EN 101. 16
September 25, 2013
A Typical Tuesday
I decided to do my iExamen on Tuesday, September 24th. I am admittedly lazy on Tuesday's and Thursday's when I don't have class until 12:15, so I rolled out of bed around 11 and said goodbye to the only remaining roommate in my room as she left for class. Before engaging in this human interaction I checked twitter, instagram, and my texts. I do this every morning, which I realize is pretty irrational on days when I have an 8 a.m class considering no one has thoughts to share or interesting pictures to post that early in the morning. Before heading to class I rushed to eat lunch at Iggie's where I noticed almost everyone in the sandwich line standing with their arms crossed or their heads down on their cellphones. All of my friends have the opposite schedule from me on Tuesdays so I headed to class alone. The walk across campus alone always puts me on edge for some reason, and I noticed my self walking swifter than I do when with friends. Despite my feelings of semi-awkwardness, I made a point to put my phone away for this walk, as I had noticed recently how stand offish people who are always on their phones seem. The dependence on technology that I see in myself and in my peers soon became a theme of my iExamen.
My mind was mostly elsewhere in my classes on Tuesday. Monday brought news of various exams, projects, and commitments for the first week of October and I had a hard time getting those off my mind. The stress of school work in general this year has been an issue and I could especially feel it on Tuesday and noticed my mood was a bit lack luster and led to limited participation and interaction with classmates. Once I left English class I decided to shut off my cell phone for the time before and during my next class. As I look back now, this almost seems like a subconscious move on my part because I picked a time where I rarely used my phone anyway. I was early to class and sat in the waiting area of sellinger, where I was the only person not on a phone or a computer. I definitely felt a little out of place having nothing to look at, so I people watched which ended up being very entertaining. It was interesting to see how a group of guys interact versus how a group of all girls interact. Once my next class began I attempted to make more of an effort to participate after noticing that my thoughts about all I had to do were holding me back. The iExamen allowed me to reflect almost immediately on my behavior and attitude because I was observing myself so carefully.
After class ended I decided to not use my phone until I was back in my dorm. Almost immediately after leaving the building, something happened that I have never had happen to me on this campus. A stranger walking beside me asked "How is your day going?" I was very thrown off at first, since in all honestly I would never ask a stranger this. The conversation had a few awkward pauses but overall flowed pretty well. I'm not sure if it is something I am pre-disposed to from other encounters, but usually when a guy I don't know begins to chat me up I see it as weird and even a little creepy. Perhaps if it had been a boy walking next to him this conversation wouldn't have arose, and I do think that is a possibility, but regardless it was actually a really nice experience. It made me realize that encounters like this shouldn't be so out of the norm and that if more people were that open when walking alone back from class instead of looking down at their phones that there could overall be a more pleasant environment. This glimpse at life without such dependency on technology truly made me happy until I was snapped back into reality when I walked into an awkward, head-down, cell-phone using Newman Elevator.
The iExamen allowed me to look into the behavior of others and gave me a lot of insight on myself and things I may want to change. It gave me a chance to look into some of our general social norms, such as always using a phone when alone and often not interacting with people outside our immediate friend group. Most importantly, the iExamen and the man I met walking across the North Charles Street bridge made me questions these norms.