Academic Success, Focus, Writing, Zen

Unplugged Hour: A Future Retrospective

I submit my blog posts on Tuesday. They are published on Thursday. Therefore, I am uniquely unable to promote or to provide insight into Unplugged Hour on Wednesday. However, irrelevance has never stopped anybody from speaking with authority, so I won’t let it stop me now. Enjoy my future retrospective on Unplugged Hour, replete with all the grammatical difficulties temporal ambiguity creates.

Lithograph by MC Escher: "Waterfall". Depicts a waterfall that falls into itself into a loop.

Unplugged Hour will occur on Wednesday for an hour starting at noon. Participants have been encouraged to remove themselves from the corrupting influence of technology and enjoy the outdoors, presumably and verifiably. Consider yourself post-plugged pre-unplugging, Unplugged Hour!

A plug

Time to pull the plug on these jokes. Source:

I admittedly have a legitimate reason for writing on this topic. I am planning on going unplugged as often as I can this semester, because I anticipate it will allow me to be a better student. I am proud to say that I have already greatly cut down my cell phone and laptop time, since I’ve lost my cell phone and my friend accidentally crushed my laptop. Still: progress is progress.

When I lost my cell phone, I noticed how much my reliance on my phone stressed me out. I would constantly (and somewhat narcissistically) check my phone in case I missed some potentially important phone call or text message. Similarly, from when I sent my laptop to the Great Electronic Recycling Plant in the Sky, I noticed I would check my email with the same fervor I would check for accidental pocket calls and spam SMS.

Quite frankly, I feel a lot better now that I’m not lugging around electronic unmotivators.

The opposite side of the coin is that I have lost some immensely helpful tools. I relied on my phone for communication, and I relied on my laptop for notes and school work. However, an evolutionary legacy of trying really hard not to die has given me the ability to adapt to minor inconveniences; I have since found alternatives to what used to be my lifelines.

I realize I’m sounding like a curmudgeonly Luddite far before my time. I’m not saying that technology is in and of itself bad. I’m saying that the true insidiousness of the bad side of technology comes from how beneficial technology is. Personally, I have discovered that I play far too many video games on my desktop now. I didn’t realize just how often I would waste time, since I use my computer for homework and research. At some point work with occasional breaks became breaks with occasional work.

In an effort to keep myself from sliding into eternal breaks with no work, I’m resolving to use my computer as little as possible. I still need a computer for my courses, but in that case I will be going to U of T libraries and using computers there, in hopes that the indignant scorn of my peers will shame me from idly browsing through the great molasses of the internet. Perhaps this isn’t what I was supposed to get out of Unplugged Hour, but I think that minimizing my frivolous use of technology is perfectly in the spirit of Unplugged Hour.

If you attended Unplugged Hour, or have in some way decided to cut back on technology, and want to share, leave a commment below!

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