Life Without Cell Phones and Social Media
Yahoo has the following story: Jake Reilly’s ‘Amish Project:’ 90 Days Without a Cell Phone, Email and Social Media
Could you live without daily electronic conveniences — Twitter, Facebook, email, texting and more — for 90 days? Jake P. Reilly, a 24-year-old copywriting student at the Chicago Portfolio School, did just that.
My immediate reaction to the story was: yes, I have done that project as well, although instead of (mis-) labeling it the “Amish Project” I called it “being in the 1980s and early 1990s.” At that time I had no cell phone, no e-mail, and no social media. May I say that, even with the downsides that all of those things can bring, that my life is a lot easier with those things than it was without them? It is certainly easier to communicate with my family (both my wife and kids and my extended family) and, in general, I like my gadgets.
I take the point that one can get too immersed in these things (like checking texts or Facebook instead of talking to people in the room) but it seems that learning appropriate behavior is the best solution.
Plus, if one is going to engage in and “Amish” Project, there better be beards, buggies, and barn-raising, not just having to use a land line and paper notes.
One last thought: while it is clearly rude to text at dinner or whatnot there is also a certain rudeness to quitting the basic communication methods of the present day. Quitting Twitter and Facebook are one thing, but being unreachable by e-mail or phone (he didn’t, initially, even have a landline) is another. There is part of this that strikes as being beyond interesting social experiment and verging into egotistical stunt. I don’t, for example, know how one manages being in school these days without access to e-mail and the like. His e-mail rules were a bit fuzzy, however, as there is a part of the story wherein he is checking it for banking purposes.