While there is no doubt that technology and cell phones in some way positively impact our lives, the iExamen taught me that my cell phone is like a leech; clinging to me, sometimes sucking the life out of me. People are consumed with their phones and oblivious to their surroundings. iExamen demonstrated to me, that when I finally put down my devices, I had the most meaningful and sincere conversation of my whole weekend.
One of the requirements of this assignment was to analyze my communications with others from the moment I woke up, until the moment I went to bed. What I discovered was that the very first thing I did in the morning was look at my phone, to check my text messages and snapchats. At night, the last thing I did before I fell asleep was also to look at my phone. Technology literally influenced my day from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed. Remarkably, the conversations I have on my phone are often with people who are in my dorm. The majority of my digital conversations are with people within 100 yards of me. I could have easily walked down the hallway and talked to them face to face but instead I chose to snapchat them.
On Saturday, I sat in the Clubhouse at Congressional Country Club and observed as people sat down next to one another and rather that introduce themselves they were consumed by technology and never looked up from their phone. Watching this occur time and time again made me wonder how many conversations and interactions with others we miss out on because we are distracted by our phones. So when I turned my phone off an hour, I decided not to use this as a time to get homework done, but instead to interact with others without the barrier of technology. And in so doing, I had one of the longest and most meaningful conversations I have had in weeks.
I certainly do not write this to condemn all technology, but merely to point out what we are missing when we are consumed with our phones and computers. I opened up this reflection comparing technology to a leech. The only way to get rid of a leech is to rip it off, and this assignment caused me to rip my leech of technology clean off and to interact with others on a more meaningful level.