My 24-hour Tech Ban

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My 24-Hour Tech Ban

While living in New York it’s easy to assume that working long hours, loud honking, and rude people on the street are just the norm. This is the exact reason why weekend getaways are so important. This past weekend I traveled to Ithaca with two close friends to basically…run away. We ran away from our limitless stress, over populated cities, and daily responsibilities . As I sat on a patio I was able to finally find peace and quiet. While I may tap into some peaceful moments in a yoga studio, it’s unmatched to the peace I felt while looking across the Cayuga Lake. While in a yoga studio, I know in less than an hour, I will be heading back into the busyness of New York City. Yet when I looked across this lake hearing nothing but the water crash and birds chirp, I finally felt at peace.

        The main reason of this trip was to tune out everything. I needed to do this because, people can drain your energy. For 24 hours I locked away my phone and my laptop to completely disengage. In a society that stresses the importance of staying up to date on every news article and every bit of gossip, it’s very easy to spend every moment on your phone. Given our current terrifying political climate, I was worried what I would be coming back to.

I was afraid that there would be a new ban or policy disproportionately affecting myself or people I care about. This information is paramount yet one must determine the consequences of being overly informed. Obsessing over every new news story can have detrimental effects on your mental health. It has for me.

        During this time, avoiding technology was not easy. Every few moments I would reach for my phone in my pocket only to realize that it wasn’t there, or I’d want to Snapchat things like the sun setting and find that I couldn’t. At first I felt extremely frustrated by my dependency on my phone and wanting to be connected to social media. It also became difficult when the people around me were constantly on their phones. This ban forced me engage within myself and with those around me. Once I was forced to speak to the people around me, I began to feel far more connected, and even liberated. I started to realize that I didn’t actually need my phone; it was just convenient. It was convenient to be connected to multiple people. I found convenience in the distractions technology provided me.

        After these 24 hours, yes I came back to a surplus of emails, text messages, and social media notifications but what’s most important is that the world did not end. Yes, I did feel guilty for not being there immediately for people when they needed me, but my supervisor was able to wait for a response and my friends did not need an immediate like on their newest Instagram picture.  Overall, this experience showed me, I’m not that important. People do not need to have access to me 24/7. They are quite capable of living their lives while I take a break from the world.

Kenya Crawford

KIP Graduate Intern

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