Individual Assignment 3: 48-hour news blackout

Amber Einhorn/ 5445713/ Team 14

Nicely written Amber. I like how you analyzed this reading and how it affected you.

Many millennials to this day like to pretend our reliance on social media isn’t as great as it is until we are challenged to go long periods of time completely disconnected from the world. As for myself, I didn’t grow up overly exposed to technology in the way some younger kids today are playing with tablets rather than with toys. I know how to leave my phone at home without worrying but I can’t imagine my life completely without instant knowledge of everything I would ever want to know at the tip of my fingers. With that said, I wasn’t sure how a 48- hour news blackout would affect me. But I went in confident anyways.

After reading “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz, I was worried loneliness would take over my entire being without warning. I was only initially annoyed at the fact I could tell I was experiencing a slight internet withdrawal, but then after a conscious effort to keep myself busy, the withdrawal symptoms began to disappear. Then suddenly what initially felt like loneliness and exclusion from the world actually became a relaxing, self-reflective bliss. I found myself being able to pick up some old hobbies I gave up because I thought I didn’t have enough time for them. It made me realize how long 24 hours truly is, and how much can really get done.

I wondered if time passes by faster for people living with technology due to the constant stimulation. As much as I learned to appreciate the quiet and stillness of my new life I did miss being able to know what was on the news. Even with that, I didn’t feel the level of loneliness that William Deresiewicz so adamantly said, people my age would feel. I  inspected again his paper and noticed it was written in 2009, due to that I realized why I didn’t relate to what he wrote.

So much can change in nine years, and this decades 20-year-olds aren’t the same ones that were newly introduced to technology in the early 2000s or even the ones from 9 years ago. People my age today were slowly introduced into our new technology-filled lives, and know nothing other than it. The young adults back then did know a life before all the major tech came out thus having a point of comparison. Suddenly, if someone was lonely in the past they would no longer need to feel so with the world in their palms. It makes sense that Deresiewicz wrote how the 20-year-olds of that time would feel intense loneliness without technology because once introduced to a solution, why would someone want to give it up?

I realized that my overly-interconnected generation might have been raised on the internet which has its ups and downs. It is because of that, that we have a bigger voice than others our age ever had the chance to have, and if we choose to use it, we could change the world.


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