Beats: women's health, social issues and lifestyle. Columbia Journalism School grad. Tar Heel living in NYC. Bylines: amNewYork, China.org.cn, DIYMFA.com and HerCampus.com
Back in March, Everyday Ambassador participated in National Day of Unplugging, a movement that encourages individuals to go on a digital detox for 24 hours straight – that means no browsing social media networks, texting or using any sort of electronic device – and pay attention to their immediate surroundings instead. I’ve done these kinds of challenges before, and they’re hard. The minute you resolve to log off all accounts, you have an immense urge to log back in. It’s all you can think about.
The point, here, isn’t to become a hermit. It’s to designate small pockets of time throughout your day when you can worry less, appreciate more and just be comfortable with yourself in silence.
We all know the world has been shaken by the digital age. Between the iPads and Siri and Google Glass, technology gets more sophisticated with each year that passes by. Nowadays, the need to stay connected has led to the obsession of checking cell phones constantly, an unhealthy relationship with glowing inanimate objects and the urge to document every single moment instead of enjoying it for what it is. Ironically, there are also technologies and other products that have been made specifically to aid in a digital detox. This week, I present to you five of them.
In an attempt to think outside the Internet, I’ve compiled a list of seemingly little details that reveal people’s quirks and lifestyles like no filtered Instagram (#)selfie or “Hobbies” section ever could.
Thirty individuals from around the world. Three days in the Utah desert. No technology. One pilot program.
here are 10 songs for you to enjoy this weekend as part of our Carpe Diem Playlist. We hope this compilation – inspired by summer and all that it may bring – drives you to be open-minded and seek new adventures, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Tech users and offline folks alike will be able to relate to “Connected,” an eight-minute short film by Jubilee Project about the power of connectivity and human relationships – both of which make up the core of what EA is all about.
I’m a big fan of Instagram and digital storytelling. My profile is filled with pictures of everyday meals, outdoor scenery from the occasional stroll around the neighborhood, outfits of the day, and, of course, obligatory selfies (but only when my hair looks picture-perfect). Almost all the photos are filtered and come with their own hashtags: #foodporn, #nature, #springtime, #selfiesunday, #shopping, #ifeelpretty and many others.
Not only does Facebook provide a reminder in the form of a pink present icon at the top right, but a red notification often pops up as well, informing you of so-and-so’s birthday. Unlike Google Calendar and Skype reminders, birthday notifications on Facebook are immediately followed by public wall posts such as, “Happy birthday, bro!” and “Hey, lovely lady! Have a good one!” Facebook friends see the posts on their news feed and feel inclined to do the same. It becomes a chain reaction.
“Uh huh. Yeah, I get it. Mmhm. Uh huh. I see. Sorry, what was it you just said?”
This is the response nobody likes to hear when they’re chatting with someone else. Yet, it happens all the time – between teacher and student, parent and child, you and a friend. More often than not, it’s because the other person is using some sort of digital device that’s taking more than half of the attention away from what’s really supposed to matter at that moment: your conversation.
Before this year, I would’ve told you that my cell phone was “everything.” What did that mean? It meant I used it for every single daily task you can think of, not just texting and calling: I used it to look up recipes online, to find my way around new areas, to craft and send out emails, to store pictures of different Outfits of the Day, to find out what the weather was going to be like the next day and to check what time the next bus would arrive at the stop outside my apartment.
A few days ago, I was at a meeting in New York and one of the hosts gave out free tote bags to all the attendees. After the last tote bag had been passed around, she joked, “I was going to give out free pencils, but then I thought, ‘Who writes with pencils these days?’”
Whether you’re at an hour-long business meeting, an obligatory family reunion, or a monotonous first date, it’s hard not to whip out your smartphone and check your email, Facebook, or the many other mobile applications that become available with a simple finger swipe. It’s become more than just a “bad habit”; it’s second nature—a reflex. You may not even realize you’re reaching for that phone until it’s already in your hands...
Last weekend, I went on a retreat for the first time in three years. The retreat was for the seniors at UNC-Chapel Hill who are a part of North Carolina Fellows, a four-year leadership program designed to foster self-awareness, personal growth and service-oriented mindsets.
Starting at sundown (when National Day of Unplugging officially starts), Everyday Ambassador will cease to post updates on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and any other social media network for the next 24 hours (until Saturday at sundown, when the event ends). There will be no “Bucket List” Saturday post tomorrow, but be sure to check back next week when we resume our regular schedule, starting off with Field Notes Monday!