What happens when a of group school age kids go from sending 3,700 texts per month to zero, overnight?
Do they have feelings of isolation, panic, and symptoms of withdrawal? Or do they come to the realization that there is a whole other world beyond the virtual one they inhabit?
Gladmar School took this week to find out what happens when the entire school disconnects.
The school signed up for the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge, following in the footsteps of Issaquah High School near Seattle, Washington. They gave up electronic devices from May 20 to 23, and are the first Canadian school to take part in the challenge.
Foresters, an international life insurance provider, launched the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge, which encourages middle and secondary school students to disconnect from technology for a short period of time.
This is an opportunity to discuss their experiences going "tech-free" and with it they will hopefully gain a new perspective on their online interactions.
I absolutely love this!
Technology is important in the world today, but there is a difference between using technology and over-connectedness. Instead of bringing people closer together, it can create social isolation. The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge addresses a growing concern about young people's reliance on digital devices for communication and the amount of time they spend interacting with people on social media versus in face-to-face relationships.
According to a survey done by Foresters in preparation for the challenge, on average, 8 - 18-year-olds are connected to some form of electronic media for 8 - 12 hours per day.
If this is correct, that's their entire waking day!
I have evaluated my own use of social media and technology versus the amount of face-time I get with people in my life and I have to say, it saddens me that the nuances of face-to-face interaction, the depth, the emotion attached to the human voice is missing and a part of each of us goes with that.
I have started to leave my cell phone at home, not as often as I want or should, but when I'm out with friends or my kids, I want to be able to give them my full attention, not to mention the world around me. When I first began leaving it at home, I felt a little lost. I feel even more lost when the people I'm with sit with their faces in their phones.
I'm totally up for this challenge, and I believe not only more students, but more people should take this challenge as well. Take time to realize that there is a whole world in which the graphics are the most realistic you've ever seen - disconnect from the two-dimensional and reconnect with what is real.