Wednesday, April 25, 2012
This assignment came at a perfect time. Blog assignment #13 is an E-Media fast. No electronic or battery powered entertainment or communication devices can be utilized for a consecutive 24 hour period. Luckily, the rest of my household was out of town and the only one who could mess this up for me was ME. Which is not necessarily a good thing. I can be my own worst enemy at times.
But, as Barney Stinson from How I met Your Mother is fond of saying, "Challenge accepted." Cue the 'what have I done' dramatic music!
Problem number one: I use my iphone as an alarm clock and during the night as a source of white noise to help me sleep. So I borrowed an alarm clock from another room, reset it and waited for the dreaded screeching noise. It did in fact deliver as promised and jolted me rudely awake at 7a.m. I do not like alarm clocks. Never did, and probably never will. I can wake up to a pin drop and do not want a jarring noise substitute for my soft, gentle nature sounds. I can not remember how many times I reached for the television remote in the morning. Somehow getting dressed is not the same without the Today Show. It is possible, just not as entertaining. On the plus side. I was ready to leave a lot sooner than usual. My iphone was silenced and not even set to vibrate. My day of e-fasting was underway. I really missed listening to music in the car. I am not used to so much silence. So I spent my non-driving time observing those around me. There were several people singing! Most people just stare straight ahead. I am almost always one of the singing drivers. Kids, on the other hand stare a lot! They will also wave when prompted. Me, too! So instead of being bored I found a way to amuse myself and capture a few smiles in the process.
Tuesday is a fairly busy day on average. I am on campus from 10a.m. to 7:30p.m. Typically I am studying and getting busy work completed in the USA Library between classes. And with two big projects coming due soon in EDM310 I technically needed both of these appliances. But I was able to focus more on my other courses instead. So in a way it was a win/win situation.
Once I arrived back home, to an empty house, things started to get boring fast. So I finished my chores, did a little tidying, and took the dog for a walk. That was a welcome surprise for her. Again I had a win/win senario with my free time. Time I would otherwise spend with the television on whether or not I was watching it. I did miss checking Facebook, email, Pinterest, bank accounts, Twitter, Drawsome, Words with Friends, and most of all texting with my three daughters and boyfriend, Brian. I can do without a lot of things but not having the freedom to communicate at will is the hardest. I did let family members and Brian know about my assignment. My daughters may have been secretly pleased that I was not going to be repeatedly pestering them for a whole day. Brian had to call the house phone. Which is not a big deal. Lucky for me a land line telephone was within bounds.
In all I missed having access to text most of all. I live in the age of 'right now.' I remember the 'microwave age' of the eighties as being fast and immediate but nothing like today. I can have immediate interaction or at least send my thoughts any time I want. Yesterday I had to postpone my impulses. It was not impossible or out of the realm of possibility. I enjoyed the peace and quiet a little, but not enough to make a habit of it. I will not ask my kids what they thought of my 'silence.'
I can say with a lot of certainty that media fasts are a lot more difficult for school age individuals. That is including college students along with grade schools. I have three daughters and I know that their phones are an extension of themselves that almost cannot be severed. For proof all I have to do is reach for their iphone and they hold it tighter. While in grade school they were not allowed to use it. This did not stop them, ever. Instead they learned to text without looking at the keypad. My youngest was amazingly fast and fairly accurate with her T-9 texts. Lucky for them they did not have them taken away by a teacher. Nor did they lose or break them. Their phones were well taken care of at all times. Television runs along that same line. They rarely watched anything important. It was used as a babysitter and could be restricted by me as a form of punishment. Being without entertainment or communication never did anyone harm in the long run. But adjusting to the absence can be difficult. There is a time and place for everything. Finding a working balance between want and need is not easy.