During my time in college, I have used a variety of technology to stay connected with friends, family, and my professional network. From Snapchat to Instagram, texting to emailing, Facebook to LinkedIn, our current day and age allows people to be connected in more ways than ever before. However, with so many mediums to stay connected, it is easy to feel disconnected to what is happening around us. Too many times have I caught my friends on their phones while hanging out with them in person. With such an environment, it is easy to slip into technology-dependent habits as well.
In theory, it seems easy to disconnect from technology by not using it, but in practice, it becomes much more difficult. One time, I decided not to look at my phone for 8 hours, only to receive many concerned texts from friends asking if I was okay. Being by your phone or computer at all times becomes the norm, and therefore, 24/7 availability becomes not only possible, but expected.
It seems like the complete rejection of technology is nearly impossible, especially in a college setting. But a partial reduction is more attainable. For instance, last semester, I wanted to focus my attention on recruiting. I decided to delete my Snapchat and Instagram for two months; as a result, I found life to be simpler and did not find myself missing out.. I was still connected with friends through other forms of technological communication, but I had reduced the scope of information I was giving out and taking in.
The days I spend the least amount of time on social media are when I am engaged in interesting activities, ranging anywhere from spending time with friends, participating in extracurriculars, or exploring a new area. Only on days where I am stuck doing meticulous work or simply curious do I find myself perusing through the nearly endless posts of the people in my network. However, though my social media cleanses have suited me well, I am still a strong proponent of technology and social media. As a creative person, I view social media as an outlet of personal expression. I enjoy learning about what is important to my friends through their posts, and I’ve reconnected with old friends by finding out that they’re near me. As with everything, there needs to be a good balance of your time spent with people online and in person. A break from technology every once in a while can be just the fix we need.
By: Sharon Chiang