Sunday, March 4, 2007
Day 1 - Results - Overall
I'm back...and it feels...not so comfortable. First of all, thank you so much for your support - and by "support", I truly mean the the praise for what I've been doing, the attacks for what I've been doing, and everything in between. It has made me realize that this project has struck a nerve (or perhaps I should say a variety of nerves) and has given me inspiration to continue this path of evaluating the impact of modern technology on our well-being - as individuals and as a society. For those of you who have left messages and included contact info (via this blog), I will be getting in touch with you over the next week of so.
The above picture is of Alex and I on a snow day. If I hadn't been doing this project, we probably would have used the weather as an excuse to bundle up on the couch and watch endless episodes of something (TiVo'd, of course)...but in the absence of television, we decided to go sledding (I know, I know...not 1949 style sleds). It was great - we were the only fully participating adults. I looked over to see Alex standing in the middle of a line, hovering about 3 feet taller and 30 years older than the rest of the kids. He had one of the biggest smiles I had ever seen...this is the moment I realized that this project had the potential to be something big.
I've been thinking how to convey (on this blog) the last 30 days. I want to do so in way which I will be able to say goodbye to the blog (it will still be posted, but I will no longer be contributing to it) in a finite time. My research will continue, but I've decided that I want to continue it in a much more technology-free environment (i.e. snailmail, library, etc.). So I've decided to break it down into the following segments:
Day 1 - Results - Overall
Day 2 - Results - Internet
Day 3 - Results - Email vs. Snailmail
Day 4 - Results - Television
Day 5 - Results - Cell Phone vs. Corded Home Phone
Day 6 - Results - Credit Card/ATM vs. Cash
Day 6 - Results - "Times Saving" Appliances
Day 7 - Results - Food
Day 8 - Results - Media
Day 9 - Results - Conclusion
The last 30 days have been the best of my life. When I woke up yesterday morning realizing that the project had officially ended and saw the blanket over the television, I had no desire to remove it. I did check my personal email, but did not feel relieved to be doing so...no "I'm happy that I'm connected again". I only felt overwhelmed and sad. I will be restocking my stationary and stamps...snailmail is where it's at. I also turned on my cell phone and checked for any messages. There were a few; nothing earth shattering. Then I quickly turned it back off. Today I will be recording a message on the cell stating that I will only be using it for emergency purposes, so please contact me on my home phone and leave a message, if you'd like...yes, the home answering machine will be returning...perhaps the only item I truly missed. Television much less - reading and listening to the radio much more. The credit card and ATM will remain in a drawer...I saved about $300 by only using cash this month. If needed, I will use a microwave...but if it breaks, I won't feel panicked. I'll probably use the dishwasher when we have people over for meals...then again, maybe not. Great conversations can take place in the process of washing and drying dishes. And I'll still buy milk in a glass bottle, supplied by a local farm at some of our local stores...it's true; it does taste better.
And then there is this somewhat crazy media thing that has happened with this project...all from an Ann Arbor News story. This part of it, ironically, will be a major part of my conclusions...technology and the spread of information. Why are so many people interested?...I think it's because I'm not the only one who feels sad and overwhelmed when I check my email. I think many of us are craving more of those sledding experiences.
Get the overall picture of the month? I look forward to going into more details over the next few days.
Ciao for now,