48 Hour Blackout

To ask someone today to go 48 hours without the news weather, iPhone apps, the radio, and even ESPN, is asking for a lot, and even unrealistic for most. Everyone, including myself, relies on sources to keep us informed while also keeping us social, even when we’re alone. Like William Deresiewicz states in his article, The End of Solitude, “technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone.”

We thrive through social media. Without it, the world would be silent. You wouldn’t hear people telling you to “like” their recent Instagram picture, or about a recent video that went viral on Facebook. So, what would people do without the news?

Over the past 48 hours, I deleted my iPhone apps (including the weather app) and didn’t turn on the news. I found myself bored, and searching for other tasks to occupy my time. Instead of being consumed by the latest news, I found myself being more productive. I was cleaning my apartment, cooking more, practicing yoga, reading, and studying. I also found time to take a nap here and there. However, the struggle came with the weather. In Miami, the weather is unpredictable. Everyday when I wake up, the first thing I do is check the weather to see if it’s necessary to carry an umbrella, or wear a long sleeved shirt. The first 24 hours were fine, but the next day, I wasn’t prepared and got rained on while walking. After that encounter, I learned to always carry an umbrella.

During those 48 hours, I didn’t really talk to anyone, besides the occasional phone calls to my parents. To my surprise, I didn’t mind the silence. I found it rather peaceful and relaxing. I didn’t feel as stressed as I normally do. I’m always running around and extremely busy, and for once, I was able to just sit down and enjoy the silence. I learned that I really like reading and watching movies. I’ve realized how good I feel when I get all of my schoolwork done days before it’s due. So, maybe disconnecting myself from social media and the news wasn’t such a bad idea.

“I once asked my students about the place that solitude has in their lives. One of them admitted that she finds the prospect of being alone so unsettling that she’ll sit with a friend even when she has a paper to write. Another said, why would anyone want to be alone?” (Deresiewicz, The End of Solitude). WHY DON’T YOU CONNECT THIS QUOTE TO THE POST’S LARGER STRUCTURE?

Perhaps we feel like being alone is the most unsettling feeling in the world because we are not used to the feeling of solitude. Being alone is healthy. Being alone allows you to collect your thoughts and focus on yourself, and even be more productive. Instead of focusing all of your free time on what your friends are doing on Facebook, focus your time on how you can better yourself.

 

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