Cutting the Cord

Cutting the Cord

Lauren Ferraro

It is indubious that technology contributed great importance to the way life is lived today. Although it has been something that has been recently introduced to us on the scale of our history, it will forever revolutionize the course of human history. Throughout the beginning of the 21st century, technology has been convenient for daily life. It grants the opportunity to have access to limitless amounts of information and to connect with people from all over the world.  In addition to that, it can be a game-changer when it comes to entertainment. However, it can also cause a fair share of problems like distractions, mental anguish, and overall dependence. 


Over the last year or so, the utilization of technology has been more vital for me. When the pandemic started, and everything started to close down, technology was my only salvage to connect with the outside world. Technology was my source of entertainment, my education, and my social life. Every aspect of my life fit among a couple of screens, which heavily contributed to my dependence. As a result of this, I saw my internet usage skyrocket to unhealthy levels. Since that time, every other factor that I had in my life, like going out and finding a pastime, dwindled into nothing. The balance in my life was so uneven that it led me to ponder what life was like without a screen. As the months went on, my curiosity heightened until I decided to try it for myself. I decided that I would try to remove all technology like phones, tablets, laptops, and televisions from my life for a day to gain a new perspective on life. So on May 30, 2021, at 11:35 pm, I said farewell to all my gadgets and spent the first night in years without a screen.


I woke up to the revelation of the decision that I had previously made.  The thought frightened me, not having the one thing that I have heavily relied on to get through the day. However, I chose to focus on the present instead of riling myself up for the future. Time was hard to track now, so I depended on the kitchen clock to track my progress for the day. The morning flew by, and I already managed to keep myself busy during that time.  During the first hours since waking up, I studied, bought donuts, and visited my relatives. Within the first segment of the day, I saw myself being more attentive to the world around me. While driving to my relative’s house, I noticed every sign, every tree, every pedestrian, and every passing car. I was more attentive when talking to my relatives and appreciated every single moment much more than I did before. 


Upon returning home, the first wave of boredom struck me, just as I feared. I ate my lunch at a relatively slow rate, intending to pass time that I didn’t know how to spend. Music is something that I can’t live without, and I depend on my electronics heavily to provide that for me. However, with that privilege not available to me, I sat in front of my guitar in hopes of hearing a melodious tune. As expected, that didn’t happen, so I decided to make my own music. I knew the basic chords but, in terms of technique, my knowledge was very much limited. I tried to strum, fingerpick, and play some scales, but to no avail. The sound that I created resembled noise instead of music. 


After that, I took a walk with my family to clear my head and ears from the distracting, fast-paced world. Similar to earlier, time became still, but in the best way possible. The once fast-paced world began to move at our own pace, as the only thing that concerned us was the conversations we had. As I looked at the beautiful landscape and the still river that we were chasing after, momentarily, I felt as if the world stopped. After that walk, we decided to tour some colleges.


The last part of the day, however, did not run as smoothly as the previous parts.  Although I did the same usual things, I couldn’t use technology to fill in the gaps of the day, which left plenty of time leftover. My adrenaline started to pump as the kitchen clock started to get closer to midnight. After a nice dinner and a couple of family games, I was to be by myself for the last two hours. Once again, time felt still, but in a debilitating and strained way. Although I yearned to throw in the towel, I decided to crochet my time away. Finally, I heard the loud blaring alarm that would grant me my freedom. 


It was a long day of boredom and agony.  It was a day of reflection and renewal. Many different emotions coincided to create a day that will be embedded in my mind forever. I survived a whole day without my shield, without the one thing I was dependent on and made a pretty memorable day out of it. This day changed not only my view of electronics but also my perspective of life in the 21st century. I learned that if used in a balanced way, technology can still provide all its benefits, but at the same time, a break can be positively rewarding for mental health and can grant the feeling of freedom. This lesson was something that I already knew before, but this challenge made me see it from a completely different lens.