerable amount of time catching up afterwards. While I appreciate the merits of being free of technology, it felt great to send a text and have an album queued up as I left for Springfield.