PLEASE NOTE: The goal of this exercise is to give up some form of technology during this week. Do NOT rely on reflections from the past as memories can be imperfect and subject to bias.
Also, while I DO recommend that you save your responses to a document on your own computing device, please post your response directly into the discussion text area rather than as attachments. Attachments are not accessible to all users and are less likely to be viewed by your classmates.
On July 30, 2012, the world’s biggest blackout took place in India when three major power grids collapsed. To learn more about the story, visit: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57483166/india-blackout-worsens-620m-in-dark/
How do you think you would survive a power blackout?
Although it may seem a little counter-intuitive, we are going to start our consideration of technology in modern society by removing technology from our modern lives. This will lay an important foundation for the remainder of the course. This week, you are to pick one 24-hour period in which you avoid technology as much as possible. This includes the use of the following:
- Cell phone and handheld devices
- Computers, laptops, tablets
- Video games
- Smart phones
- iPods, MP3, radio
- any other mobile device
For an extra challenge: start your day by filling large containers with as much water as you think you might be able to haul from a river or outside well and use only that water throughout the day instead of relying on water from tap.
Obviously, if you must use any of these devices to perform your job or to keep children safe and healthy, you may do so. You may use kitchen appliances to prepare your meals (I don’t want your family to go hungry!) and turn your air conditioning or heat on to keep your family comfortable, but during your blackout day, avoid as much modern technology as possible while you are at home. Be very mindful of the technologies that you use or avoid during the day and how this impacts your ability to function. The objective of this exercise is to help you to appreciate the ways in which technology impacts your functioning in everyday life. If you have other family members, see if they will participate with you and use this opportunity to talk about how technology impacts your life as a family.
After you have completed your blackout period, respond to the following questions in 2-3 paragraphs:
- What technologies were you aware of using that past generations did not have? How do these technologies impact your life?
- What technologies did you give up during your blackout?
- What did you miss the most and why?
- How did the absence of these devices impact you in the home, workplace and other areas of your life?