How Much Do You Rely on Technology?

My Thanksgiving travels took me to the heartland of our country, Kansas, to a small town where my grandmother resides. I was anxious about this trip for two reasons: 1) My grandmother refuses to own a computer or have internet set up at her house, and 2) I found out earlier this year that my cell phone carrier no longer receives service at my grandmother’s house. The horror! No internet, calls, or texts….I knew I was going to feel disconnected the majority of my stay. Not to mention, I had several assignments I needed to grade for my Introduction to Computing class that required the use of a computer with access to Blackboard.

Keep all the above in mind and then throw in an impending winter ice storm headed directly for my grandmother’s small town that was going to affect being able to safely leave the area. Without the internet or data on our cell phones, we had no way of checking the projected forecast or possible flight cancellations. Talk about stressful!

As much as I could go on about my Thanksgiving break, that’s not the intent of this blog post. Being “disconnected” gave me a new perspective on how much we rely on technology in our day-to-day interactions. Have you thought about how much of your work can be done without the use of a computer? Or how you would find information without the use of Google? When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter to someone instead of just sending an email or text?

As I reflect on these questions myself, I’m stumped. There’s not much I can do about work, after all, the word “technology” is in my title. I get frustrated when the internet goes down, and I’m forced to switch gears.  Unfortunately, my students are almost caught in the same predicament. Sure, they can read their textbook, but their work is computer-based, so without technology, they can’t complete anything.

We’ve come to rely on technology so much that when we’re forced to be without it, we find it hard to cope.  At least, I do. So, I challenge you:  if you had to go without technology resources for a day (or more), what would you do for work and/or class? My challenge might prove useful in the future!

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