Blackout – Holyeins Canales


While more than half of the “blackout” was spent sleeping, I found myself actively distracting myself from grabbing my phone and checking my news feed on YouTube and other social medias. In preparation for this assignment, I ordered new headlights for my car. I also took advantage of attending the beach for a friend’s birthday to rack up the necessary hours until the assignment was over. I will share an outline of those 48 hours and after a reflection on my experience.

The blackout began at 12am Sunday. I turned off my phone until the next day to prepare and drive to the beach with some friends early in the morning. I returned home around 9pm where I hopped on the computer after a shower and a meal. I fell asleep around 2am Monday where I had set the alarm early to make breakfast and prepare for class at 3 p.m. I returned home around 5pm and was greeted by the headlights I had ordered days before. I left to an uncle’s house for help and after the job was done, came back home around 10pm where I once again showered and ate. By this time, I held out by watching a couple of episodes online of The Grand Tour until much past after midnight.

I must acknowledge the timeliness of this assignment, for if it were not for the beach day, the assignment would have been a lot tougher to complete. Also, if I had not planned to change my headlights this weekend, it would have just added to the media deafness I would feel. The first 24 hours were easy until I got home from the beach and sat down on my computer. Out of habit, I grabbed my phone many times to unlock it and restrained myself abruptly as I remembered the assignment. It was not so much the solitude theFULL NAME  Deresiewicz described that I felt. I myself have social media accounts but don’t normally share. I lurk most of the time and during the blackout and now in fact, I feel that I might have missed news that happened over the weekend. Not necessarily in people’s lives per say, mainly on global and science news.

In the mornings while I make breakfast, I like to have view whatever is on my feed on YouTube. I had a hard time ignoring an analysis of Vladimir Putin by John Oliver since they are incredibly insightful. Instead I found myself admiring the sound of eggs being fried. It was not loneliness that I felt during that morning. It related closer to ambiguity. I had no idea about what content was released the day before or what I would miss that day; how much I would have to catch up on afterwards. However, I pondered why I wanted to know about it so much to begin with. I’ve grown very accustomed to daily, instant news, I failed to see how much I was consuming and how much I relied on it to keep me informed about the world. During the blackout, I stopped using apps that fed me news, so I basically stopped using my phone altogether in a sense aside from the usual calls and texts. Watching the analysis the following day along with several other food-for-thought videos was incredibly satisfying. The assignment was a clear change of pace from the absorption the 21st century has enveloped us in. I came to the conclusion that although technology has brought us closer, it has also brought us apart farther than any screen could bring us together.


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