Wk 12 – Art Experience – Ethnography

The idea of spending a night without electricity did not appeal to me when I first read about this week’s art experience. I’m the type of person who constantly checks my phone out of habit – I even spend hours on my phone until I fall asleep in bed. A special night out with my family is to go to the theater to watch a movie. I don’t even own a clock in my room since I just rely on my computer and phone to tell time.

It was no surprise that spending my Friday night in the dark with just a few candles to illuminate my room felt like the longest, most frustrating night of my life. I had to fight the constant urge to check my phone, even when I didn’t actually need to use it for a real purpose. It felt so lonely being alone with my own thoughts and it felt like everybody was so far away, even though my brother was just in the next room enjoying all the glory of his TV and PS4. Without electricity, it feels like I’m missing out on so much in the world. I suppose back in the day, living without electricity provides the perfect amount of stimulus for the amount of information available to them. Everything they needed was in a book and no matter was urgent enough to go beyond sending a hand-written letter to somebody. Nowadays, there is so much information available and globalization occurring that not being a part of the technological age is a deprivation of resources essential for mental, cultural, and personal growth.

However, there were some pros to spending the night without electricity that I must admit to. Since I wasn’t on my phone for hours before bed, I actually managed to fall asleep right away and woke up earlier the next day. And most importantly, I got to do things with my free time that were actually productive. Growing up, I had always read a lot of books, played guitar, and liked to draw in my spare time. After spending the night without electricity, I came to the realization that those hobbies were put on the back burner once smart phones became so popular around freshman year of high school. Without my cell phone as my primary choice of activity, I had a lot more free time to pick up my old hobbies. I reread my favorite poetry books and the new Harry Potter screenplay, played a few songs I memorized by heart, and tried my hand at improving my coloring and shadows. The whole night felt nostalgic and I probably wouldn’t have done the things I did if I had electricity at my disposal. Hopefully when life becomes less hectic with college work, I’ll find the perfect balance between using all these new technological innovations and my old hobbies.

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