It’s day two of the wireless experiment and I have already attempted to go online twice and caught myself. First, to look for phone numbers to a bike shop to get my bike repaired and then later because I had forgotten when an event that I had been invited to through Facebook was going to take place. Internet makes things like this simple, you have a question – and internet has the answer (most of the time). Instead I had to ask one of my flatmates to look up these things for me, which made me feel like a bit of a pain.
Not having internet however makes you more focused. I have been listening to music. Just listening to music, without doing anything else. I can’t remember the last time I did that. And before bedtime yesterday I finished a book I have had on my shelf for three months by reading it cover to cover. So sleep was definitely disturbed, but at least it was not because I was stuck watching youtube clips or surfing around on Facebook
Uploaded on Youtube 6 March 2011
By: NBC ActionNews
This is a TEDx talk by Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and sociologist, that studies how technology is shaping modern relationships. I find this talk so intriguing, because it revolves around a lot of the frustrations that I have myself about technology’s impact on our relationships.
Last night I killed my home internet access. It is going to be shut down for 3 days. This is already getting on my friends nerves. This morning I got a text from one of my closer friends saying “How can you shut down your internet now, we need to book the trip”. See me and my friend are going traveling to a far off place together, and since we are currently not even living in the same country, she finds my experiment extremely stressful. But I don’t.
So far, so good.
(Photo from: http://www.lelalondon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Sleep-on-Animal.jpg, accsessed 11th March 2013)
A young adult is recommended to sleep for an average of seven to eight hours each night. Very few people I know actually get that amount of sleep. Could the use of technology before bedtime be to blame?
2012 Research from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has shown that fatigue, stress, depression and sleep disorders in Young Adults can be linked to heavy use of technology.
Some of the specific findings relating to sleep and the use of technology were:
- Late night use of computers was found to disturb sleep for both men and women, consequently leading to mental health problems for both sexes.
- The people who found being constantly accessible via mobile phone stressful, were found to be the ones in greatest risk of mental illness.
- If a person were both a heavily user of computers and mobile phones, the association between the use and issues such as sleep depravation and metal problems were stronger.
The full study can be found here: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/28245
Perhaps it is time to reclaim our bedrooms as the time for sleep, and… well.
As for most university students, internet is a huge part of my everyday life. True, internet is an important tool for my studies and my phone bill would probably hit the roof without skype. But most of the time I am not using internet for these purposes. Instead I’m; e-mailing, using Facebook, watching movies and clips on YouTube or spend hours on online shopping sites (from which I never buy anything). Last week I even joined twitter, although I quickly gave up, and abandoned the account after less then one day.
Reflecting over my online habits has led to a growing thought: Is internet eating our lives?
By writing this blog I hope to examine the way that we use internet, motivations for people to go online, discuss what we spend our time doing connected to internet and the way it effects our lives. As part of this, I will shut down my home-internet access for 3 full days.
Question is: how will not having any internet affect me and the way I spend my time doing during these 72 hours?