Can you disconnect?

Corinne Beckinger, a UNA junior, went 24 hours without any form of media or technology in order to write this article. She said it was most difficult not to use her phone, since her fiance is currently overseas in China.

This past week I committed myself to a 24-hour media fast.  From the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, I did not use my phone, iPad, computer or television.

At first, I was lost and caught myself subconsciously reaching for my phone. Then, it really hit me; my phone had ceased to become a cool gadget. My phone is now the equivalent of a stuffed animal I had when I was 5 — I need to bring it with me everywhere and at night I tuck it in next to my pillow.

“It’s too convenient having something in your pocket that allows you to check email, news, text, weather, Facebook or anything else, for that matter, whenever you want,” said Tabb Sanford, a senior UNA student.

It’s no secret that college students spend a lot of time on their electronic devices. Ideally, we would be working on homework and boosting our IQ scores as we read the latest online editions of The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times.

“I’m an interdisciplinary studies major and several of my classes are hybrids or Web-based,” said David Johnson, a UNA senior. “I use the Internet for research in all my classes as well as a few textbooks that I have as E-books.”

Honestly, though, how much time do we spend taking those necessary “study breaks” on Facebook or Twitter while we are busying studying, reading or researching for a class?

At first, I had a small heart attack at the thought of parting from my dear phone, not just because it had my Pinterest and Facebook accounts on them but also because my fiancé is currently in China for a year. Our precious phones are, quite literally, the things that keep us connected anytime, anywhere.

It sounds like a viable excuse; except, it isn’t. With a 14-hour time difference, half the time I spend “checking messages” is usually prime sleeping time for him and prime time for me to start Pinteresting.

Then, it occurred to me that with the absence of my computer or iPad, I would have a hard time finishing certain class assignments, and I would be completely unaware of any important class or university announcements.