A few months ago, I read this interesting article about college students trying to have a day with no electronic media. They went, for one 24-hour period, without television, computers, iPods, radio, video games, CD players, records, cell phones or land lines.
One described the experience as a “grueling pain,” and another said: “I was in shock . . . I honestly did not think I could accomplish this task. The 24 hours I spent in what seemed like complete isolation became known as one of the toughest days I have had to endure.”
I didn’t realize how much this was the case in my life until recently, my power went off in the midst of an ice storm, and my life as I knew it virtually stopped. Forced to unplug, I realized just how much communication technology is a part of my life. I couldn’t work on my blog, chat with my peers, check out the weather, plan my drive to work. My routine – along with my link to knowledge and relationships – was completely redefined. And all things said and done, I only really lost access to the Internet.
But I felt like I lost much more. I lost the sense of control I have over my life. It should be no surprise that in an age where internet technologies are impacting the way we communicate, even interpersonally, our generation finds instant communication and internet access as natural and even necessary as electricity and water. And that’s because it informs how we view, interact with and understand virtually everything around us.