I chose a Saturday to focus on my daily communication with others. My Saturdays are usually quite busy, so I knew that I would be running into people a lot. I noticed that I tend to walk around campus while looking at my phone, whether I’m walking to class, to get food, etc. I either notice someone I know walking past when I look up from my phone and say “hi”, or I won’t notice them at all because my head is down. I guess I spend so much time on my phone because I see everyone else doing the same thing. I feel kind of awkward just simply walking around without at least having my phone in my hand.
When I see my friends around school, I’ll usually talk to them without going on my phone, but if I get a notification or need to check the time, I usually will get distracted and spend more time on my phone than I should be while having a conversation. On Saturday, I noticed that if my friends were on their phones, I would also go on mine. We would still have conversations, but a lot of what we were talking about had to do with what we saw on social media or a conversation we had with someone else via text.
In conversation with others on Saturday, I noticed myself not going deep into conversation with many people because of how busy I was. I would say a quick “hi” to people I knew and would only have real conversations with my closer friends. I think that if I was less busy I would have been able to ask other people how they were doing, how their weekend was going, if their parents were visiting, etc., but I found myself just saying a quick hello to the majority of people I came across.
Having to unplug for an hour was harder than I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t able to hide behind my phone in awkward or uncomfortable situations. Even having to check the time on an actual clock was strange. Although it felt weird, it was actually quite refreshing to be unconnected for 60 minutes. I didn’t have to check any notifications, respond to any texts, or wait for any responses. I was actually able to have conversations with people to a greater length and I noticed myself using more eye contact than I normally would have if I had my phone in my hands. I realized how annoying it is to have a conversation with someone that is constantly on their phone! Overall, this exercise has shown me the importance of occasionally unplugging and not relying on technology as much as I usually do.