Most people are addicted to their phone or at least spend the majority of their free time doomscrolling through social media. I’m 96.5% sure I am not one of those people. But according to my friends, family, and average daily screen time of six hours, I definitely am. I get home and sit on my […]
Most people are addicted to their phone or at least spend the majority of their free time doomscrolling through social media. I’m 96.5% sure I am not one of those people. But according to my friends, family, and average daily screen time of six hours, I definitely am. I get home and sit on my bed for hours wasting my time scrolling through Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. I’m not going to admit that I’m wasting my time, even though the only knowledge I’ve retained from the previous hours is a couple Family Guy funny moments.
G set rolls around, it’s time to grind, it’s also time for me to turn in my next idea for an article, but I have no clue what to write about. My brilliant teacher, Mr. Dave Anderson ‘07, presented me with the idea of abandoning the internet, unless it’s school related, for a week. Suddenly, my brilliant teacher became my not-so-brilliant teacher. But I liked the idea of taking on such a difficult challenge. Kathleen Kuzmich (’23), super cool, tall, glasses-wearing, and occasionally nice Talon staff member, was locking my phone’s non-school-related apps two minutes later.
Kathleen has just immobilized my phone, and I am feeling a bittersweet excitement to dive into this challenge. The rest of my day went by quickly — not being able to use social media only felt like a minor inconvenience and felt as if it would be easy, After rehearsal for Seussical the Musical, I got in my car, turned on my music, and everything was great!
It was not great.
I couldn’t use Spotify! I spend over an hour in my car everyday — how am I going to get through this week!? I went to check the disc drive in my car to see if my mom left anything in there before I inherited her car. I pushed the eject button and out came a CD labeled Frank Withrow’s Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication Raps. On the CD were three tracks that were 15 minutes long each. I got to listen to the addition song on my miserable drive home! It felt like a whole 10+10 minutes — that’s 20, which is plenty!
The rest of my night was fairly lame, I had a lot of work to do on my college applications. My regular schedule consists of getting home, doing some homework and a little bit of gaming. The biggest loss I had to go through for this challenge was not being able to play video games, as it was a great way for me to wind down and get ready for bedtime. The rest of the night was dumb, but I DID get a lot of work done, more than I usually get, which was nice. When it was midnight…
…it was time to head to bed. As I was putting it down, my phone was flooded with notifications from all the apps that were shut down. While setting up the screen time on my phone, we saw that the lowest it could go was one minute, so it probably gives me one minute a day starting at midnight. This is something that I will end up utilizing throughout the week because I am such a fiend for consuming social media — I’ll take all I can get. I proceeded to watch YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram and Snap all my friends back with only one minute on every app.
This morning, I got out of my bed at record time. No stopping to watch TikTok or scroll through Instagram — I was up and at ‘em. On my way to school, I brushed up on my multiplication skills with another clean 19 minutes of mathematical rap thanks to Frank. Getting through school was kind of difficult. Not being able to play games in class can be boring — it was dreadful. Sitting in a boring class without a distraction is worse than Mr. Anderson yelling at you for your article being three weeks late.
This morning went by fast. Another quick jump out of bed, and as soon as I know it, I’m in my car. I’m excited to go to school today for some reason that I can’t remember, but I have the instinct it’s it’s going to be a great day! The only thing that was missing today was some car ride arithmetic, so I popped in my mathematical CD, brought to me by the one and only Frank Withrow, and I’m confident that my day won’t be ruined.
But then it hit me — why am I doing this? What is the point of being off the internet when I am so miserable?
My day was totally ruined and this music now sucks! My day goes from a “5+5, that’s no jive” to a flat “1, is this fun?”. No, Frank, it’s not fun. The intrusive thoughts flood my head, and the only thing I want to do is scramble to Spotify and jam to some David Bowie. We have become so accustomed to using technology in our daily lives that it has become an integral part of how we function, which is frankly kind of sad.
I’m so weak. I mope to lunch and I’m ready to find Kathleen and tell her I’m all done and I want my screen time back.
But then I eagerly open my lunch box and out comes chicken nuggets! I know right!? Chicken Nuggets?! In this moment of passion I see glimmer of hope and I say goodbye the intrusive thoughts of ending my screenless week early. Maybe I wasn’t too weak. I remember why I was excited to go to school. When off screens, it’s the little things in life a simpleton like me looks forward to.
It’s Friday! It was the only day I could look forward to this week! After school, I was going to head to the mall with my friend — it was gonna be a blast!
Ultimately, all social media is good for is consuming my time. As long as I have something other than electronics to think about, I wouldn’t even need my phone. Days like today prove that because I never thought about my phone and the day whizzed by.
The only struggle I had was at the busy gas station in the morning — it was a very awkward experience. I know I have a weird music taste, but I was getting some strange stares for my mathematical music taste.
Anyways, the rest of the day went by as smooth as a smooth rock, and I was looking forward to the wonderful weekend.
This weekend sucked and it was bad and I didn’t like it and I just wanted to go back to school and I just was boredddddddd.
I rolled out of bed and I was bored, just bored — that’s the only way I could describe it. When I usually have nothing to do, I waste my time on YouTube and regret it later, so to fill that void I need to find something else to waste my time on and regret later. I come to the conclusion to sit on my computer all day editing an old short film I made out of curiosity to see if I could improve it. I spent hours banging my head out of frustration because it just wasn’t working out the way I wanted it to. My silly day ended with my head on my pillow and my eyes closed.
Sunday sure happened. I have no recollection of anything that happened on Sunday. Nevermind, I remember. I went to my friend’s birthday at Dave and Buster’s, which took my mind off electronics the whole day which was nice. Just like I waste my time on electronics, I wasted my tickets on a big water bottle which got stuck shut and will never be used again. Silly me!
The no electronic life is really starting to settle with me and I’m becoming content with it. The best way to describe it is just as an inconvenience. It’s the feeling you get when you are on Spotify and an ad plays — you just gotta deal with it. I have Spotify premium so that must suck LOL.
Tomorrow is Halloween, which I am looking forward to!
Today is Halloween, which is what I was looking forward to!
Today I am Paddington Bear from Paddington 2. Paddington lives a simple life — he doesn’t have to worry about being left in the dark without screens, so neither will I. School was fun today — did some tricking, did some treating.
Tonight I had a friend over and we sat there and ate candy. All I have to say is that Twizzlers are better than Red Vines.
Today consisted of Tanner enduring his way to G set where he gets his electronics back.
When G set rolled around, he went up to Kathleen and she freed him.
After spending a week without electronics, I have realized just how much I rely on technology in my daily life. At first, it was difficult to adjust to not having access to my phone, laptop, and other electronic devices. I felt disconnected and out of touch with the world. But as the week went on, I started to adapt and find new ways to stay occupied and connected, like listening to Frank Withrow, the mathematical Frank Sinatra.
One thing I noticed was that I had more time to engage in other activities like sitting there thinking about life. Without the constant distraction of technology, I was able to focus more on the present moment and enjoy the simple things in life.
I also realized that going without electronics helped me to reduce my stress and anxiety. Without the constant notifications and alerts from my phone, I was able to relax and unwind more easily. I slept better and felt more refreshed in the morning.
Overall, spending a week without electronics was a valuable experience. It taught me to appreciate the benefits of disconnecting from technology and find a healthy balance between using it and disconnecting from it. I will definitely try to incorporate more technology-free time into my routine in the future.
In the end, I decided to keep the screen time restrictions on my phone, but I changed them to ten minutes a day. I also don’t know the password so I cannot cheat.
Speaking of cheating, on Saturday night I spent like two hours watching YouTube, but other than that I’m clean.