Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can we unplug the digital nation?

When I was in college, there were several specials we watched in class. We watched Still Killing Us Softly twice, we watched several specials about advertising, we watched Growing Up Online and many more.

Growing Up Online was one that struck me the most. The majority of my life I have been in one way or another around computers and technology. I was not 100% immersed in it like the sixteen year olds today are. I remember having an old Apple computer we had to write prompts to play until about kindergarten.

The biggest turning point for me with technology and the internet was probably around third grade. For Christmas we opened a new color computer, and our parents bought AOL dialup connection for us.

Yesterday PBS aired a followup on Growing Up Online called Digital Nation.

Digital Nation is about how everyone is wired in. People are always using a phone, an mp3 player, a GPS or a computer. The time people spend away from technology is shrinking and soon might only be the time we are sleeping. Which that might not even be possible seeing how I have sleep texted before, and I have a few friends who have as well.

I started thinking about how if we unplugged for just a little longer during the day we could perform better at what we are doing. For example, volleyball practice. I help coach two different volleyball teams. Each practice the girls walk in while texting, listening to music or talking on the phone.

First of all, why a fourth grader has a cell phone blows my mind. I didn't have one until I was 17.

What if there was a buffer in place on each side of practice? Ten minutes prior to practice all electronic devices should be turned off and would stay off and out of sight until five minutes after practice. The girls would then only have volleyball to worry about instead of who is texting me.

Now how can we apply this?

Unplug at night. I know it can be hard. I have tried my best to make sure when I get home to leave my computer stowed away until the morning or only use it for no longer than 30 minutes a night. This has caused me to find other things to do in the evenings. But the hardest part is having an iPhone. I can jump on my phone and do almost everything I could do on my computer.

Buffer your morning. This is by far the hardest for me. Don't use your computer or phone until a specific time. Since I love sleeping, when my alarm goes off for the fifth or sixth time in the morning I usually check all my email from my phone before getting up.

Try this for a few days and see what happens. See how much extra time you find in your day that you think you are missing. Those extra 5-7 hours you want to put into the day you might find.

1 Comment:

Tufail Shahzad said...

No, we cannot unplug it