I have to admit that I am a seriously avid user of my cell phone. I am constantly on it and rarely can be seen without it. I was definitely not very excited about this assignment. I knew I was not going to be able to last a full day, so I only unplugged for half a day. I was too scared to leave my phone at home for the day in case of an emergency, so I decided to turn it off and bring it with me.
The first challenge I ran into was walking to class. I normally walk to class listening to music, and I was not looking forward to walking in silence. The walk was considerably more boring than usual, but bearable. Once I reached campus and got to class, the next thing that I noticed was how often I checked the time on phone. It is honestly an obsessive amount. I really did not realize that I liked knowing the time to the very minute so much. I had to go through the entire class never knowing how much time I had left because there was no clock in the room. I really hated that! I know the assignment was to unplug from the internet, but I think something simple like this really showed me how reliant I am on my phone for basic things.
After class, I had a break. Normally, I mess around on my phone or watch Netflix during my break, but I brought a book to read instead. This was honestly a refreshing change. I really like reading, but never find that I have the time to do it. In all honesty, this showed me that I just was not making the time to do things like that.
Things got interesting when I went to dinner with my sister. She knew about the assignment, but I told her to keep using her phone as usual because I thought it would be more interesting that way. I found myself getting irritated by her throughout the night. She would respond belatedly because it took her a moment to disconnect from her phone, and I found that really annoying.
I found this assignment eye-opening to my phone habits. I knew I was an addict, but this really proved to me how heavily I use my phone for the most basic things and how inconvenient it was to not have my phone for those things. It was nice to disconnect and I did not feel like I had missed anything important, which was a nice surprise.
In this class, I think the most interesting thing that I learned was the way that people adopt new communication technology as it comes and how we slowly (sometimes quickly) make it an integral part of society. The theory I found most relevant to my own life was the displacement theory. I’m constantly listening to music, and this opened my eyes that I really only do that one way at a time. While I love my iPod, it is inconvenient that I always have to download new music. Also, when there are so many services with almost every song ever at your fingertips, it was becoming unreasonable for me to not take advantage of that as I am constantly listening to new music. This is where Spotify comes in. For awhile, I was hesitant to get a premium subscription because I did not want to completely abandon my iPod, but in the end I caved. Now that I have a premium subscription, I never listen to my iPod. I am still happy that I have it, but it pretty much sits unused all the time. In this class, I learned my fear of getting a full subscription to a streaming service was ultimately a fear of displacement theory. I can be a little sentimental and it’s clear that can translate into the death of communication technologies as well.