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Living Like It's 1925
Difficult. Lonely. Quiet. Those are the words Matt Lee ’13 used to describe spending a week without technology.
Theatre and Dance Assistant Professor Kimberly Hill challenged Lee and eight others to live without cell phones, computers, iPods, and TVs to help them prepare for their roles in the upcoming play “Hay Fever,” which is set in 1925.
“I went into the exercise with an open mind and was very determined that I would be able to go on an entire week without technology, but it was surprisingly difficult,” Lee said.
Lee realized how he had taken technology for granted, especially the simple ability to carry around a cell phone and to keep tabs with his friends by sending text messages. He was forced to rely on face-to-face interactions with his friends, which weren’t easy to arrange since he was the only one without technology. He pointed out that making plans for anything has been extremely difficult and a hassle without his cell phone and email.
He had only one slip-up—Facebook. He was so used to checking it frequently that on the first day of the experiment he checked it almost reflexively. Otherwise, Lee hasn’t broken any other rules.
Anna Vossler ’11 confessed that she microwaved her soup and didn’t even realize what she was doing until it was too late. Vossler almost made a second mistake when she grabbed her cell phone and walked out of the house with it. The agreement she and the others made was that they were supposed to treat their cell phones like landlines and leave them at home. Vossler didn’t have time to return home, so she quickly turned off the phone and headed to class.
Although not being able to use technology was inconvenient for many, Vossler said she noticed a difference in her life. Her food tasted better when she stopped microwaving it. Her room was also cleaner, because she wasn’t sitting around her house all day watching television or surfing the Net. As for not being glued to her cell phone, Vossler said, “It was nice not having to check my phone 100 times day for text messages and voicemail.”
“Hay Fever” runs May 27–29 and June 2–4.