The Low-Tech Diet

The Challenge:

In order to release myself from the constraints of modern technology, I stopped using it for five days. No email. No computers, cell phone, T.V., or digital anything. I want to expose our society's dependency on inanimate and intangible things. I kept a journal to chronicle my days without technology.

My culture, the youth culture, is based almost entirely on the internet. The influence of the internet expands into every aspect of my daily life. E-mails from friends about dinner, assignments for class posted on the web, job hunting!!! My immediate life necessitates the internet and the technology which accompanies it -- my job searches have all been on the internet, my family stays connected through e-mail.

For five days, I am giving up the internet. I am nervous about this because I need to be aware of updates on academic work, family life, job hunting. In addition to the internet , I am shutting down my laptop, turning off my cell phone, putting away my disc man, and ignoring the T.V.

I hesitate doing this in the name of art because I am not an "artist" per se, I am enrolled in an art class for which I have to analyze human interaction with technology. The fact that we use technology and are able to reflect on the technology to the degree that we do is what differentiates humans from animals. However to what extent is the use of technology going to make use different than our past selves? Are we going to use tools so much so that present day humans will be a different species than future humans?

There are many factors which will hinder the progress of the project, such as communication with teachers, classmates, friends, family, and most importantly, at this point, future employers.

I am excited to examine the irony of this undertaking: making a website about not using the web and other things associated with it.

Themes:

disconnection/connection with family, friends; dependency; creativity -- does using the internet make you less creative?; attention; anxiety

Go to Diary
julia p. parsons