It’s Friday morning. I wake up to two alarms. My radio goes off, playing soft music to try to draw me out of bed, and then my annoying cell phone starts ringing some kind of dance song to make sure I actually get up. Right from the get-go, technology enters my life. I like to keep my music on as I get ready; I drink my coffee, brush my teeth and do something with my hair as my iPod plays through the small apartment. I’m ready to walk out the door for class, but first, I make a stop at my laptop and log onto the CBC website to read provincial and national news. Today, I have enough time to visit the New York Times homepage as well.
It takes me twenty minutes to walk up the hill to campus. All the while, music is streaming through my headphones. My first class of the day is Reporting 2.0. We watch a few videos from the internet, but mostly it’s a technology-free discussion about technology. I make a page’s worth of handwritten notes. At the end of the class, an iPad is passed around. I can’t imagine myself ever using one. Having said that, I’m the kid who didn’t get a cell phone until Christmas of last year. Now, I’m the kid who sends text messages to her friends when she’s supposed to be focusing on readings for classes. I’m well aware that it takes me longer to finish Titus Andronicus when I’m consistently shooting texts back and forth, but I do it anyway.
Before long, it’s time for my next class. Great Ideas revolves around books. There’s no technology allowed. But as soon as I leave the class and start walking home, my headphones make another appearance.
The rest of my afternoon is spent off campus. Through my texting, I had arranged a coffee date with a friend at Coffee & Friends, where a Beatles CD is playing.
Back home, I actually keep the apartment quiet as I cook dinner. That’s not to say that my laptop isn’t open. I’m checking my email and finding the latest news in pop culture. The night wears on, and after dinner I watch a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother as I write up a short assignment and do some more readings. The show’s still playing as I call home and talk to my family for over an hour. Eventually, it’s time to get myself ready and to a friend’s house where we have a few drinks and watch Arrested Development.
Here’s a breakdown. Today, I was exposed to music for six and a half hours. About two hours were spent on the internet, either in my email account or just clicking through webpages. Close to five hours were spent watching videos, which were usually on in the background while I was reading. For two and a half hours, I had my nose in a paper book. All in all, I sent 28 text messages. If it weren’t for spending a few hours in classes, I’m sure it would be more. I’m the only person I know who doesn’t have Facebook, and I thought that would reduce my exposure to technology. I use pen and paper more than my laptop, and I wear a watch instead of checking my cell phone for the time. But breaking it down like this, I’m surprised at the stats. I was awake for 18 hours, give or take a few minutes. Over two thirds of my day had a digital element.