The Offline blog chronicles the experiences of everyday folks who voluntarily unplug. Guest bloggers shut off their cellphone and log off the internet for 24 hours, then write a 500-word essay about the experience. Click here for guidelines or to submit your essay.
When I made the decision to unplug from the world of technology for 24 hours, I remember thinking that this experiment would be a snap. Not only did I plan to turn my phone off, but I would also shut down my computer, refuse to turn on the television and even avoid the microwave. Let me tell you, unplugging was harder than I could have ever imagined. I believe I actually went through withdrawals of some sort.
I woke up that morning to the sound of rain clanging on my metal shed. I immediately reached for my phone to check the weather and see if I had any messages. Then I remembered it was my day of exile from the world, so I decided to make some breakfast. Oatmeal sounded good on this gloomy morning. I got down my bowl, measured out the right amount of oatmeal to water, stirred it and walked over to the microwave to zap it. I chuckled when I opened the microwave door, then turned around and proceeded to cook the oatmeal on the stove. When my oatmeal was finished, I automatically walked over to grab the remote so that I could watch television while I was eating. Again, I chuckled and thought, This is going to be a challenge. I took advantage of the moment and studied while I ate.
I enjoy playing games on my phone and literally thought I might scream at one point because I wasn’t getting my fix of Candy Crush, Words with Friends and Facebook. It’s almost sickening how dependent I’ve become on technology to pass my time. When going to the store, I kept reaching in my pocket for my phone, but it wasn’t there. The entire day I felt lost and out of place. Finally, it was time to retire for the evening. I went ot bed feeling somewhat relieved because I wanted this day behind me. The next morning I woke up, reached for my phone, exhaled and thought, Wow, what a nightmare! Or was it?
Sandy Blanford lives in Hillview, Kentucky, and is working towards her bachelor’s degree in social work at Jefferson Community and Technical College.