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Riley, My Turnoff Experience

Day 1-5/29/12

Tech Turnoff Week is turning out to be easier than I thought. Instead of having no way to fill my time, I extend the time that I spent reading to make up for time I spend on technology. I see only one problem with this logic: I have a limited amount of books I haven’t read, and I’m used to having thousands of books at my disposal with amazon books. If I spend more time reading, I finish books quicker. By the end of the week, if I haven’t finished my unread books I will be surprised. When these, books are done, ereaders will become harder and harder to resist.
Another problem I might have is a cell phone problem. I text people on an average of about one hour every day. I figure that one of two things might happen about that issue. One, as the week wears on, the temptation to text will fade away. Two, since I have my cell phone with me at all times, texting may become irresistible and I’ll spend at least two hours of
my day texting anyone who feels the same way.

Day 2-5/30/12

Today was especially hard to resist electronics. The hockey Stanley Cup Finals were on, and I had to sneak a peek at the score. Luckily I was out while the game was on, and one peek was all I could manage. I also showed my friends some pictures I had on my phone, I’m not completely sure if the counts as screen time. I did find out something interesting today though: slipping out of my usual habit of watching TV every night gives me more freedom. I stayed in the park until late with my friends and we just talked, but we all had a great time. Also, since I don’t check my phone I’ve been more included in conversations and have been able to think more clearly without all these distractions.

I have also realized that my technology use has limited my time doing other things. I could leave right after my baseball game to catch my TV show, but I could also  hang around a bit longer. It’s also cut into time I spend with my friends. I could rush home every night and stare at a screen for hours, or I could hang around and talk to my friends, something I feel like I haven’t done in ages.

Day 3-5/31/12

I am proud to say that I haven’t slipped up today at all. As I walk to my tennis lesson with my friend, I am usually checking my phone and texting as I walk. Today, I got into a heated (yet friendly) argument with him. This is unusual because I usually  don’t care what he has to say as much as I care about what my friend that I’m texting has to say. I also figured something else out: without the hour of television that normally ends my day, I have much more time to do and check my homework. I no longer feel rushed. I no longer feel that I must finish my homework before my television show comes on. My brother is watching TV, but I feel that he is missing out instead of me. Television is supposed to help you unwind at the end of the day, but I’ll bet that I feel more relaxed than he does.

I did feel tempted to text some members of the track team and ask how they did, but that can wait until I see them in person. I’m only just realizing that, instead of texting friends for hours on end, I see them at school!

Day 4-6/1/12

I didn’t feel any temptation to use electronics today. I was busy with baseball practice and then going to one of my favorite restaurants. As I sat around the table talking with my family, I looked around and saw that most of the people sitting at tables were either staring st cell phones or the TV screen on the wall. I felt like I was looking at some kind of plot, where everyone who looked at screens would be instantly hypnotized. It seems like screens and electronic devices are like addictive drugs; as long a screen is available, most people are staring at it. A big pet peeve of mine is walking into a restaurant and seeing two or more people at a table, just staring at their phones. None of them are talking, just texting, possibly texting each other. They might also be playing games. It makes me sick. Another thing that annoys me is when people walk down the streets with their iphones, playing games or texting. They leave it to other people to get out of their way. Often times I see two of these people, and since neither of them look up to see where they are going, they collide. The first thing one of them does after the collision is check on his/her phone, making sure it survived the crash. Then he/she apologizes to the other person, and resumes playing or texting. Who says people learn from their mistakes?

Day 5-6/2/12

I cracked today. I am a huge hockey fan, and not watching the Stanley Cup Finals would be like going without meals for me. I watched because when hockey playoffs and screens mix, I must watch.
Even though I cracked late in the day, during the two hours it takes to get to my country house by car, I didn’t use any screens. I usually read on a kindle, or play video games because I have nothing else to do. This time I refrained from playing video games or reading electronics. I’m proud that I managed that, and proud that I lasted this long without using superfluous devices. I don’t expect to crack again, I have too many distractions planned.
From finally watching TV, I’ve realized something. This whole Tech Turnoff Week isn’t going to stop  me from using electronics. I’m sure that starting Monday I will slip back into my regular routine of electronic use. What will change is that now I am aware of how much I depend on electronics on a day-to-day basis. Most people don’t realize how  much they use electronic devices, but now I am aware of how much people depend on them.


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