5am: Normally scroll through social media (NA)
5:30am: Checked email (20 Min)
6am: Make breakfast with TV on (NA)
7am – 8pm: No technology other than answer phone calls and texts that were business related
8:30pm: Played a couple of videos on YouTube to help my son relax and fall asleep.
9:00pm: Scrolled social media to catch up on the days details (30min)
Choosing this week to do a technology deprivation study was an interesting task due to the current events. Me choosing to do my personal deprivation study on Saturday May 30th was an even more interesting situation. Considering the killing of George Floyd and the uprising “race war” starting this weekend and the knee jerk reactions proceeding on May 30th, I decided to do my technology deprivation and avoid all the events of the day. It is clear that I have a civil duty to object publicly when I see something unjust, but I believe that my opportunity to do this is just not on May 30th. What happens on May 30th will be chaos, anarchy, and mental poison due to the actions of some protesters and the deliberate skewing of the story on social media and news publications. An otherwise positive and productive message will be met with hate, anger, and confrontation. I find my opportunity to speak my opinion will be with the people closest to me and have elongated conversations with the people in my community. Me posting a relatively brief message on social media will only be misunderstood and translated into something a person searching for an altercation can use to start one.
This being said, I used the following strategy to avoid technology on May 30th.
I normally scroll through social media to find out what is going on today and what I missed last night due to me going to sleep relatively early. I decided to just skip this process and start my day 30 minutes earlier. I did have to check my email due to my current interviewing process while looking for a job once COVID has ended. I normally then turn on the TV while I cook breakfast, but I found that just playing some music was a fine substitute for me and my son to start our morning to. Luckily, I had nice weather outside so avoiding technology was easy. Me and my family just played outside for most of the day, only coming inside to eat or check for missed calls. We also found that leaving our phone inside helped with clearing our minds. I was able to go most of the day without using my phone, TV or computer but my son does like to watch videos on YouTube as he falls asleep and I did not want to take that away from him, plus it does help when he is fighting sleep (Parents know what I’m talking about).
At the end of the day I had the hardest time staying of social media due to my habit of scrolling before I go to sleep. This was the first time I missed and gave in to using my phone. Considering the current events, I figured it was important to know what had happened.
I feel like my greatest reason for using technology is the curiosity of wanting to know everything. Who is doing what, what happened where, and when is the next big thing? This is a blessing and a curse that technology has given us the opportunity to explore. Technology has given us the power to search out information but most people only us this power to reaffirm their own beliefs and enforce them on other people. Social media is not a place of true conversation but a web of people building a community to fight other communities. This is a clear issue that can easily be understood by the algorithms social media platforms us to feed you information that you are already interested in. If I am a person who clicks on one video of a policeman harassing a civilian, I will proceed to get hundreds of videos just like this one pushed in my face. If I am a Policeman who clicks one video of an action film promoting violence and authority, I will proceed to get hundreds of videos just like this one pushed in my face. You see how this dynamic will only feed people more of what they want to see and bring more divide amongst already feuding parties.
Do you think social media is that answer to creating more humanity or is it the catalyst to more hate amongst parties?