Toughest college test: No cell phone, no Facebook

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2010 - 10:16 PM

Professors are asking students to turn off laptops, iPods and the like for 24 hours or more. For some, it's impossible; for others, a revelation.

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markgoffMar. 13, 1010:57 PM

I'm 62 and I couldn't go 24 hours without using my laptop or checking email or Facebook, much less five days. Everyone I know would be looking in the obits for me...

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native99Mar. 13, 1011:46 PM

We recently moved and our internet service provider wasn't going to be the same. So I took that opportunity to take a break from the internet. It was supposed to be a three month experiment in which we'd have all kinds of time to do other things. But it didn't work out that way. We lasted about three weeks. My husband got his facebook fix by going to the library during lunchtime everyday. I went once a week. It was very different to have to use the phone to transfer money in my bank accounts, pay bills by phone/mail, call people for directions. I was so dependent on the internet for so much - for instance, I had to go to the library to get cookbooks instead of looking a recipe up on the computer. :o) When we have internet hooked up we stay up until midnight each doing our own thing on the computers, but when we discontinued service we went to bed by 9:30pm. Which was disappointing to me because part of my experiment was to use that "extra" time at night to do different things like read books, play board games with my husband, meditate, etc. All in all though, it was a cool (sometimes frustrating) experience. I am definitely glad to have internet service again.

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bkind37Mar. 14, 1012:12 AM

about letting people see how it feels to have a day not so linked in to everyone. I would never want to share on facebook, with people who are not REALLY my friends, where I am and what I am doing. And why do people care so much about reading this stuff about each other anyway. I carry a cell phone for emergencies only. If I am out with friends or doing my own thing, taking a phone call is the last thing that I want to do.

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stinkystinkyMar. 14, 1012:51 AM

besides, facebook aint that cool anyway. Friendster, back in the day, was where the action was.----reading this article, on the wireless internet emanating from my neighbor's house, while listening to the radio and watching tv in the background on mute.

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vf702Mar. 14, 1012:53 AM

Can you imagine if we had a real, large scale natural disaster where people had to get back to the basics. How would we survive? Would the new generation even know that there are cookbooks at a library instead of just online? How many kids have been taught how to use a map when GPS and Google maps are so easy. Recently there was a story about how girl scout camps were going under due to lack of attendance. Skills that survived generations have suddenly disappeared. The real story here is how our culture has changed, not for better or for worse, just adapted.

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maxman1812Mar. 14, 10 1:08 AM

I'm in college right now and laptops are SO useful for classes. Taking notes is instantaneous and I can easily supplement my knowledge by looking up topics for more in depth information while my professor is going over points I always understand. The thing about this is that older people are so out of date that they don't realize the usefulness and fundamental psychological benefits from technology. Also, what's so special about 1984? Why not go earlier into the 70's and stop using microwaves for a week, see how far we get. What about cars? Hell they're useful technology we don't think about everyday, we just use them. How about we go further than that and stop using everything that wasn't made on an assembly-line for 24 hours. Medical vaccinations and sterile surgery: forget it. Oh and forget the printing press completely, nothing but hand-written books. Also, stop using in-door plumping for a couple days and see where it gets you. Finally, let's stop harnessing fire for heat and hot water for a couple weeks and forget about soap. Let's go and smell like crazy. Why people want to regress like this is only because they cannot keep up. It's called progress. Sure, I probably won't be able to operate my kid's virtual dimension video games and my grandkids' hovercars, but that doesn't mean I should write them off as evil and condemn their use. People need to get over the fact that things will never be as simple and primitive as when they grew up, no matter which generation they're from.

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SekaLoniLMar. 14, 10 1:35 AM

Apparently, you understand so much and are so worldly wise, you do not know who George Orwell is. Oh, wait. Go use the internet to read the crib notes. "We ain't gonna make it with this crowd"

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todd1970Mar. 14, 10 4:51 AM

I am continuously in awe of the recent advances in technology. We have the power to do so much with so little effort that it can be a little frightening. I worry, however, that we are slowly replacing our face-to-face relationships with electronic relationships. Technology gives us great tools for 'keeping up' with our friends, but lacks the intimacy that a true friendship requires. Though I haven't Facebooked or twittered and I don't own an I-Pod, I am not a techno-phobe. I am just someone who hopes that we don't allow these incredible tools to control our lives. Man is the ultimate technological breakthrough, let's hope we are not supplanted by things that require batteries!

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notmetooMar. 14, 10 5:23 AM

It's called camping, and a few days now and then is enough! And I'm pushing 60 too.

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jpyandrasitsMar. 14, 10 6:01 AM

I have close friends, most of whom are in their 40's, who worry me. Not because of their reliance on the tech tools, but their reliance on the "socialization" that occurs using these tools. I have seen them, while in a crowd of friends, sign onto facebook or twitter. In some cases, I don't think that events really occur for them until they have posted it on facebook or received a tweet about it. I think the contact these tools provide is superficial and sad.

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