10-60 I can't live without

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Unit 6, Lesson 2, ex. 3b, 4a A. 

Melissa Hu: I love music so giving up my iPod was definitely a challenge. I listen to it during car rides, when I’m eating at restaurants, and sometimes when I’m supposed to be sleeping. The first few days were the worst. I was trying to study at the library when this guy started talking nonstop to one of his friends. I wanted to reach for my iPod so I wouldn’t have to listen to him, but I couldn’t. So I tried to do my work but finally moved to another table. This challenge was especially difficult when I was at home. My parents were installing a floor, so they were using the nail gun. The noise was terrible. After a couple of days, it got easier. Without my iPod, I started remembering songs that I had forgotten about, I looked out of the window and read books. I realised I spend too much time using my iPod and feel like I need to always have it with me. I am going to try to use my iPod less by not bringing my earphones with me everywhere I go.

B. Alma Sanchez: I decided to do this challenge because I watch a lot of TV. In the summer, the first thing I did after waking up was turn on the TV in the living room. I thought this challenge would help me get more things done, but giving up TV for a week was harder than I thought.

On Monday as soon as I woke up I thought about the shows I’d be missing and my favourite Spanish soap opera. I killed time by going on the Internet. In the afternoon, my mom and I went to the supermarket, where there was a TV screen in every corner of the store!

On Tuesday, I went to my aunt’s house next door and before I knew it I was staring at the video game my cousin was playing. Then I went to the bedroom where my other cousin was switching channels and I left immediately. I went home and read 1984, my summer reading. The book was fantastic and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t think about TV at all.

On Wednesday I even saw a TV on the bus that showed news clips, games and ads. I took a book to read on Friday to avoid watching.

On the other days, I could control not watching TV by staying in my bedroom. Instead of watching TV, I cleaned my desk and looked through college brochures. I felt more productive but I wanted to watch TV with my family because I could hear them laughing.

When the challenge ended, I wanted to keep going because I did more that week than any other week in the summer. I realised that TV distracted me and that not watching it helped. Now I only watch my favourite shows and skip boring ones.

С. Elliot Kwon: I always knew that I depended way too much on my phone. But I didn’t know how much, so I decided to do this challenge to find out.

Every morning since I got a smartphone, I’ve used The Weather Channel to figure out what to wear. On the first morning I had to dress without it, but thankfully I was able to predict that the day would be cold and foggy by looking out my window. When was the last time I did that ... eighth grade?

I also lost track of time. I haven’t worn a watch for more than a year, because my phone showed the time. So I was late picking up friends who took the bus for two hours to come from Santa Monica. I also was late to my baby-sitting job. And even worse, I couldn’t call people to tell them that I was running late.

Getting places was harder, too. I got lost because I couldn’t use the GPS on my phone. My driving, though, got a lot safer because I no longer had my phone in one hand checking directions while driving.

But the number one problem was not having my contact list. I forgot to write down my friends’ and family members’ phone numbers before I started the challenge. It was sad to realize that I couldn’t remember my brother’s and my mom’s cell phone numbers.

This challenge was a great learning experience. It surprised me how I’d overlooked even the simplest things like remembering phone numbers. We all should take some time to think about how we can depend less on our cell phones.

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