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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Tech Fasting

When I decided to experiment with shunning technology for the weekend, I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. Turns out it was not what I expected, but I learned a lot. First off, I learned I’m really not that good at technology to begin with. Surprise!

The biggest problem was that I would be away from my computer when my Sunday blog was to be posted. I wanted to keep on schedule and yet keep my technology interaction to a minimum. And while I was able to do it, things went awry. You may have noticed that instead of receiving the normal notification, you probably received some weird “invitation”. I apologize. There is obviously a learning curve to posting from afar.

Secondly, I think Siri might be having a meltdown since I failed to interact with her for the whole weekend. When I checked in on Monday evening, I had 190 emails waiting to be dealt with. Apparently when your inbox gets that full, it refuses any attempt to delete them. I would trash them, but they keep popping back up. Definitely another learning curve!

Overall though, the experiment was a success. As Joyce and I prepared to leave, I was too busy to even think about the phone which made me believe the experiment would be a smashing success. On the way to our destination though, we wanted to stop for lunch. There was a strong temptation to google restaurants and then use MapQuest to get there, but we resisted and I am glad. It was so much more of an adventure. Getting lost usually is!

While this plan was in the early stages, my mind believed that having no technology would consist of waking with the sun and going to bed with the daylight, of eating when hungry and resting when tired, of operating on what my body tells me instead of what my watch or phone says. But that’s not what happened. I had no idea of how dependent I was.

As a little time passed I really thought I was doing well because I was staying away from TikTok and Facebook. I thought I had miraculously given up the phone addiction. And then I realized that when I wanted to go for a walk, I wanted to take my phone with me so I could count my steps and track my progress. I wanted to know the hourly weather report so I could plan my day and wouldn’t get caught in surprise rain showers. I wanted to check and see what time the moon was rising and also the sun while I was at it. The phone gives a sense of control and safety, but it takes away a sense of adventure.

However, with a little success under my belt, I was starting to scoff at the phone. Maybe it was the withdrawal symptoms talking, but I was suddenly feeling a little superior to those poor humans who needed their phones every second.

Toward the end of the weekend, I decided to read for awhile on the beach while Joyce was getting ready for dinner. I still don’t know why, but I threw my phone into my bag and made a joke about carrying it with me in case Joyce “fell and couldn’t get up”.

A little while later on the beach there was a commotion. There were some grown men in the waves, and they were waving their arms and shouting in between the beating that each new wave hit them with. One of the friends in their group brought their Pitbull over and asked me to hold him. She went halfway out and came right back. She took the dog and told me the men needed help but the whole group had left their phones in the car. Any attitude or idea I had about phones was instantly replaced with gratitude. I called 911; help arrived quickly, and the story ended well.

When it was all over I found I couldn’t focus on my book any longer. I sat quietly, holding my phone reverently and saying a prayer of thanks.

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