Think back to the carefree days when your cell phone wasn’t glued to your hand and your eyes weren’t glossed over after watching Netflix for too long. Reminisce on when you had to walk over to your friend’s house to see if they were home and wanted to come play outside.
I had one of those days this past Saturday. I wanted to remember what it was like to not stress about why a boy didn’t text me back or why my friends are all together on their Snapchat stories without me. I decided to spend a day without the use of more modern technology. I turned my phone off for the day, I left my laptop closed on my desk, and I avoided watching television all to remember what it was like before my generation became technologically dependent.
Saturday morning, my internal alarm clock woke me up around 6:30 a.m. I’m thankful for that because I had a field hockey tournament that morning. The first real struggle of the day was not being able to use my Keurig to make my morning coffee. To really commit to this idea, I decided it was a nice enough day that I could walk through the arboretum instead of relying on my car to get me to the field. Unfortunately, due to the lack of caffeine, the walk was more of a zombie shuffle.
I was on the field with my team between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. so it was easy to not think about any missing technology.
There was one moment in particular that stood out to me. My team tailgated after the game with our families. I sat down with a group of friends, chatted for a little bit, and then realized every single one of them were on their phones. One was snapchatting a picture of her plate, one was talking to her mom on the phone and one was tweeting about our games. Here we are in perfect weather, gathered around our friends and family, chowing down on some delicious wings and everyone I see is attached to their phones.
This was when I had a realization. Our generation is more concerned with documenting their lives via social media, than they are actually living it. We, as a whole, have a need to show off all of the fun we’re having instead of actually enjoying it.
I saw this again when I went out with my team later that night. We walked from my apartment in Sunchase to a friend’s house in Charleston; it was like a sea of iPhones the entire time. I could see constant flashes going off in my peripherals. Music was playing, people were dancing and singing, and yet, the majority of people were busy putting pictures up on Instagram in hopes of getting ‘likes’ and feeling a false sense of security and acceptance.
I’m not saying to completely forget about technology because, I’ll admit, the day was tough. It was nearly impossible for my friends to get in contact with me and it was absolutely awful not being able to call my dad and talk to him about my games. I missed the smell of coffee and the chill bumps I get on my arms when I’m driving around listening to The Kooks with my windows down. Technology, in many ways, has improved the American lifestyle, but I also feel that, to an extent, it has diminished the personal value of our lives.
The message that I’d really like to convey from this experience is that everyone should take the time to appreciate the simpler things. Just because a moment isn’t captured on film doesn’t mean the beautiful memory is going to fade. So I challenge you to try this. The next time you hang out with your friends, leave your phone at home. You don’t need to tell the entire Twitter community how much you love your friends or how funny the joke was that you just heard. You just need to enjoy the moments.