Tuesday, 8 May 2007

And Finally...

I can't believe this is my last post. Gosh, the past fortnight has gone extremely quickly, and everythings changed so much!

I have so much more appreciation for modern technology than I used to. It's so easy to take something you grow up with for granted, I used to make phone calls without even thinking about it. Now I'm thankful everytime I get to speak to my Mum.

Even though I am more appreciative of the technological communication in general, this past fortnight has really opened my eyes. I know that the amount of time I spent on the phone or on instant messenger was excessive and my continuous Myspace checking was borderlining an obsession. But now thats all changed. I still check my myspace, but not nearly as much, and as for instant messenger, it's always on but I've hardly spoken to anyone all week.

I still make phone calls, but not nearly as many, if it's unnessisary to do so, then I won't. I also realised how fun writing letters can be, and my family really liked recieving them. Especially my little sister.

This experience has taught me how anti social modern communication can make people, and has changed me for the better. Even my Mum noticed when she saw me last weekend, how much more talkative I am. I have more to talk about now, and I find it easier to involve myself in real life conversations, not instant messenger convos.

I'm really happy I did this experiment It really tested my willpower, but I've learnt so much, and I just appreciate everything in my life a little more than I did before.

Shel x

What I've learnt...

In this past week since the experiment came to an end, I have been constantly researching, and learning about the effects advances in comminication are having on other people my age. It seems that not alot of research has really been done but I did find alot of articles. These all really spoke of the same thing, teens becoming addicted to instant messenger or myspace, increased use of their mobile phone, their withdrawal from society. There wasn't anything postive about the effects this is all having on todays youth. But it's still being encouraged.

I feel my finding have taught me alot, and totally changed my perspective on the way I've been communicating for the past five to six years. I didn't realise how much of a negative effect everything had been having on me. Now I completly understand what my parents were talking about with all those lectures they used to give me, about spending more time with my family and not shut away in my room. I thought they were being unfare when they took the fuse out of my computer, but now I can see they were only doing it for my own good.

It seems so normal to me to chat to my friends on instant messenger, but why I do it when I could just go round their house and have a proper conversation with them I don't know. The only positive side of me using the internet in this way is the friends I've made. My Mum would argue that they aren't real friends, but I disagree. Some of my best friends I've met through various introductions on instant messenger, or messege boards. I'm careful, I don't give out details until I feel I can trust that person, and through my six years of instant messenger useage, nothing bad has ever come of it.

But now I can see what other people must have seen in me. Afterall it's anti social to shut yourself away all day at a computer, or talk constantly or your phone.

Shel x

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Mobile phone safety...

I suppose this is another angle I feel strongly about where mobile phones are involved.

I always wondered if it was right for 7 year olds to be owning mobile phones. I didn't have my first phone until I was 12, and even then, I hardly used it. My mum put £10 credit onto it, and it lasted me months. Who do these children call? Or text? None of my friends even had phones when I got mine. It was only when I was about fifteen that I started using more credit to call people, and when I left school I went onto contract because I was spending too much on credit.

I didn't know until I read this article from the Guardian, that 25% of 7 - 10 year olds own mobile phones, and whats more, teachers are encouraging it, because they think it will help them be more creative. Where the hell they got this idea from I have no idea.

But this articles main concern is that now with the speedy development of technology, what with now easy access to the internet on most phones, the safety of these children. It is so easy to access pornography and online gambling from your phone, and children always want the latest technology so they will be using these phones. Teachers should not be encouraging this, and neither should parents. I think this is a huge concern, and only know is something being done about it, its too late now, it should have been thought of before.

Shel x

Returning to normal...

I think I'm getting back into a more normal routine now,I'm using my phone more frequently. Although I've hardly used Myspace in the last few days, I think the novelty of having it back, may be wearing off. I just can't really be bothered at the moment, and I've also been really busy. I seem to have got more of a social life in the past two weeks, I've been going out more, seeing my friends more. I was concerned this experiment may effect my communication with the outside world, but the only effect it's had is possitive.

Tomorrow morning will be my final post on here, my fortnight of blogging will be over, and I will be able to summerize the past two weeks and how it's effected my life.

The past two days I think I've been using my phone quite wreaklessly. I seem to be calling everyone, maybe I'm making up for lost time. I've been speaking to people I haven't spoken to in ages. It's been nice to catch up with everyone. I've told all the people I've spoken to about my experiment, and they were all really impressed with how I managed. Many were surprised I didn;t give up on the first day. I think I'm simply lucky that it was a busy week, and for the times I didn't already have plans, I managed to keep myself ammused.

Shel x

Saturday, 5 May 2007

I just found...

For nearly two weeks I've been searching to see if I could find anyone else who had done a similar experiment to me. To no avail. At last, just ten minutes ago, I came accross a woman who had. I did want to try and get more British examples to share. But as this is the first glimmer of something similar, then it will have to do.

This woman went a week without her mobile phone. She couldn't use it for anything, not even her alarm clock. But she was allowed to use other forms of communicattion, which I suppose takes the pressure off. She says in this piece, that she became reliant on AOL instant messenge as her main source of communication. She explains how although it wasn't as hard as she thought it might be, but she did feel cut off from the outside world. I couldn't connect with that feeling, as I didn't let myself get cut off. But I did connect with the feeling of anxiety of not having a phone.

Although I found this piece interesting, I can't say I thought it was written in a way which actually gave the readers an idea of how she felt without her phone, and generally it just explains what she is doing.

Shel x

Friday, 4 May 2007

The Urges have gone.

It seems strange, but since the experiment has finished, I no longer get the urge to use my phone. Infact I tend to accidently leave it at home, or or worse, let the battery run down so much it turns its self off. The weirdest part of this is, that during the experiment its self, I was craving the use of my phone. I think I've said before, when you know you shouldn't do something, it makes you want it even more. A bit like when you're on a diet and you crave chocolate.

The only habit which seems to have returned at the same level as it was before, is my constant checking of facebook and myspace. I check Facebook at leave twice a day, and myspace, probably about six times a day. I don't even know why I do it any more. Out of habit I suppose, there is no reason.

I'm going to assume for now, that I have been caught in the whirlwind of online networking websites, just like any other person my age, and eventually, i'll grow out of it all together. Until then it doesn;t bother, me, it's certainly not taking over my life. If I can go a week without it, I'm sure I can go longer.

Shel x

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Facebook has taken over myspace!!!

Although on a personal level, I don't agree with this, I still use myspace more than facebook, but to be honest don't really check either very frequently anymore. Facebook is now more popular amongst 17 - 24 year olds. Many veiw this as a good thing. One blogger airs their views about why they think Facebook is better off being the leading website amongst youths.

This person makes some good point which I have never actually thought about before, myspace's sex related ads and messy layouts, whereas Facebook is safer, and more uniformed. And in my own opinion, I have always thought facebook was a better method of networking, just because it's easier to do so. and also find more people you have things in common with!

Shel x

My Dad...

I spoke to my Dad today for the first time in about two weeks. We don't really talk very often, but we try to call each other at least once a week. I told him about my experiment and how it went. He didn't seem to understand how it was that much of an effort not using my mobile phone. But then again he can go days without his phone, and he doesnt really understand MSN messenger, so they aren't things he'd use. He also doesn't see me often enough to know what an effect these things have on my life.

My mum sees me quite alot and knows how if I'm not on MSN I'll probably be on the phone, and how I like to check my email every day even though I know there'll probsbly be nothing important in my inbox. Still, my mum's less computer literate than my Dad but she seemed to understand it more. He seemed to understand it a bit more once I'd fully explained what my aim had been.

I still haven't really got back into my regular routine of using msn, or constantly calling people yet. I don't know how long it'll take or if it will happen at all. But at the moment, I just don't seem to have time for it. Before I used to make time.

Shel x

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

A connection...

I just found another article on CBS News, and when I read it I was surprised to find how much I connected with the girl in question.

It states in this article that the girl hardly had a life outside her computer. Most of her friendships were online and her mother was extremelty concerned. During school the girl never got any homework done because she spent all her time online, it was an addiction. This is me, that is what I was like when I was at School. To the extent that My mum would take the fuse out the plug of my computer so I couldn't turn it on.

I knew other teens spent alot of time online, but parts of this article makes me think this is a problem. I do have a social life, but some teens don't. This girl went to a friends house, whos father had computers networked within his house and they spent their entire time in separate rooms talking to each other online. That is total madness, and actually makes me very cross.

For most of my life there had been computers in it, but I didn't get my own computer until I started secondry school, and I'd never used the internet before then either, so the first eleven years of my life were spent without this source of communication.

The worrying thing is, and it also makes me angry, is that my future children will never know any difference, to me this life seems normal now, but I do remember my life before such advanced forms of communication. I'm not saying the technology isn't good. It's brilliant. But it's not good that future generations will grow up in this virtual world.

Shel x

It amazes me...

I have only used my phone twice today. To call my Mum, and make arrangments for her to pick me up from Uni when I finish for summer. I don't seem to feel the need anymore, ike I've found better things to do with my time than make phone calls. I even forgot to take my phone with me when I went out today. Usually it's the first thing I check I have with me even before my keys.

I also checked how many minute's I have remaining. Now usually I go well over my minutes each month, and end up paying almost double what I usually would. My minutes over rolled this month for the first time ever, by 40 minutes. This is certainly because of the week without calls, but I was still very surprised, I didn't realise how many minutes I would save.

I've only used MSN once today. I honestly don't even want to anymore. Infact I've started to find it a bit boring, I'd rather be outside doing things. Especially with the lovely weather we've been getting. Last time it was this hot,I still seemed to shut myself indoors everyday.

Shel x

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

They can't imagine it...

Initially one of the aims of my experiment was to see if I could have a social life without technological communication. I didn't think it would be possible, but I was proved wrong. I think it was obvious that I wasn't the only 19 year old to rely on text messeges and instant messenger conversations to make arrnagements. It's now worrying to think that staying in my room chatting to friends online was my social life. Yes I still go on the internet everyday, but I am less uptight about it now. I don't think about it when I can't use it. Infact I'd rather go knock on someones door to chat than log online.

I found this artical from CBS news, which I found really interesting. It's about teenagers in America who can;t imagine having a social life without communication. I now find it qute worrying that this is what the world has come to. Sixteen year olds relying totally on technology to speak to their friends, and some practically becoming recluses in their own homes.

Surely it isn't healthy. This method of socialising is doing more harm than good. What happened to life experiences and finding out about the real world. The real world doesn't exist inside your computer screen.

Today I called my friend...

Meradith was pleased to here from me, it's been over a week since we've spoken and since she lives 70 odd miles away I can't see her that often. Dispite the several emergancy phone calls I had to make in the later part of this experiment, I think she was pretty impressed that I'd managed it.

I got back to Uni today, after spending the weekend at home. Mum loved to see me squirm when the house phone rang and I couldn't answer it. But I think she's proud that I've managed a week without MSN messenger, as she knows it's my life. Today I've had all day to use it, and although it's on right now, I haven't actually has much conversation with anyone. I don't really feel the need to. A week ago I would have spoken to people for the sake of doing so. And I think this is the same without my phone.

Today I also logged onto my Myspace and Face Book for the first time in a Week. I managed better without them than I thought I would. Surprisingly I didn't have any messeges, Although this is probably because all my friends knew about my experiment.

Shel x


Monday, 30 April 2007

Just one more day...

This past week has been really hard and I will say something now. It has got to a point where the world has been designed around the use of your mobile phone, or it seems like that anyway.

I did have to use my phone. To let my mum know I was safe when all the southbound trains were cancelled from London Victoria last night, and when my friend needed to let me know what time she'd be arriving. It is really hard to deal with these circumstances without a phone. I tried and I did manage about 3 days without using my phone at all, but in a matter of emergency they are a necessity.

I have discovered I can have a perfectly normal social life at Uni without using MSN or my phone, because all my friends were around me, and if anything, the experience has made me more social.

So tomorrow everythings back to normal. Although this week hasn't really felt alot different.

Shel x

6 days 13 hours 40 miniutes without technological communication

Thursday, 26 April 2007


I haven't checked my Myspace in 3 days and It's now driving me mad. I must have so many messeges. I've also realised that I'm actually relieved when I start writing a post on here, because it seems like my only form of communication.

I'm going home today, immediately at the end of this lesson. I am so excited. It's my mums birthday and I really can't wait to see her. I'm seeing my little sister too, who I haven't seen in nearly two weeks. She'll be really surprised to see me.

I've realised today that this time tomorrow I'll be half way through this experiement, and it's amazing how well I've coped. The amount of things I can actually do without the use of my mobile phone, making arrangments is easier than I thought and I've actually enjoyed writing letters to my friends and family.

I'm hoping the next 4 days will go quickly though, as I really miss MSN. Despite how much work i've got done without my distractiions.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007


I haven't touched my phone all day and I'm so proud of myself! How good am I?

I am however still feeling anxious. It's weird how you want to do something more when you can't do it. I think I'm going through withdrawal, this morning I felt crap, and all day I've been really stressed. I want to talk to my Mum so much, and have a good old moan to her about crappy assessment deadlines and the likes. But I'll just have to wait until I see her tomorrow.

Although I do not miss my phone as much as I did yesterday I'm starting to miss MSN. I use it everyday as a source to talk to my friends back home, and who live up north in Middlesbrough. I miss them alot.

Due to my lack of distractions, I finished my essay today, and I'm really happy and relieved. Usually when I finish work I'd chat my friends, or browse myspace. I'm a bit bored to be honest. Might practise some shorthand!

I decided to have a look round online for effects of instant messeging on teenagers, and other than the usual online safety etc, there was nothing. I was expecting to find hundreds of websites about teenagers becoming withdrawn, and spending all their time trapped in their room chatting to their friends on MSN (Which is pretty much all I did at the ages of 15 and 16). But I did find some interesting research results, about what teenagers most popularly use the internet for, and even more interesting is that the majority of instant messenger user are girls, as boys are too busy on their games. Typical.

Shel x

1 day 18 hours 9 minutes without technoligical communication.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

This seems impossible...

One day in and I've rudely rejected two phonecalls. It's horrible. I've had a very productive day. Had a lecture, and then made dinner, went for a walk and watched the football with the boys. But I feel like theres something missing and it's making me very uncomfortable.

I've written little letters to my friends and family today, and I'll post them tomorrow. It was hard knowing what to say at the moment, but I might write again at the weekend, as it will have been longer since I've spoken to them.

I suppose an upside of this experiment, is the amount of un-interupted time I have to get on with my work. I've done quite alot today. I've also noticed that I'm remembering alot more, such as things I have to do, which often, i'd get distracted from.

Shel x

22 hours 38 minutes without technoglical communication.

Mobile phone addiction amongst teenagers with a low self esteem?

I turned my phone on. I'm not entirely sure how to justify why I did this, other than the feeling of anxiety that I've had since I left the house at 2 o'clock this afternoon. If my phone rings I shall not answer it. But everyone who usually calls me knows of my experiment, so won't do so.

I'm trying to get myself out of the habit on constantly fiddling with my phone, incase I forget and absent mindedly dial someone. I'm not missing MSN, if anything it's a relief to be able to get on with some work, without getting disrupted. I still am not missing facebook or myspace. If I keep myself distracted with essay writing this evening I'm hoping I will not get any urges to check them at all.

I'm missing my phone the most though. I don't even think I use it as much as some people my age, but it's enough for me to miss not having it, and the thought of not being able to chat to people on the phone is making me feel a little unsettled.

I was browsing google to see what the major effects of mobile phones on teenagers are and when I found this, I actually thought it sounded a bit ridiculous upon reading for the first time. An addiction to your mobile phone? But upon reading about teenagers with low self esteem, feeling the need to be connected with people at all times, I understood. I like to know whats going on at all times, and the feeling of being out of the loop, or people forgetting to unclude you, is quite frightening. I can't wait for this week to be over.

Shel x

17 hours and 49 minutes without tehcnogical communication

The first few hours...

Upon waking up, I reached for my phone out of instinct. To call my mum and see how she was this morning and ask after my little sister. As soon as I had it in my grasp I remembered, and put it back down.

It's been like this all morning. Constantly reminding myself. But I'm doing well, I haven't caved in. This is the first time I've been online today, so the urges to check my myspace haven't yet, but I'm sure by this evening i'll want to know how many messeges I've got. But I'll just have to wait another week to find out.

Before I left the house to go up the road I switched my phone off and put it in my drawer. This is where it will stay, that way I can't see it, so I'm not tempted to use it.

Well I've got to shoot off to a shorthand lecture. I'll update you on my progress later.

Shel x

13 hrs 47 mins without technoglical communication.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Slight delay...

Ok, so due to unavoidable circumstances, I've had to delay my experiement by one day.e.g. booking driving lessons and arranging an interview for my Radio assessment. Just an example of how difficult this experiment is going to be. This course, and my future career will rely on technology and communication!

So, today I rang all my family members and close friends, I explained the experiment and the rules. Many were shocked I was even attempting it, especially my best friend Tamz "Shel thats stupid!". I'm actually very nervous because I think they're all convinced I'll fail.

Speaking to my mum for the last time until I see her on Thursday (her birthday) was hard. I speak to her everyday. Until then i'll only have my friends at uni. I'm going to miss her.

My nan was surprised to hear from me, but we had a good chat. WE don't talk often, but the discussion of my experiement gave us alot more reason to talk.

For now, I'm very looking forward to going home on thursday, and as of midnight, my phone goes off.

Shel x

Thursday, 19 April 2007

My Experiment

I have decided to make the brave move of giving up any form of technogical communication for a week. Once upon a time, infact not so long ago people managed without their mobile phone, and not every household had internet access. Now it is relied upon.

I remember a time when I would go round to my friends houses and knock on their door, now we just text each other. That was probably no more than 8 years ago. How times have changed.

Will I be able to go back to this lifestyle, now I am more or less reliant on technology as my main source of communication?

I spend approximately 5 hours on an average day (depending on my plans) using MSN messenger. I send about 10 - 15 texts, and I make and recieve countless phonecalls. Not to mention Facebook and Myspace, for messeging, and finding out what is going on.

The rules of my experiment will be as follows...

* No use of mobile phone, for making or receiving phonecalls, sending or recieving text messeges, except for in emergencies. I will however be allowed to use it as an alarm clock.

* I will not be able to make or recieve calls off any landline phone.

* I will not be able to use Facebook or Myspace throughout the experiment.

* Friends must not pass messeges for me that have been sent to them via text or email.

* I must not use my email.

* I cannot use messege boards.

The aim of this experiment is to see if it is possible, as a teenager, to still be able to live a normal social life, without the use of technology to make arrangments and if I appreciate this technology alot more rather than just take it for granted.

I also want to find out if not being able to talk to my friends and family on such a regular basis, will affect the way I behave in social situations. Will it change the way I talk to people, seeing as I won't be up to date on whats going on, will this make me feel left out, or give more of a talking point?

The experiment will start on Monday 23rd April and last until Sunday 29th. I am actually nervous. How will I get out of the habit of idlely playing with my phone, or signing into MSN messenger when I go online. And most of all will I be able to go a week without talking to my Mum???