Media Abstinence and Why You Shouldn’t Do It

Recently, I had the opportunity to attempt a 24-hour period without engaging in media or using technology. It’s not a bad thing to do as a social experiment, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a general practice. Why not? Isn’t limiting our use of technology a good thing? That’s a “popular” viewpoint, but through the day, I realized just how irresponsible it is.

For better or for worse, our modern world and relationships rely on technology-mediated communication. We might not like it, but it’s the reality we live day-to-day. You might say “I want to change that! I’m going to stop using my cell phone!” or “I’m going to delete my Facebook!” while you might think you sound like a champion or a hero – someone who managed to throw off the shackles of society – the joke’s on you. Seriously. You might want to spend more face-to-face time with your friends, but our culture doesn’t allow for that nearly as much anymore. We live far away from eachother. Sometimes we rarely see even those who are nearby. Is that a good thing? Maybe not. But it’s reality. And if you fail to use technology, you’ll fail to keep their friendship.

Unless you deal exclusively with other technological outcasts, you’ll never have a decent relationship outside your co-workers or the people who live in your dorm. Today, many of our friendships are forged through social media and text messaging. And most of our friendships are maintained by them.

So don’t put down that phone. You’re only hurting yourself.