Life Without Technology: What We Take for Granted

Technology, we all take it for granted and we all overuse it. A while back I decided to leave all personal technology for Saturday and Sunday, I stuck by my guns and didn’t touch it at all. It was interesting because I did things that I wouldn’t have normally done if I was using my phone. It takes your ability to immediately contact people, and subsequently, you need to go to them to find out if they are available. There are many aspects of technology that you don’t realize impact significantly on your life.

It was a refreshing change and a little bit liberating that I didn’t have my phone on me. I felt I was able to think more clearly. This could be down to the fact that; I did not have the means to stay connected. Therefore, my mind wasn’t drifting towards this device every few minutes and had nothing to check. Either way, I actually felt that little bit more free, like something had been lifted, or some kind of shackles unchained.

The Freedoms Without Technology

I am a keen advocate of technology and the advancements, but I do see and understand its pitfalls. Whereas a society we need to get the balance correct. Last night after reading The Economist, I was unsure what to do, what did people do when they had no technology? I ended up writing part of a short story, an idea that I came up with on the spot.

This is an example that without technology, I felt more mental freedom and was able to think more clearly. There was no possibility of a distraction because of technology. I actually quite enjoyed those few days, I got a fair amount of reading done and felt I actually learned a fair bit. That ability to process your thoughts clearly is underrated. Some aspects of technology have removed the idea of clear thought, meaning you don’t think for yourself as much as you should.

The Positives of Technology

Despite all of those positive points without technology, there are also many with technology. There is also a lot that everyone takes for granted. A peculiar aspect is not being able to contact someone instantly. It was a throwback from when I was younger, with technology and particularly phones. Despite living within an era where technology has and is advancing at its fastest ever rate. Most forget that dial-up was 90s technology and the first iPhone was introduced late 2007. Smartphones did exist before this but it was Apple’s advanced technology that popularised it.

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Smartphones were first conceptualized in 1909 by Tesla, and the form of one was on sale in 1993. Though very different from what is known as a smartphone by today’s standards. PDA’s and Blackberry were all smartphones, and they all existed before the likes of the iPhone. Going back to the point, mobile phones, in general, weren’t as popular. I didn’t get my first phone until 14/15 and that was an Alcatel, with a screen smaller than a calculator’s. Too many people barely know what I mean when I say polyphonic, let alone monophonic.

The point is that when I was younger I had to actually go out, to find out whether my friends were free. Not as many people had mobile phones, and if they did they were hardly used. It is this ability to be able to get hold of people instantly that many take for granted. Mobile phones are wonderful for when you are out, and if you are ever in trouble you can contact the necessary person easily. I didn’t check my email for those 2 days, and this could have led me to miss something important. Incidentally, I did find something important waiting for me when I checked them on Monday.

The Reason Behind the Experiment

To go back to this recent but irrefutably bygone era, was a strange sensation. I would envisage it would be even more abstract for those who are entering the teens/adulthood now. There are plenty of pros and cons, and I could list them all but that would take a while. However, it is the reason behind the experiment that is important and this was due to an article in The Independent. That was about a photographer who created a portfolio of images of people in various places just living their lives. The empty forms of their hands, where their phones should have been, was poignant.

I wanted to take it one step further, to remember life without personal technology and how the younger generations are growing up with this technology. Which could be making them want to grow up too fast because they have access to everything. When you see an entire family or a group of friends laughing around the table looking at their phones. I question, if you didn’t have that phone would you be friends, are your interests actually corresponding with each other?

Can you sit with them for an entire day and just talk constantly? Technology is a subject to talk about, not a means to talk through to someone if you are with them. The balance of technology and real-life is important. Tt stunts your social skills if you rely heavily on technology and that important ability to present yourself as a person to others.

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