Long time, no post. As the fall semester is in now full swing, I’ve been working on digging myself out of the hole of homework assignments, readings and thesis work that has consumed me over the past week. It’s also apparently time to starting working on job and fellowship applications? #thisissenioryear
While I tackling all of the work I have to do, I still want to focus on regularly posting on this blog. I was thinking back to the small blog I kept this summer in New York, before I created Mainly MC. I wrote a post on how I found disconnecting from technology to be an unexpectedly freeing experience (I know, am I even a Millennial?).
I ended the post by stating that I hoped I would remain occasionally disconnected when I returned to campus, and I’m happy to report that that hope has been somewhat realized since I arrived back on campus almost 3 weeks ago. In addition to spending less time randomly checking social media and sending mindless texts, I also find myself picking up the phone to call people more often. Whether it’s chatting with my mom while I walk across campus or calling a classmate to set up a group project meeting, I have been spending more time seeking out conversation via voice (a close second to a face-to-face interaction). More tech-related musings to come in the future, maybe?
And for those of you who missed my NYC post on disconnecting, I’ve posted it below. More posts coming soon!
The summer has been full of highs (seeing 5 Broadway shows, hanging out with my wonderful roommates, brunching, exploring the East Village, spending time with all kinds of family members who have come to visit) and very little lows (weird leaks in our apartment, getting lost in subway stations, occasionally having to ask myself “is that rain water or some other strange liquid that just dropped onto my face” when walking outside).
One perceived low turned high is having only 1GB of data on my cell phone. Let me tell you, friends, when you’re not on a WiFi-friendly college campus and have a low-key addiction to checking Instagram every 5 minutes, having only 1GB of data is challenging in New York City. I want to be a responsible adult and not rack up my family’s cell phone bill, so I keep my data turned off when I’m traveling around the city and only use it in dire situations (see aforementioned: “getting lost in subway stations”).
I originally thought keeping my data off would be awful, and I must admit that I do occasionally miss texts from my roommates or have the urge to refresh my email inbox when walking around the city. But, most of the time, I’ve actually found I enjoy being unattached to my phone. I’m generally less stressed about replying to texts or checking messages on my morning and evening commutes to my internship. I’ve had to make a greater effort to understand how to get places around the city without the help of any GPS apps, and I’ve found it incredibly satisfying to find a destination simply by following the guidance of street signs (and the occasional passerby who I stop for directions).
Mostly, though, I’m enjoying the ability to let my mind freely wander. When my thoughts aren’t occupied by the 15 social media apps I keep on my phone, I feel more calm and composed. My mind is quieter, and I’m able to embrace all the random thoughts that pop into my head. When I eliminate the constant need to be glued to my phone, I clear my head space for new ideas that aren’t already plastered on my Facebook feed, and I’ve really been enjoying that feeling.