This week I attempted to participate in an e-media fast. My attempts were sincere each time, but one after the other failed. All three tries were unsuccessful in several ways. I do not consider myself as a big tech user, I rarely get on Facebook and when school is in session I don't have much time to watch TV. We do enjoy watching movies, which is how I failed this challenge in one of my attempts. My children usually have the TV on for the first hour or so when they get home from school and I seem to always have work to do on my computer for class. My iPhone is another reason for my failure. My phone, like the majority of people today, is an important part of my day. I stay in contact with my family and play games when I have free time. Also I am taking a couple of online classes this semester and had several assignments to complete this week using my computer.
I did get to do some things that I haven't done in a while during my attempts at media fasting. My daughter and I played solitaire, with real live cards!!!, we played the old battleship game, and dominoes.
This assignment reminds me of each winter, we have a hunting camp in Thomasville where we spend most of our weekends. I have little use with my phone up there due to very weak signal, but since my family is already with me I don't miss it much. Also we have a TV there but only pick up a couple of channels so we watch very little television. We are outdoor enthusiasts, so I feel that this fast is not an impossible feat to tackle, just not while I am preparing for finals.
I did, however, recognize how dependent I have become to my phone and computer and television. Each time I drank my coffee in the mornings I like to watch the news channels and at least once a week before bedtime we like to watch a movie together. I am reminded that there are many other ways we can spend our time, such as going for a walk, playing cards or board games, or just sitting at the table having a meal and talking together FACE TO FACE. Technology is very beneficial in many ways but life still can be exciting without it.
I hope to discuss with students the benefits and drawbacks to technology. I will challenge them in this same way to consider what life would be like if there ever was an event like the dreaded "Y2K" scare of 1999, and how things would change without using any e-media. Would we revert to country living and go back to neighbor helping neighbor or will we immediately begin to rebuild all of what we have grown so accustomed too, how in the world would we get by without knowing what our friends are doing every minute of the day?!?
Although I am a member of Facebook, I believe that we should have a healthy balance in our reliance on these types of things. Technology is a very important and useful tool as part of our lifes today, but we should also be able to thrive and learn in other ways, like getting out there and getting our hands dirty when seeking to learn gardening skills or learning a new language should involve visiting the place where the language is spoken. Sometimes reality is lost in translation and can only be discovered by personal experience.