Over the past weekend, various members of the Tire Business staff challenged themselves to turn off their cell phones and other technological devices that deliver communication and entertainment. We constantly hear that, in today's day-and-age, we are addicted to this type of technology. Did this ring true for our staffers? Over the next few days, we will be posting first-hand accounts of the experiences participants had during this “no-tech” challenge.
AKRON — Please silence your cellphones! This past weekend I joined a few of our other staff members in going technology free.
I went from Saturday morning to Sunday night. I have to say that, overall, the weekend was relaxing, but I am not proud to admit there were times I really missed having my usually available technology. Here are some of my observations from the weekend:
I feel that since the dawn of the cell phone, get-togethers and meeting up with someone have become vague, because just “text me when you're on your way :).” As opposed to predetermined times and locations, a text saying “on my way” when you are heading somewhere — and a variation of “Where are you?” when you are running late — seem to be the way we decide what time to get together. Last weekend without my phone felt odd but strangely freeing to blindly show up at places at the times I said I would as opposed to texting “Be there in 10” or “How far away are you?”
What time is it?
I know I do not stand alone as someone who stopped wearing a watch once I got a cell phone. To be honest, I don't think I have worn a watch since. It was odd finding that last weekend there were points where I lost track of time….literally.
Normally, whenever I would check my phone lock screen or unlock it to check texts, emails, Twitter, Facebook, etc. there was always usually an unconscious peek at the time. With my phone in hiding for the weekend and no watch, there was not this constant tracking of the time all day that is always in the back of my mind. I can say that not tracking the time all weekend did make it more relaxing.
We are all glued to our smart phones!
I spent much of the weekend hanging outside with my girlfriend and playing guitar. Along with that, I did make a couple of stops at some stores, went out to breakfast, picked up a pizza and celebrated Mother's Day with my family.
While I did expect this, going tech free for the weekend made it very clear that a lot of people are glued to their smartphones. I'll admit that I am, too. This was seen often in public places when people who don't know each other will use any second of down time to pop out their phone to fill the silence as opposed to talking to the people around them.
Did I slip up?
Yes, if you go on with your normal weekend it is nearly impossible nowadays to truly go unexposed to technology for a day. I had a couple of car rides where I couldn't go without music, so I popped in a couple of CDs. I am already a cord-cutter, so TV was not as hard to resist as my laptop and iPhone, both of which I hid away for the weekend.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to fit any televisions in the drawer where I hid my phone. I do think the hardest part in avoiding the TV was that they are everywhere and it is tempting to turn on Netflix when sitting around indoors, or see what's playing on the televisions at a restaurant.
With today's technology, everything feels so fast paced that it seemed a little uncomfortable to completely disconnect from the digital world. Smartphones, the Internet, television and radio all shape the modern world around us. Maybe we have become so used to it that it doesn't feel right to go completely without it and be left out of the conversation when we aren't able to check our social media feeds for a day.
I think it may be a good idea to be careful not to let the evolving tech advances and trends overshadow our organic nature to socialize as an offline social network with the people around us. If that means maybe dialing back the amount of tech we use once in a while, that may be a good thing.