Okay, after a false start (I thought this was last week originally) the Technology Fast is here! I am not in fact blogging — this post has been/was scheduled to publish. I am currently not on my computer, ipod, or cell phone. I’m also probably wandering around campus trying to meet people: My usual trick is to text him/her asking for an exact location rather than trust he/she will show up at the preordained spot.
Joking aside, the tech fast is a great event sponsored by the Butler Catholic Community. The goal is not to deny the utility and convenience of entertainment and communication technology — if you are reading this, then you want to know more about the life of a Butler college student (or about my life in particular, if you are my dad) and are using technology to do so. However, a short fast from technology introduces some perspective. Do I really need to text my boyfriend if he is three minutes late? No, of course not.
At the end of the fast, all participants are invited to attend a supper and discussion of the event at the Blue House. I did not go last year, though I participated in the fast, but the people who went were extremely enthusiastic. This year I’m planning to attend, so I report all awesomeness I encounter!
If you are reading this, you might consider a mini-fast of your own: Even just four hours makes you aware of how often you use technology… and perhaps how often technology is really necessary.
When not on a tech fast, you can find BCC updates through our Facebook community page.
The Butler Catholic Community: not always completely serious...
English majors, please excuse all the passive voice and second person I’ve used in this post.
I have loads of exciting things to tell you about… but the BCC’s apparently annual technology fast starts this evening and runs through Friday evening. I will turn off my phone and my computer (homework is excepted) and see what happens without the texting and constant communication college students so love.
The fast includes communication and entertainment technology. “Technology” is a pretty broad word, but I’m counting electronic entertainment/communication devices. Books are fine; iPods not…
You can read about last year’s Tech Fast here and here.
You can buy tickets for the Luna Negra concert at Clowes Memorial Hall this Friday, Nov 4 at 8 pm here.
EDIT: Haha, just kidding, Tech Fast is Nov 10-11… My bad, my bad.
I participated in the Butler Catholic Community‘s technology fast last Thursday-Friday. (Catch up on the details here.) Now, three days afterward on Monday, I’m still more conscious of my tech use.
The main difference between a world with computer/cell phone/iPod and a world without was planning. I rarely watch TV, and I don’t automatically put on music. I also have dance academic or dance movement classes from 10 am to 4:50 pm on Friday, so I don’t have a lot of down time to fritter away online.
I let my family know I would be unreachable. I made plans to meet friends instead of using text devices to do it on the spot. I didn’t worry about getting just a little more work done on my English papers before I went to bed on Thursday. I didn’t worry about checking my email on my iPod during my lunch break on Friday. I received a letter and slipped an answer into my boyfriend’s bass locker. After the fast was officially over Friday evening, I went to watch the JCFA showcase with just my key and ID to get back into my apartment, since my phone had no charge. I didn’t have to carry a purse, and it was wonderful. The birds were singing in the suddenly green trees.
I’m back online, obviously. Papers won’t wait forever, and professors often communicate through email. Still, the fast was not as difficult as I thought it would be, once I had curbed the initial impulse to check my email every few hours. Really, I just had to make sure to plan ahead to meet up with friends for rehearsals and dates and so on. As a Lenten practice, it worked wonderfully. As a general practice, wonderful again.
What do you think? Have you ever done a technology fast?
If you are reading this, I am away from my computer right now. And my cell phone. And my iPod.
I’m writing this Thursday morning, but it will be published at the start of our Lenten Technology Fast. The Butler Catholic Community is hosting a fast from communication and entertainment technology from Thursday evening to Friday evening, followed by a Peace Walk and a dinner at the Center for Faith and Vocation (aka, the Blue House). The event is open to the entire campus.
Random photo of the BCC Mardi Gras dinner inside the Blue House
As the Catholic priest on campus, Fr. Jeff, says, the purpose of the fast is not to “diss” or dismiss technology. It is to stop using it long enough for us to realize how much we rely on it, how much time goes into it. It should be interesting.
Technology use for schoolwork is exempt from the fast, but I think I’ll be able to put off any tech-related work for the weekend. I’m unplugging. Are you?
Ironically, we have a Facebook event page.
One of the other advantages of the Butler basketball media machine? Billions of stories about Blue II, Butler’s English bulldog mascot!
Everyone loves Blue.
Since the Final Four and Championship games were in Indianapolis last year (and here I would link to my old blog posts about last year’s championship festivities if the new technology hadn’t eaten my archives…. grrrr…), I saw Blue much more often. Since Blue was in Houston this year, and I was not? No Blue sightings. Well, unless you count the photos someone stuck in the skywalk between Jordan and Gallahue hall:
Houston, we don't have a problem.
Still, I like the real Blue better.
Blue is quite the popular bulldog. If you don’t follow his Twitter, you are missing out on some cute pictures. For a while, my mother changed the desktop picture on the family computer whenever Blue’s owners posted a new picture. The desktop background changed at least once a day.
Blue’s travels to Houston created a whole new host of photo ops. I particularly enjoyed the airport sequence:
(These are not my photos, obviously. Blue has his own Flickr photostream.)
Seriously, though. Talk about celebrity. This dog also has a Facebook page, blog, Youtube channel, and even a live webcam! And more fans than Justin Bieber. [I originally misspelled that as "Beiber" and had to check to see which was correct. Don't worry. I'm still sane.]
If you are confused about the title, please fix that: Butler is going back to the Championship!
Facebook statuses that say it all:
“‘I AM A DOG. NOT AN UNDERDOG. A DOG. A MEAN DOG. A JUNKYARD DOG… AND YES, MY BARK IS AS BAD AS MY BITE… WORRY ABOUT A BEAST THAT DOESN’T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT, NO MATTER WHAT SEED YOU PUT ME AT.AND IF YOUR BALL LANDS IN MY YARD, CONSIDER IT GONE. I AM NOT AN UNDERDOG. I AM THE TOP DOG. AND YOU’LL BE SEEING ME AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FROM NOW ON.’”
“And it’s gonna be a DAWGFIGHT!”
“I can has national championship game prease??” (Response: “The bulldogs don’t need any herp frying to da championship game!!”
“AND THAT IS HOW IT’S DONE, FOLKS. GOING TO THE SHIP.”
“AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOIN TO THE DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TWO YEARS IN A ROW BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU A BULLDOG??? HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Yummy roast ram…Go Butler!!!”
“this is kind of a familiar feeling– BUTLER AT THE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
As you can see, we are fairly stoked to return to the Championship game for the second year in the row. Go dawgs!
(Good job Rams. I’m from Richmond; I’m proud of you… But the bulldogs have my heart.)
BU vs VCU
We call the campus and its immediate environs the Butler Bubble. (Not to be confused with the tennis facility of the same name.) Inside the Butler Bubble, life sometimes picks me up and carries me along into a whirlpool of academic and social events. When I leave the Butler Bubble after a long period of immersion, it’s like a splash of cold water in the face.
Do you like my aqua references?
Today’s tip for college living: Set your homepage to a news website. No, Access Hollywood doesn’t count. Neither does BUMail, the Butler email system, though I can tell you I check my email with embarrassing frequency.
I personally prefer the BBC front page because its scope tends to be more international, but CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are also good choices. If you like podcasts and audio, NPR NPR NPR. But obviously, it’s up to you. It’s your homepage.
I think it’s important to remember that we–attending a liberal arts college–are preparing to add value to the world community. We cannot forget about life off the campus. It’s hard. There’s always, always something to do, and I often hear people wishing for a twenty-six hour day or an eight-day week so they have more time.
Setting your homepage to a news site is an easy way to keep somewhat abreast of the world beyond the quad and the dining hall, beyond the dorms and the classrooms. Even if you only have time to glance over the headlines, it’s a little reminder of the object of all your work… the real world.
(By the way. The BBC has a sense of humor, albeit a semi-creepy one.)
Notice the clown with death in his eyes? Notice the flames? Notice the TERROR?