No Connection

I was so addicted to texting that I began to worry what my friends thought when I was not texting them back. I wanted to look at my phone just to see if anybody had noticed I was not texting them back. The urge was intense and grew in intensity. Then I realized I could not look at my phone because, being the smart cookie that I am, I had given it to my mom. Thank goodness I knew myself enough to realize beforehand that I was addicted to my iPhone.

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A Day of Freedom

survived. It was as scary as the Y2K pandemic. However, the world did not end because I turned off my cell phone and did not power up the computer. Life without being “plugged in” was peaceful and uneventful, and I focused on some of the things I generally take for granted. My attention turned to my family, and our entertainment with and for each other was relaxing, warm, and comfortable.

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Exiled from Life

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.

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How to Detoxify

Waking up, I wasn’t sure what to do. At the beginning of each day, I usually check emails and text messages and browse Facebook to get myself up to speed on what happened while I was sleeping. I had none of those. I wondered, “Should I clean? Should I wash the car? Should I study?” I had never asked myself those questions before. I thought this was the breaking point already. I thought I wasn’t going to make it all day.

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Deciding to Live

Luckily, I had errands to run on the day I unplugged, so I knew I would have some distractions. Since I had the entire day ahead of me, I decided to stop and treat myself to breakfast. This is where I first realized my internet addiction. I looked at the waitress when I ordered and thought to myself, “I haven’t done that in a long time.” She had a nice smile. I didn’t know, until that moment, how much I had missed having a genuine connection with people.

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Reality Check

I was nervous and a little uncomfortable about unplugging for 24 hours. I thought I would be missing out on what was happening in the Facebook world or my friends would think I was ignoring their texts. I have to admit that the only reason I participated in this challenge was to receive extra credit in my English 102 class; however, not using the internet, texting or doing anything involving technology from 9 a.m. April 6 to 9 a.m. April 7 turned into quite a learning experience.

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Letting Go

Going 24 hours without texting or getting on the internet helped me to better understand my dependence on these devices for performing my daily tasks. The first few hours had me confused and a little lost. If I needed to ask a question or get a hold of someone, I realized I had to wait until after the 24-hour experiment or go see them face to face. As the experiment went on, however, I started to feel freedom, like I was truly in control of myself. I got to pay more attention to my surroundings. I wasn’t entrapped by a screen with silent and bleak posts, messages and false media reports.

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