A Day without Technology

Melissa Stephens

My day without technology was not any different than a normal day. I was in India this summer so I got very comfortable with not using technology, except when I wanted to listen to music (which is often)! I decided to take my sabbath on my first day of work at Tweetsie so I could fully focus on the day and what was to come! I decided to completely eliminate my phone, computer, iPad, and TV for the full 24 hours. To prepare for this day, I told my family, close friends, and roommates what I was going to be doing so they were not worried when they could not get ahold of me. One of my roommates also works at Tweetsie, so she kept my phone throughout the day and took pictures to document!
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My day started with my favorite breakfast: a cinnamon swirl bagel, a banana, and coffee! Instead of having music playing in the background, I sat with my roommate and talked about life and what the day ahead of us was going to look like.

First thing on the agenda of the day was to pick up my uniform. I became official the moment I put the denim and name tag on!

Since it was my first day of work, we decided to take a "first day of work selfie" on the chair lift. The only type of technology I used was the machine to run the rides I worked!

I ate lunch outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather and the few minutes of silence. My roommate and I had the same lunch break so instead of catching up on what I missed on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat that morning, we were able to talk about how the day was going so far and little things that happened here and there!

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One of the first rides I was trained on was the Tweetsie Twister. It is so different being on the other side of a theme park and working the rides. At this point in the day I was to distracted to notice that I had not been on my phone since I was working and being trained. As the day progressed, you would think that it would be super busy, but it was pretty slow. By the afternoon I was working the chair lift, and there would be forty five minute stints of no one coming up the mountain, and my co-workers had their phones out while waiting. That was the first point in the day where it became difficult. I gave my phone to my roommate so I would not be tempted, but it was so tempting to go and get it from her! I realized though the beauty in looking up. So often we get caught looking down and scrolling through our phones that we miss the beauty that is surrounding us on a daily basis. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. There was a slight breeze and the grass was blowing in the wind. If I would have had my phone, I would have been consumed by what was going on in cyber space, instead of being still and soaking up the beautiful creations that were around me.

The first ride I was trained on was boats and planes. This ride is for the little kids. During this time I was blown away by how many parents were caught up on their phones, paying no attention at all to their children on the rides. It made me really think about how society says that people in my generation and the generations below me are addicted to technology, when in reality, the older generations are just as much addicted, if not more so.

My first day at Tweetsie came to an end around six that evening. It was a great day full of new things and new people. When I left all I wanted to do was go back to my apartment and watch Netflix or listen to music. I missed listening to music!
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To keep my mind occupied, some of my friends and I decided to have a bonfire. I love building community and spending quality time with people. Something I really love about my friends is that for the most part, whenever we are together, we do not really use our phones. It is super refreshing to be surrounded by like minded people who realize the importance of quality time. We made a fire, ate s'mores, laughed, danced, worshiped, and had all around incredible conversation. I did not miss having my phone at all because I was occupied by the beautiful people surrounding me.
There is something so beautiful about taking a break from the world and sitting around a fire. I really enjoyed being still and just listening to the laughter of friends, the soft voices of people talking amongst each other, and enjoying the company.
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After a long day it was finally time to go back to my apartment to my beautiful bed. It was a great day full of new adventures and realization. I don't think I could function without technology, considering we live in a world where the demand for the use of technology is so high, but I could live without a smart phone or something that ables me to have instant access to the internet wherever I am. There is so much value in physical community that living live through technology does not provide. Sure there are all these ways people can connect, like Skpye or video games, but there is nothing like seeing someone face to face and meeting them where they are in life.
I have a huge desire to teach overseas. I was in India this summer and worked in a school where they were lucky if they had a pencil to share between five children. It was so sad to see the difference between schools in America and schools in India.

Throughout this day of no technology, I spent a lot of time thinking about if I were to go overseas, how would I be able to incorporate technology into my teaching?

In the type of setting I want to work, there is little to no influence of technology among the people. Many of them have never seen a camera or a picture of themselves, so the distractions by technology are not there. But there is an importance to having technology in a classroom, and there is so much you can do, as a teacher, using technology. Since I would be working with younger children, I would use an iPad to take pictures of them making different faces that portray different emotions so they could physically see what they look like.

As a teacher, I would not use technology all the time, because of the social aspect of not having technology, but I would also use it and incorporate it in lesson planning whenever needed because there is such an importance in keeping up with new advances in the world.