September 25th, 2013
A Day In The Life
Going into this assignment and being asked to participate in self-observation was not something that was particularly unusual to me. In fact, I already have to perform these sorts of self-evaluations twice a week for my management class. In class we discuss topics such as how we act toward to elderly, deal with procrastination, and even try to define the things we value most. While this is all very helpful I was excited at the idea of examining every interaction I do throughout a school day, in particular today, Wednesday the 25th of September. Not just one type of interaction too, but all types, from talking face-to-face, to texting, to the simple body language we all sometimes use to communicate. Understanding how we communicate can help us become even more aware of what kind of person we are.
First of course comes the early morning communication I had with my roommates, all up earlier than we would choose to be if was our decision. My body language is sluggish and words are scarce, as we all go through our morning routines to prepare for the day. I am clearly not a morning person. Today in particular I decided to wear a hat to class, an abnormality for me, but I did not want everyone to see what a mess my morning hair was. They would not realize I didn’t shower as is usual before History because I had plans for the gym directly after. Even if there is no one I know in class I suppose I still wanted to appear as if I was ready for my day. I believe that part of how I feel comes with how I look, if I look ready and prepared for class then I feel ready and prepared. On my walk to class most of the communications I have are through body language, a simple head nod or wave is sufficient in place of any sort of real conversation, as everyone is headed to one place or the other. One thing I notice is the amount of girls calling someone on their cellphones as they walk home, as if they need to be talking with someone at all times. For me though, I enjoy my quiet walk to class with time to reflect and plan my day, being perfectly happy alone. This trend continues at the gym, another place I realize that keeping to myself is preferable. With my headphone in and music blasting I go throughout my workout routine with no distraction, looking around I see almost every other guy has his music on as well, and communication is limited.
In today’s world a huge amount of our communication is not personal, but done with the use of texting and media devices like Facebook. By just walking across campus you see almost everyone looking down at their phones as they walk, like their little portals to the entire world. While I use my phone everyday, from texting the girlfriend to checking the Sunday Night Football score, I would not say I am “addicted” to it. During my hour from being unplugged from my phone the only thing I found myself wondering was if someone had something important to tell me that I wasn’t answering, shockingly they didn’t. As my roommates and I sat around the TV, them all on their phone, I wondered what conversations they were taking part in that they weren’t sharing with those around them. I decided to investigate further and find out what they were doing, and this actually sparked some conversation. While I love technology and everything it opens up to us I realized there is no replacement for the fast tempo, quick whited conversations you can have with your friends all sitting around together.
In the end, I learned quite a bit from this exercise of observation. Normally I find myself observing others and wondering what exactly they are doing, it was interesting to actually go through a day and ask that question about myself. Although it was only for a day I realized what kind of communications are most important to me, and which are not. Constant communication with others I learned is not something I need, being content with periods of time to myself. Then there are the subtle ways that I communicate by use of body language and gestures, some of which I wasn’t aware of until today. I would recommend to anyone to try this examination of their selves for a day and to see what they take from it, maybe it’ll be the same, but most likely a whole new experience.