Wk12 – Art Activity – Ethnography

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Before starting this assignment, I already knew that I would have a hard time doing it. As a kid, I was always attached to technology. While I do sometimes wish that I wasn’t so attached to my electronics, it is so hard to give up the convenient lifestyle that technology gives us.

While I was trying to have an electricity-free night, I would find myself saying things like “oh I should go Tweet this…but I can’t.” I would also walk into another room and try to turn on the light before realizing that I’m not supposed to be using electricity. Not using a light bulb did terrify me though. Because I like torturing myself, I’ve been reading a lot of scary stories lately. I’ve been a little on edge so doing this assignment made me even more paranoid than usual.

I will admit, I have always had sleep issues. They aren’t really serious issues. It’s always taken me an hour or more to fall asleep. My sister claims that it’s because I use the internet too much before I sleep. Honestly, I think it’s mainly because I just think too much. I think about how my day will go tomorrow, what possible topics to talk about, what I learned in class, how next semester will turn out, and just some embarrassing thing that happened in the past.

Living with technology can make one feel more connected to nature. I will admit, I did look up at the sky more than usual because of this assignment. I have always been interested in stargazing. I think this assignment inspired me to do some serious stargazing later on in life.

People lived without constant stimulation because they had no idea what life with technology is like. We have a growing need to live in constant stimulation because technology is all around us. Whenever I see little kids with tablets and iPhones I just get so disappointed because it feels like we’re teaching them that it’s okay to constantly be surrounded by electronics. We give children iPhones as an easy way to tell them to be quiet. We don’t teach them natural ways to cope with boredom.

Ideally, I want to stop having the need to distract myself with technology. During winter break I went to Vietnam. I brought my cell phone but I only used it in Taiwan. I was warned that my phone might be stolen in Vietnam. I spent two weeks in Vietnam just taking in the environment without my phone. I hung out with relatives and family friends and what I found interesting was that every time we went out for dinner, they rarely checked their phones. I would meet the same people everyday for two weeks and our conversations were just neverending. What I loved about that experience was that I didn’t have to worry about updating my social media and I was able to feel a deeper connection with the people I met.

Overall, I felt pretty neutral about going electric-free for one night. I probably wouldn’t do it again because it was a bit inconvenient at times. I will say that it serves as a nice reminder to myself that I can survive without my phone and laptop for one night.

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