This week in tech: Schools back in session

I plead guilty. Of what? Well, I am an avid user of just about anything with a screen and with the mix of my job as a Web Director, my online courses and my self-maintained social media accounts my face is glued to a screen most of the day, and though I do see it as problem sometimes (I’m good enough at managing it so that I don’t text and drive but bad enough so that my face-to-face interactions have gotten a little rusty) I don’t think of it as a horrible thing, though most people will tell you it is. I happen to be an advocate of all things technology.

However school is back in session and the priority for me is to pass this semester with flying colors, which means that I need to put my screen down long enough to listen to my professors lectures.

I noticed that my hankering for technology may be border line addiction when I went to my first Digital Theories lecture where my teacher described “digital natives” as being “disconnected” and belittling behaviors such as mine, being close up and personal with a screen for over six hours a day. During this lecture I was slightly depressed about my  class room not having wifi. I was wondering how I’m going to make it through an entire semester…

“You!” My professor’s arm was pointed in my direction.


“Yes, you,” his hands folded behind his back, “What’s your name?”


“Lauren, what do you think?”


 I’m sure you guys can guess how that ended.

So while I was thinking about when I was going to get my next fix of the WWW my teacher was asking questions, important ones, that I was ashamed to have missed. The point of this blog isn’t for me to rant and rave about my “issues” it’s to discuss the new semester and what you can/should do, if you have itchy fingers like mine, to keep your smart phone down and your ears open.

This one is going to sound crazy, but hear me out. Try leaving your phone at home. If you live in dorms or in off-campus housing like 4th Street Commons or 109 Towers and you have one class M/W/F or T/T for an hour and a half or so try leaving your smart phone at home and your laptop (if you don’t use it to take notes) and going to school without it. I know, I know you will feel naked, but in some circles being naked is the equivalent to being liberated, so hey, there is always a bright side. Being without your constantly buzzing phone for two hours isn’t as bad as it sounds. Not only does it allow you to focus on your courses, but it give you the much need detachment from your smart devices.

A less extreme (let’s be honest, leaving your phone at home is pretty extreme in our tech-driven society) way of conquering the semester would be to create study times for yourself with or without a group  – whatever way you study best – and stowing away your devices long enough to get your education on, or at least temporarily banning the use of all social media sites and addicting app games. Minimizing distractions is the key and I don’t know about you but Flappy Birds and Insta feeds are my weaknesses.

Whatever way you decide to defeat this semester don’t take for granted the knowledge you’re receiving, the chance to interaction with your peers and the chance to get involved with your university’s activities. It’s difficult to stop, take a step back and admire the moment when we live in a society that feeds us features, images, ideas faster than you can say “Yes, I’m an addict” but when you do stop, put down your devices and take a few moments to look around you might just find that you enjoy the view.


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