Take a Day to Reflect
Filling my whole day with self-reflection sounded impossible when I first received the assignment. Just thinking about adding this task to my workload made stressful thoughts abundant in my head. The moment I really wanted to lose it was when I heard about the hour of zero technology, because I am severely addicted to my phone. I knew the only way to complete this task was to put a positive spin on it. I began to wonder, would this iExamen add stress to my life or would it actually help with my anxiety?
I woke up feeling terribly ill. I decided to walk to the health center in my pajamas. I didn’t even bother to put in my contacts; I felt as if my glasses gave a more convincing sickness. I wanted to communicate with the nurse, not only through my words, but also my clothes. When I passed friends on the walk back, they could tell I wasn’t my normal self, because of what I was wearing; I usually dressed more presentable for class. As they stopped me to talk, they could tell being sick acted as a hindrance in our conversation. I wasn’t in the mood to listen about anyone’s day so far; all I wanted to do was sleep.
The iExamen brought light to the fact I am more confident behind a screen then when I communicate face-to-face. Whenever I tweet or comment on Facebook, I feel like I am in a consequent-less world. I tweet things that are on my mind, but may not be politically correct or appropriate. I noticed throughout the day that my face-to-face conversations were more censored. This was because I thought before I spoke. For some reason, while using social media sites to communicate, I lacked the ability to think before I wrote. During my iExamen, I learned I am almost afraid to talk on the phone. When my mom called, I hesitated to pick up the phone; I find it easier to text. Once on the phone, I noticed myself holding back in conversation. I felt as if some people were eavesdropping or, I was easily distracted and would stray off from the topic at hand.
The hour of no technology was the hardest part of the day for me. I knew I would not be able to resist the technological temptations if I stayed in my dorm. I left my laptop and cell phone in my bedroom and decided to leave the building. I walked outside my dorm, sat at the tables outside Starbucks with a magazine, and soaked up the sun while watching the landscapers trim the quad. During my time cellphone-free, I felt more relaxed. The hour was simply a time out of the stressful day, where I could sit and just clear my mind. I noticed I was more alert while passing people, because my head was not in my phone; I was able to say “hello” to people I may have overlooked the days before. While in the quad, I stopped a few times to talk to friends that were walking back from class. I felt like I was not in a rush, and could stop to listen to their day and catch up.
I noticed that I kept checking my pockets for my phone. At one point, I started freaking out that I had lost it, but then realized it was only in my bedroom. I knew I was heavily dependent on my phone, but not to this extent. I decided to walk back to my dorm, because I had a lot of homework ahead of me. I ran into some friends, and we decided to walk back together. It was refreshing to take in the nature and just laugh with them. When I got back to my dorm, I immediately went to grab my cellphone to see if anyone had tried to contact me. It is so sad that I missed my phone for the short hour we were separated, but no one had tried to contact me besides my mom!
The iExamen helped me realize that taking a step back, having distraction-free conversation, and observing the nature around me allows me to feel rejuvenated. I need to be less dependent on my phone, but also have more confidence when speaking on the phone. I should not hide behind social media and texting to communicate. In order to elevate my stress, I should take the time to reflect on the day as it’s happening and have more face-to-face conversations regularly.