Paul Miller is a brave soul. Giving up the internet? For an entire year? That sounds like an impossible task to accomplish, especially for me. When I think about having to lose all technology, I feel like the kids in the experiment mentioned in Katrina Schwartz’s article, “What Happens When Teens Try to Disconnect from Tech for Three Days“, which is decapitated. Losing our smartphones and apps feels like we are losing a major part of our bodies. I admit, I have tried to give up social media for a few days, but I have never successfully given it up for more than two! Does that make me an addict? I would say so, but in my defense, the main reason that I am on the internet so often is for homework. I am not in a single class that doesn’t rely on internet usage for homework, research, tests, etc. Because I am mostly using the internet for academics, I would say that I use it mindfully. When it comes to social media, though, I have some work to do.
I would say that, as I discussed in my last blog about digital citizenship, I try to use social media in a way that will protect my identity and only post things that I do not mind the world seeing, but I do admit that I need to limit my usage of social media. I check my accounts and newsfeed multiple times an hour. Even as I am sitting here writing this blog, I have stopped to check my Instagram at least twice. I HAVE A PROBLEM! I think that is why following in Paul Miller’s foot steps sounds so appealing, and terrifying, to me. I think that it would definitely change my everyday life in a good way considering all of the ways that being addicted to my phone and the internet is changing me, which are discussed in this interesting video that I found:
When I think of all the times that I have lacked attentiveness due to technology, I can list at least ten instances that occur everyday. One of these would be while I am communicating with others. It has become all too easy to nod and agree when someone is talking to me instead of actually listening to what they are saying. Technology is definitely interfering with our personal relationships. We need to stop multitasking and allow ourselves to live in the moment before we wake up one day and realize that so many great moments of our lives are already gone.
With our smartphones glued to our hands at all times, we are completely disengaged with what is going on around us. The more that we rely on social media for interaction, the more we lose real social skills, which are essential for a healthy lifestyle in today’s society. We can all learn something from Paul Miller. We should take the time to disconnect and reenter the real world. I think that we will all be thankful that we did, and so will the people around us.
Thanks for reading,