I think that the iExamen is a significant association with the traditional Jesuit education and lifestyle and also aids in the awareness of self-analysis and our own personal lifestyle choices. I know for a fact that practicing the iExamen, it opened my eyes to the way I and others around me function. I really did enjoy this assignment because I don’t think I would have done this if it hadn’t been assigned to me. When I had first read the assignment, I was really skeptical and doubtful I could complete it but I am so grateful that I had a chance to participate and follow through with it.
I chose to do the iExamen this past Sunday. This Sunday was like any other Sunday I’ve had here on the Loyola campus. My roommate and I slept in until about noon time and our day started out to be a lazy day. When I first woke up, my immediate thought was “Do I have any texts?”, so of course I had to check my phone for any missed messages. With this in mind, I did my routine “check up” on the social media apps on my phone. I had to go through and check my Facebook for any notifications and catch up on the Facebook timeline to see if there had been anything exciting happening from the ten or twelve hours I had been sleeping. Next, I had to check Twitter and see what had been going on and then from there I checked Instagram. I never noticed before but I felt as if my thumbs had been trained through muscle memory because no matter how sleepy or out of it I was, I knew by heart where to swipe and tap to go check up on my social media.
After all of this, I interacted with my roommate with face to face conversation. We talked about the previous night and what had happened through the course of the night. I noticed while talking, both my roommate and I used our hands the majority of the time to communicate with each other. I also noticed, that even though she was engaged in conversation with me, she was on her phone texting her boyfriend at the same time. I on the other hand, was not so dependent on my phone because I was the one doing most of the talking. After our conversation, we agreed that we were both starving so we got dressed to go have lunch in Boulder. My outfit of choice was sweatpants and a sweatshirt because I just did not want to put in the effort of finding an outfit to wear; my roommate did the same. I’m sure if people had noticed, they would’ve assumed that I just wanted to have a lazy Sunday in comfy clothes.
While on our way to Boulder, I noticed that the people we were passing were for the most part wrapped up in looking down at their phone screens or even talking on the phone. I was actually surprised because some of them weren’t even watching where they were walking and a few of them almost collided with other students. When we got to Boulder, I chose to stand in line at the Boars Head Deli to get a sandwich. While waiting, nearly every student in front of me was looking down at their phones and from what I could see, some of them were scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. I brought this up in conversation to my roommate and she agreed that for the majority, people from our generation are completely dependent on technology of some sort.
When we got back to the dorm, I chose that hour to turn my phone and computer off. My roommate was curious as to how it would work but she didn’t end up participating in it with me. In the hour that I removed myself from technology, I found myself to be at peace and not worrying about checking social media every ten minutes or replying to every text message I got in a matter of mili-seconds. That technology-free hour was so rewarding because it gave me a chance to reflect on how I had to communicate without my technology. I walked out into the common room to get a start on some homework and I observed that other other girls in there were so involved in technology. Three of them had headphones in listening to music, while typing on the computer and incessantly answering text messages. I just found it crazy that I am sometimes that girl doing exactly what they were doing in that moment.
After the hour was up, I turned my phone on to have two missed calls from my parents and a few text messages from friends back home. Through the rest of my day, I had talked on the phone with my parents, texted classmates about homework questions, and video chatted with my friends from back home. At the end of the day, I was really surprised at how many ways I had used technology to communicate with friends and family.
The iExamen had really been an eye-opener to how much the world and my generation especially has become so dependent on technology. Even though I had been at peace for most of the hour, when it came close to the hour being up, I found myself getting anxious and nervous about any missed text or emails or social media I had to catch up on. The lesson that I have learned from this assignment has been that I need to learn to take a break from technology sometimes and relax. I don’t always need to be up to speed on what the technological world has to offer and that I should be weary if I’m using or abusing my technology privileges.