The Uninvited, The Unplanned, And The Unplugged
Start writing a post
Student Life

The Uninvited, The Unplanned, And The Unplugged

Even in-person interactions changed when I lost my technology.

Genaro Servín

To open up midterm week, I lost what I had made into an extension of myself. Simply put, my laptop and my phone both became nonfunctional at the same time.

Now, speaking relatively, I like to think of myself as a fairly unplugged person. I'm inactive on social media, I prefer to print out my class readings, and I generally avoid interacting too much with people via online messaging services.

But with all my personal tech gone, it became clear that even in-person, non-tech ventures quietly relied on these electronics.

Mundane example: How was I supposed to wake up in time for my classes, my time spent reviewing with classmates, my exams, without an alarm? As we decry technology, we praise physical presence. But to consider this practically, I must recognize that I cannot be present if nobody has woken me up, and by this point, asking another person on a different schedule to wake me up would be, quite plainly, rude and selfish.

Using a public access computer, I researched ways to wake up without my phone alarm, and discovered two answers. One was to use an alarm on my laptop, which would not be an option. The other was to train myself to wake up at a certain time. While this option seemed attractive, the idea of usable and useful linear time in any substantial quantity is, in this case, merely romantic. Obviously, my tech had taught me that I would always have what I needed immediately. And now, I needed to wake up the next morning. In the end, I just bought an alarm clock.

But then there are the phenomena that we more readily associate with technology when recalling its status as an overlord: relationships. As previously mentioned, I'm not a huge fan of connections which are centralized online. But even if I only meet people in person, I need my messages to plan to see someone, to make sure they're willing to hang out, to coordinate meeting locations, to find them once I've arrived, to determine directions either to them or to places to visit together.

We prepare for our human-to-human, face-to-face interactions through technological mediums. Even the spontaneous, the unexpected, and the unplanned are mediated by a quick message to make sure it's all possible. We are totally unprepared to go into anything without knowing it will work out smoothly.

My interactions sans technology can be described best as encounters. This arose largely because I could not study wherever I wanted or arrange with friends to meet them at a specific location. Instead, wherever I went to sit down with my reading or to find a publicly accessible computer, I simply found people and went from there.

As another unexpected effect, I learned more about friends' and acquaintances' meaningful places because, instead of compromising or planning places to find one another- or not meeting at all for fear of getting in the way of midterm studying- I found people where they were at, where they themselves wanted to be. And finding them in the environments they loved as individuals meant more than I could have anticipated. In these cases, they were studying and existing without having shaped their methods or locations to arrangements with others. They were acting only for themselves, and by only running into them and never arranging with them, I learned more about them.

The ability to arrange to meet people, to work with their schedule and compromise, is extremely important. I'm extremely grateful to have my technology back and write this article on my own schedule, on my own device, in whatever space I choose, and to be able to message the person I plan to meet here later so we can find one another. But I'll certainly be hoping to pay more attention to the human capacity to encounter.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments