Top 5 Worst Things that Would Happen if You Gave Up Tech for a Week and Why

1. I would feel completely disconnected. With no updates on all of the things I follow, I’d feel cut off from them and odd when I finally came back. Like I missed something really important and am playing catch up. In the rush to be first in this day and age, it’s tough to be left behind.

2. Contacting loved ones would be more difficult. Shockingly, I don’t own a home phone. So without my cell I wouldn’t be able to talk to my girlfriend, parents, or siblings without going to a pay phone. And there’s another problem, I have no idea where there even are any pay phones.

3. School would be difficult. No Moodle? Half of my classes rely heavily on it and if I have no access, my grades will slip. I’m sure exceptions could be made but it’s pretty crazy how heavily schools rely on tech these days.

4. I’d struggle to pay for things. I’m the type of person who never, ever has cash on them. It’s on my card 99% of the time. I could go to my bank, sure, but I’m always uncomfortable with large amounts of money on me. And I don’t want to be running to the bank constantly.

5. Fantasy football would be a living hell. Fantasy football is by far my favorite hobby, but I can’t imagine doing it by hand like people used to. It’d be such a hassle to calculate each score, match them up with their opponent, and then mail out the results each week. Not to mention the process of adding and dropping players would be tiresome each week. I think it’d make the game less fun to my generation.


Top 5 Best Things That Would Happen if You Gave Up Tech for a Week and Why

1. I would read again. Forcing myself to stay off of my computer would lead to me reading all of the books I have on my shelf that haven’t been read yet. My computer takes up most of my nights with surfing or movies, but that opened up time could allow me to read Count Zero finally. Even writing this out is making me remember how much I love reading and that I should be doing it far more frequently.

2. It would force my friends and I to talk a lot more when we hang out. We talk enough as it is, but it might lead to more introspection from each person and a better understanding of the people I spend so much time with. For the friends I’ve grow up with it probably wouldn’t seem too much different but all of the ones I’ve met at UMD would probably know me better.

3. New adventures! The more I think about life without tech, the less I know what I’d do without it. That would force me to just go out and do different things. And while I’m not opposed to change in my everyday life, it certainly would force it upon me at a more frequent rate. I’ve been meaning to do a bunch of different things around this city for some time now. This would probably be when I’d do those things.

4. It would bring back the excitement of watching a show every week. Netflix and Hulu have ruined TV show watching for me. Eliminating those would bring back that rush of excitement I used to get when my favorite show would come on each week. Now, I don’t even really like only watching one episode at a time and it really takes the anticipation out of the equation.

5. Connecting with newspapers. It’d be nice to have to rely on the newspapers for box scores, movie listings, and other every day things again. I used to love reading the paper each morning but I really don’t need it anymore with all of the information being readily available online. I miss the days when I needed the tribunes of the world.

Top 5 Ways Tech Makes You Feel Worse and Why

1. I pull out my phone way too much when I’m with my friends. I hate that I do it and it’s a really rude thing to do, but it’s almost a muscle memory with me and checking Twitter or box scores.

2. I should be reading more in books than on the internet or at least divide it up better. I used to read more when I was a kid and teenager. With all of the things to read on the internet, I’ve sort of neglected books in recent years.

3. Facebook in general makes me feel worse about the people I have on it. It’s just this sad looking glass into how people need to post every little thought they have. I don’t even check mine anymore.

4. It’s sobering to think about how much I panic when my phone runs out of battery or I have no service. I rely on this tool way too much and it shows each time this happens. Surviving two weeks without a phone a couple years back was a shock and I can say in all honesty that every single second of it was loathsome.

5. Witch hunts on the internet are sad. Like the Boston bombing situation on Reddit. People shouldn’t be pointing fingers when they know nothing. And people definitely shouldn’t be listening to those pointing fingers.

Top 5 Ways Tech Makes You Feel Better and Why

1. It makes me feel informed. Getting constant updates on the things I like makes me feel in the loop. That’s a feeling I really like and dislike greatly when I don’t know what’s going on in sports and movies.

2. Makes me feel smarter. I have gone on many a Wikipedia dives that lead to me learning quite a good deal more than I knew before.

3. It keeps me constantly connected to my faraway loved ones. I live an hour away from my girlfriend and parents, two hours away from my father, and two time zones away from my sister. Technology makes contacting them much easier on a daily basis.

4. It provides me with tools to explore further the things I love. Sports forums, music review sites, my Letterboxd, and a plethora of other sites have brought me more resources to explore my hobbies and passions.

5. My smart phone does everything. I love that I have a GPS, alarm clock, music/podcast player, and actual phone all in one. It gives me a sense of relief that I only have to carry around one thing for all of those purposes.

Top 5 Worst Public Tech Behaviors and Why

1. Pulling out your cellphone when you’re with a group of people. It immediately sends the message to those around you that what’s on their smartphone is more interesting than you and your conversation. So rude.

2. Taking endless pictures and videos at a concert. If you want to take some pictures, that’s cool. But there is a difference between that and taking 3 pictures per song and recording every other one. You will almost never look at those files again. They’re useless.

3. Using an iPad to take a picture. It makes you look ridiculous but it’s also an annoyance if people around you are also taking pictures, as well.

4. Bragging about your popularity on social media. The last thing anyone wants to hear in the real world is how many likes your Instagram photo got. It’s a boring topic unless someone else brings it up.

5. Not in the same vein, but people who are presenting a YouTube video and don’t take the cursor off the play button. It’s absolutely maddening to sit through a video while that playbar is up. I have no idea why, but it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

Fakebooking a Journey

I love this project. The beauty of it is that it’s such a simple thing to attempt. If you live in even a remotely cultured city, it shouldn’t be too hard to attempt something similar. I love the reasoning behind her endeavor (or lack thereof) the most. Facebook seems to be a place of attention getting and status battling these days, and it’s a bore to even visit it. She kind of took that crowd and gave them the finger.

I’m kind of surprised she shaded her family out of it, though, but maybe she has a talkative mother or something that would ruin it. I’m curious as to know how many of her friends fell for the prank. And also, how many of them looked at her or their account differently afterwards. Each person on social media is displaying a very specific image of themselves and their lives, so any time you can make people think about the way the world is viewing them, it’s an interesting topic.

Google’s Ingress Reaction & Articles

My initial reaction to this article is that I still don’t really know what it’s all about. They explain you utilize a “hack” command on some missions, but then don’t explain what that command exactly entails. So i’m unsure whether you just go where the map says and tap a button on your phone or if you actually have to search for the target and do something with it. Maybe it’s because not everyone could make the missions yet, but it’s all still very fuzzy to me.

It does seem like a cool idea, though. It seems on par with the geocaching we discussed in class this week. They didn’t seem to mention a price at all so that could be a difference between the two. The added numbers of people participating in this seems really intriguing, also. There wasn’t any real mention in geocaching in how you could partner up with others, so some sort of multi-player element to this game would be a really interesting twist. Then again, I wasn’t clear afterwards on why you would need multiple people and what they would do, so it’s 50-50 either way.

Honestly, I got just as much information about this project from the pictures as I did from the article. Maybe I’m just misunderstanding Ingraham’s words but it seems to me he’s generalizing in his piece far too much. The faction element is what he seemed to focus the most on in actual explanation, which makes sense. Every massive multi-player game nowadays utilizes factions in some way. So I understood that out of it.

Since I was kind of confused on the game itself, I figured I’d head to Reddit to get a clearer picture. They have a subreddit for almost anything these days so it didn’t take long before I was caught up on the process of the game. The site helped a lot with explaining and providing some recent and old examples of the game and how it’s expanded since it started.

The site provides many interesting posts about how players are processing the game in a daily fashion. A large percentage of the content I saw dealt with players posting images of the “fields” around them or that they’ll be attempting. Some of the areas these players had to cover were immense. Stretching over large portions of states or even huge chunks of Europe. I thought it would be a much smaller game but apparently not.

My favorite section of the subreddit is the FAQ section. This in depth section provided me with pretty much any information I needed to know about the game. There were explanations on the factions, the leveling system, and the portal keys, which I hadn’t know about before. There were even more complex terms and gaming intricacies that I didn’t get too much into, but they’re there if I ever revisit the subject.

The last article I looked at took the same basic structure of the opening piece with some differences. This example is focusing more on locations and how the addition of missions has made the game an easier transition for new players of the game. The new location services in the mission format seem to have revolutionized the game and made a massive improvement on a game that’s still growing.

I like the way the article emphasized how important the location jumping is within Ingress. They mention making a mission where you take followers on a field trip of notable locations across a city or country. I hadn’t thought of this game as a tool for that. I assumed you just stood outside a garbage can or something and that was it. But it seems you can essentially make these things into tours of interesting stuff. They mentioned touring pubs in England or art galleries as a way to draw people to your mission. I wasn’t too interested in this game before, but if there’s a section of people doing just tours, I would be much more likely to try it out. It’s a really cool ripple to the game.