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Unplugged: Living without the media

Rory Cellan-Jones | 07:00 UK time, Friday, 22 October 2010

How could you survive without the media, the internet and a mobile phone for 24 hours?

Perfectly well, perhaps if you are Vanessa Feltz - we've been having an entertaining dialogue this week about whether modern technology is an essential part of our lives. But for some media students at Bournemouth University, it's been something akin to torture.

They have been taking part in a global experiment called Unplugged. It is designed to examine the intimate relationship young people now have with the media and work out what happens when television, radio, the web, and mobile phones are taken away.

Earlier this week I pitched up in Bournemouth to film three of the many students taking part in the experiment. Caroline Scott, Charlotte Gay and Elliott Day have all just started on a degree in multimedia journalism so normally they would be reading papers, watching television, blogging, texting, Facebooking and tweeting, and generally engaging in the multimedia life of the modern student.

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But when I arrived, they had switched off their phones and computers and were wandering disconsolately around the campus without so much as an MP3 player to entertain them.

Earlier this year a study from Ofcom showed that we spend nearly half of our waking hours using the media, often plugged into several things at once. As we filmed it struck me just how dependent this generation is on modern media technology.

When they wake, their first move is to the laptop or phone to check out Facebook. In the student union bar, big screens show live sport, while half the crowd seem more focused on their phones than their friends. Even in the library, it is computer screens rather than books which seem to command student attention.

In my student days, back in the mists of time, the radio and newspapers were my only regular contact with the media, and arranging to meet friends meant dropping round on the off chance, and scrawling a note on the door if they were out. Today, it's the mobile phone which makes student life work.

Charlotte told me that it was almost impossible for her to function without her phone: "You have to organise everything a day in advance. But things change in a matter of minutes, let alone a day. It's been really difficult."

Dr Roman Gerodimos who is running the Unplugged project says there are already signs of how much the exercise is hurting those who are taking part: "They're reporting withdrawal symptoms, overeating feeling nervous, isolated and disconnected, they don't know what to with themselves or their time."

Of course, there was one intrusion from the modern media world - me, and my cameraman. But I hope we encouraged the three "unplugged" guinea-pigs to think about the experience and what they had learned from it. Because I set them some homework, asking each of them to write 100 words about their day offline.

Rather than jot it down on paper and put it in the post - as I might have done 30 years ago - they waited until the next day when they could turn on their laptops once more. Here is what they sent me:

Elliott Day:

"Usually, as I climb out of bed I would switch on the radio and listen to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 whilst I was getting dressed. Then I would walk to the nearby shop and buy The Times and the Bournemouth Echo to read over breakfast. Today, however, was unlike any other day. Today I was attempting to go 24 hours without media. Today my whole morning routine was thrown up into the air. Despite being aware of the social importance of the media, I was surprised by how empty my life felt without the radio or newspapers."

Caroline Scott:

"I didn't expect it, but being deprived of the media for 24 hours resulted in my day-to-day activities becoming so much harder to carry out than usual. I kept reaching for my smartphone to send e-mails, read texts and log on to the internet - only to remember I wasn't allowed to use it! I felt isolated from society without knowing what the papers said or being able to contact friends at the touch of a button. I believe that the older generations of people in society would definitely find the challenge just as hard as my age group - we have all adapted to depending on the media to carry out tasks quickly and find out information on demand. I didn't break out in a cold sweat like our lecturer expected us all to, but it's not something I would like to do again!"

Charlotte Gay:

"After the experiment I realised how much media we are subliminally receiving and it's not until you consciously try and shut it out then you notice the effects it must have on a person. During the task I found sitting in social areas the hardest to avoid the media, adverts everywhere, music being played the airwaves and everyone with their gadgets made the task near impossible to complete. I have to say the most difficult item for me to be without has been mobile, not only is it a social gadget, it's my main access point of communication."

You can read more about the whole Unplugged experiment on the Bournemouth University blog. And there's another thing I missed out on when I was a student - somehow I never got round to starting a blog.


  • Comment number 1.

    Elliot's quote: "My whole mourning routine" (sic) A freudian slip perhaps?

  • Comment number 2.

    How could you survive without the media, the internet and a mobile phone for 24 hours?

    Actually, a couple of weeks each year, summertimeish, my family seems to cope just fine.

    But when I arrived, they had switched off their phones and computers and were wandering disconsolately around the campus without so much as an MP3 player to entertain them.

    Guessing lectures, library and/or debates not a huge part of the curriculum, then?

    ...the Unplugged project says there are already signs of how much the exercise is hurting those who are taking part: "They're reporting withdrawal symptoms, overeating feeling nervous, isolated and disconnected, they don't know what to with themselves or their time."

    In 24hrs? Hurting? One presumes this 'project' came with a hefty grant?

    On the plus side, one is sure these frail waifs will soon be guiding such as the BBC's editorial, inspired no doubt by the tweeting of certain editors and emails of their bosses.

    LOL, hugs, etc, JMx

  • Comment number 3.

    people who make and sell this garbage to think we cant live without it.....i feel sorry for them if they value it so highly in there lives....

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    I think what a number of people have missed is that it was no media at all. Do, not only is it the high tech media they missed, but also more traditional forms such as newspapers and the radio.

    I would also argue that it's harder to cut yourself off from the media when you are in your usual environment than on holiday. At home I catch the news, I need the internet to work (although, obviously not this page), I listen to the radio when cooking, or dropping off to sleep.

    On holiday in Wales earlier the cottage had no radio, no internet, and I didn't have a smartphone and I didn't miss it, BUT that was the whole point.

    That's not to say I don't think people aren't missing the 'real' world, but it's not just technology that's to blame. Cycling home I was amazed at the fantastic sunset, but everyone else was trudging along, eyes cast down.

  • Comment number 6.

    "They're reporting withdrawal symptoms, overeating feeling nervous, isolated and disconnected, they don't know what to with themselves or their time."

    Seriously? These people need to get a grip. No wonder everyone seems to have such antipathy for students and young people these days!

  • Comment number 7.

    Rory Cellan-Jones.

    "..they ... were wandering disconsolately around.."

    what, like heroin addicts whose dealer went out of business? ;)

    it is rather sad to think that our lives now revolve around 'being entertained'.

    (also, commend comment #4)

  • Comment number 8.

    I once got my phone wet on a day when I was meeting a friend to go to another friend's birthday party. Being unable to use my phone or retrieve my friends number, I walked a mile to my friends house, spoke to her flatmate, got her mobile number but her flatmate had no credit or landline. So I walked home again, used my own landline and caught up with the party. Upon arriving my friend "You shouldn't have gone to the trouble" Really? Miss out on a friend's birthday because I got my phone wet?

    I'm not on Facebook, or anything like it. I have no TV signal at home, and the Licensing people have declined my invitation to come and check. I have no internet access except at work or free wi-fi in cafe's.

    So what if you have to arrange something a day in advance? At least if there's no way to change it easily, you can rest assured it will happen. I'm tired of people cancelling twenty minutes before we're due to do something jsut because it's only takes a phone call, or worse a text. These people are about as reliable and clear as the networks they use.

  • Comment number 9.

    I always think there is something special behind the time it takes to read a book rather than the constant feed of information.
    However I'm so connected to the world and with so many other people I just can't make the time for it.
    The latest generations may never know the feeling of being disconnected for at least a day.

  • Comment number 10.

    There is a very smug tone coming from the majority of the comments posted on this internet article. I assume the authors have failed to spot the irony of their own actions? Personally, I can happily say that this morning my first action was to load the BBC News homepage and check facebook on my mobile. On the bus to work, I will be listening to my mp3s and reading the news on my phone app. Or maybe I'll read my book today? I have no dependence on media interaction, but I certainly revel in it. I feel priveliged to have the opportunity to have so much access to so much information. If it was taken away, certainly I would feel deprived. What if took away your kettle and made you boil your cup of tea in a saucepan? You'd be pretty miffed no doubt. It's all about what you're used to and the disruption to that routine. Now, I'm off to message someone I've never met...

  • Comment number 11.

    Could I cope?

    Sounds like my idea of Heaven.

  • Comment number 12.

    The human race survived quite adequately for 3.8 million years. It's only in the last 70 years that we've had ubiquitous radio and TV, and the internet isn't even 30 years old. I think we could all "survive" quite adequately for much longer than 24 hours.

  • Comment number 13.

    Have no problem with this - twice a year minimum we holiday in remote places ( in the UK) with no network coverage, we don't take laptops & don't bother with newspapers or the TV / Radio news - It's bliss.

  • Comment number 14.

    I saw the report on this on BBC Breakfast this morning and it struck me as a complete and utter waste of time, money and oxygen. Where, in God's name, is the news, or even the public interest in a few students spending 24 hours away from their TVs and laptops? The nation is at war in Afghanistan, the government is having to implement major public spending cuts to stave off bankruptcy and the BBC decides to devote broadcast time to something like this? Someone over there really needs to get a grip!

  • Comment number 15.

    How many people could really keep away from all media? Surely for the majority of us we interact with or are exposed to the media in our jobs everyday.
    Take computers out of the workplace and thats all office work gone for a start, no newspapers, no radio and no internet how would we know what is going on in the world? Even packing boxes or picking vegetables often comes with radio or music in the background.

    You could say we are addicted to many things. We don't NEED shoes, but life is much better with them. We don't NEED restaurants, but we still have them.

    It's not as if you couldn't ignore most of the media in some way or other, it's just you'd have to make a conscious decision to do so.

  • Comment number 16.

    My hearty commendations to comment 10 - the sense of smugness is almost suffocating.

    We must face the fact that life has moved on - we can't do things the way we used to any more because everything, including the way work is conducted, how our lives are planned, social interaction, everything has changed and adapted with the times and technology available.

    Of course we could survive without this technology, but that doesn't mean it would be a cake walk either - try getting used to not listening to music, or watching TV, or reading the news, all things that we all take for granted.

    As one of these so-called plugged-in individuals, I find that at 21 I am perfectly happy with all this technology, and I welcome many of the advances that are on the way. I see my friends, I work hard, and I engage with technology. My way of life does not need to be judged, thank you very much.

  • Comment number 17.

    When I go on holiday I take no interest in the media, have no access to the internet and can quite easily go a day without needing to use my mobile phone. It could make my job a little awkward if, I had no access to the internet but, I could easily survive 24 hours without access to the media or, my mobile phone.

  • Comment number 18.

    Interesting that though this study focussed on young people, it is older generations who are driving social networking (in particular) in workplace. does interest of young people wane once their time is more committed?

    See report in PC Advisor

  • Comment number 19.

    Interesting article, and after a quick glaze around where I am sitting, I realise just how much media outlets I have around me (Radio, Paper, Blackberry, and of course the laptop).

    Could I live without these items? I would like to think I could, but I think I would struggle. Not to the point I get withdrawal symptoms – at least I hope not. But I think I would miss not being able to get what I want when I want it. This is something I can do at the moment with my array of electronic gadgets and mobile wizardry.

    With the likes of facebook, twitter and so on, people have become too connected to other peoples lives, and what I mean by this is that I think in a way it’s a form of obsession to be constantly glued to ones facebook page waiting on a notification / message or whatever. I use facebook to shut my sister up, who is a facebook fanatic (as I like to call her) other than that, I do not use it.

    Would I like to get rid of the gadgets? No, they play a key role in what I do. But every now and then, it is nice just to turn them off.

  • Comment number 20.

    "Normally they would be reading papers, watching television, blogging, texting, Facebooking and tweeting, and generally engaging in the multimedia life of the modern student".

    I feel so sorry for them. They should get a life!

    Of course we have to use technology at work - and no, there is no irony in the fact that, for the first time in many days, I happened to take a 5-minute break and look at the BBC News - but if, outside of the working environment, anybody is unable to take time out and do nothing, if they are so addicted to Stuff that they have to have all these things on them and around them, then they have ceased to be human beings.

    "What is this world if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?". I'm not sure if that is a precisely correct quote, but it's near enough. The question is not "How could you survive without the media, the internet and a mobile phone for 24 hours", but, rather, how can you survive if you are not able to escape the media, the Internet and a mobile phone for 24 hours?

  • Comment number 21.

    Lynn, please can you tell me where to find these "remote places (in the UK) with no network coverage"? I need to escape "Christmas", and that sounds like just the sort of place I'm looking for.

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't have a mobile phone, so that's no trouble. Nor do I have a TV.

    I think I could be quite content to spend a day or three separated from the media; what I should miss most of all would be access to books.

  • Comment number 23.

    @5, 10, 15, 16 etc you make a good point about this being all forms of media, but we are talking about a 24 hour period here.

    That is not a long time for people to find something else to do. Get up, have breakfast, go and spend the day out doing something enjoyable with friends, go home, have dinner, go to bed, jobs a good 'un!

  • Comment number 24.

    Sorry, but I have lived successfully without media in a countryside cottage, for three days, its not that difficult.

  • Comment number 25.

    Our internet connection fell over the other night (BE There had a HUGE outage). I did not reset the router till the following day, so even if it had come back up, we would not have known.

    The teens went to their beds earlier, we all sat at the dining table longer, I got to find out what everyone had done at school that week, and so on.

    Strangely, apart from the initial disappointment from people that the connection had gone down, once they realised that there was nothing that could be done about it, no one seemed to mind.

  • Comment number 26.

    The human race has become absolutely pathetic. I have never had a mobile phone, and never will. I last bought a newspaper in 1966 and I can find more than enough to occupy myself without the TV or radio. Unfortunately, I have to use this computer, at work, so I browse the web, looking for the ridiculous, and this fits that category.

  • Comment number 27.

    Folk have seen this coming for a long time! Read EM Forster's short story The Machine Stops. And I think a real issue for these young people (and I think I'd be as bad as them, though 15 years older) is not only an individual dependence on media and technology, but their societal one - (almost?) everyone in their circle lives like this, so being without media is not only an individual irritation, but excludes them in many ways from the society around them - not something any of us enjoys!
    I used to live abroad, so use social media to stay in touch with friends who are spread around the world. Continued and pretty much immediate interaction of a geographically dispersed friendship group is possible now in a way it really hasn't been before (unless with a MUCH longer time delay), and which I very much value. Societies change, common modes of interaction change, value judgements of good and bad aren't much use, partially due to the subjectivity (I use x for y, so that is what is seems normal to me, anything else is...) and partly due to differing wider cultural and subcultural factors. This is the way things are, learn to make it work for you in your own particular life!

  • Comment number 28.

    Work aside, I would find it very difficult to go through daily life with no media at all. I often leave my mobile phone at home and rarely use the internet at home, so I think I would manage without the two quite happily. I would definitely miss the radio and newspapers. I like to know what's going on in the world and I think we forget how much we rely on news to plan our lives - weather reports often dictate the day's activities and travel news definitely impacts on our day-to-day lives. I realise that these things rely on the use of mobile phones and internet technology now, so indirectly we all benefit from the use of phones etc.

    Also, I genuinely wouldn't miss TV. I don't watch much of it and almost exclusively watch factual programs, so you could argue that I could get by with books. The radio is definitely the thing I would miss most of all - I hate silence and always have the radio on in the background, except during the couple of hours an evening when the TV is on. I love music and would really miss it!

    Alas, without the use of the internet and mobile phones I wouldn't have a job... I work for an internet service provider and gained most of my work experience working for a well-known mobile phone provider!

  • Comment number 29.

    I think it would be more interesting to get the views of the people on Channel 4 shipwrecked? Do they think they would have developed more or less with electronics on the island? It would be interesting to hear the views on going to the island, and then ask there views on coming back from the island? Has it helped or hindered them and how will they take it forward in their lives when the have access to electronics/media?

  • Comment number 30.

    Being someone who generally spends up to 12 hours a day at the computer, when I go on holiday I deliberately stay away from media! The only technology that gets used is the sat-nav with appropriate mapset and an e-book reader (being a voracious reader at the best of times I cannot carry enough books for a holiday!).

    While it's nice to catch up with e-mail and discussion boards when I get back home, I don't really miss a 'week off' from the keyboard... even if regular users of my websites grumble at the lack of updates whilst I'm away.

  • Comment number 31.

    All those saying that it's easy, and that they do it all the time on holiday etc. are kind of missing the point. Going about your normal life without these things is significantly more challenging than whilst you are temporarily cut off on holiday. Whilst it is no doubt incredibly liberating have a break from the media, it only really works if you're on holiday and have no real commitments. If you've got to go to work, do work when you're there, do the shopping, pay your bills, keep track of your family commitments etc. then it all gets a lot more difficult.

    It's a shame this study seems to feature some fairly soft students who seem to be lost because they're bored without facebook etc. Would be a much more interesting study to see how people would cope if they've got jobs to go to and some real commitments - not just crying because they're bored without tv. That would be a real study about how it effects us. This seems to be a little bit more about seeing how pathetic a bunch of students are.

    Also what's confused me about this is the overlap with media and technology. It's titled 'Living without the media' but I wouldn't call making calls off a mobile phone media. Neither would I say using my computer at work or emailing people is media. Sure the internet can be a source of media information, but does that mean that all computer use should be bundled into this study?

    I might go as far as saying that lumping media and technology together makes media out to be far more important than it actually is. If we were all without the media then I think most people would cope just fine, just be a little less informed. If we without the technology then our lives would be very different.

  • Comment number 32.

    I can honestly say that if you gave me two weeks of sun shine and hot weather and brought me a football i could do with out a newspaper, television, games consols even my moblie. this experiment has not considerd all walks of life, every person is an individual, "I was surprised by how empty my life felt without the radio or newspapers." his social life obviously depends on everyday issues Others does not, some people talk about the latest video game, others do not. My point being is that even though that society today is highly dependant on electronic entertainment and media information, there are thouseds of other activities you can do and plenty more things to talk about besides what Wayne Rooney has fianly decided to do with his life (to use a recent example). As for the media updates like radio talk shows and newspapers well is it nessercery to know these things or is it just that you WANT to know... beggers cannot be choosers and i dont see many homeless people complaining that thier MP3 or radio is broken. Say no more.

  • Comment number 33.

    "a degree in multimedia journalism"

    Can someone explain the benefit of this to me please, both to them and what do we gain to have people "qualified" in this area?

    I read the news online, and in print. When is my honorary doctorate forthcoming?

  • Comment number 34.

    We have all this communications technology BUT no one really communicates - really listens - customer sercvice is still very poor- parents do not listen to their children or vice versa- it is all so inconsequential. The "Medya" is a mirage - someone is gettiing very rich off gullible naive people who have wastedd their education and are now wasting their time and money. Sitting at a screen consuming eletricity eating junk food talking crap listening to stupid music will rot your brain and body and a soul if you have one. The manipulators are using this technology to keep you in a state of suspended teenage consumption where fashion rules and the latest gadget gimmick is the be all and end all of existence. Coca Cola- Apple et al have hypnotised the population
    to part with their money - how can Facebook be valued at $25 billion dollars - what does it do?

  • Comment number 35.

    Ha ha absolutely love comment number 10. Absolutely spot on. People logging in to let everyone know that they just don't need media etc... - ah the smugness hurts and delights in equal measure.

    I make my own clothes from the wool of animals which have died of natural causes and eat nothing but berries which have fallen of their own accord from a tree which i once chained myself to raise awareness of the plight of the lesser spotted woodpecker.....baaarrrffff!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Ok.......... Now i know this is dooable cos i have had the internet cut off, and now have to use a rubbish mobile dongle thing (which is poop)

    TV....bah its all rubbish all of it.
    Radio... a reason to live maybe!
    Newspapers, well consider most of them are owned by Media Monster (tm) i don't think so.
    Books are brill its that simple.

    I used to go camping near the river Severn there wasn't even electricity on the toilets have a shave by candlelight..... I honestly dont think i could do that again.

    We have been forced fed this "media" along with its brands the fruit farm springs to mind with its god awful tech....please don't shove an iphone in my face or you will find it inserted where the sun shineth not.

    I could probably go a week with nothing at all... after that i would go mad!

    If you have friends and stuff it is easy..................

  • Comment number 37.

    As a lecturer in e-Business at Bournemouth university, I watch how the environment is changing all the time. It makes teaching interesting.

  • Comment number 38.

    37. At 6:02pm on 22 Oct 2010, pmerchant wrote:
    As a lecturer in e-Business at Bournemouth university, I watch how the environment is changing all the time. It makes teaching interesting.

    Do your lectures arrive in tweet sized chunks so that the poor dears can handle the snippets of knowledge?

  • Comment number 39.

    I think this depends just how widely you're choosing to define "media".
    For a mere 24 hrs I could easily do without the internet, television, dvd player, radio (admittedly I'd have to switch my alarm clock from radio to beep), newspapers, billboards etc.
    I could also do without other things that were probably caught up in the mix but aren't really media - telephones, my computer more generally (word processing for example).
    There would be one thing that probably should count as media that I just couldn't get through such a day without.
    You can take my book when you pry it from my cold dead fingers!

  • Comment number 40.

    It would be impossible for me to go without technology/media (why are they used to mean the same thing in this article?) long term. I am a student and use my computer a lot for work. I am currently taking a break from writing a report on mechanical vibration, using the internet and my textbooks for information. The work then has to be submitted online, so I can't even hand write it.

    However, during the holidays it is nice to be able to switch off. A few years ago I went on an expedition to the Cairngorms for 5 days. After we left the cars we didn't meet or speak to another person till the end. Living without media/tech: bliss for a holiday, a nightmare in the real world!

  • Comment number 41.

    smug Adjective /sməg/
    Having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements

    I do see some irony in using 'tinternet to look it up.

    But do also note from the definition that while some were more content with confessing fewer achievements others still seem more concerned with broadcasting their greater tally whilst being equally, um.. observational.

  • Comment number 42.

    I just finished reading a post on Reddit as a young lady told everyone online there that she had traveled across the country to stay with a man she didn't know 0 years older than herself to find out what people thought. To me, the question asked here, if people can do without the internet for 24 hours begs a question itself.... if there is a need to ask, there must be a problem. People seem to be disassociated with real life and seek connections elsewhere. For this young woman to ask for opinions of people she doesn't know rather than personal friends might very well mean that she has little or no personal friends in real life worth talking to, else why ask the opinions of strangers? When you see a gaggle of girls walking down the street they all seem to be talking on their cell phones instead of each other. What has happened to face to face interpersonal contact and sharing? Is seeking the opinion of strangers more validating than people that know oneself in person?

  • Comment number 43.

    How could you survive without the media, the internet and a mobile phone for 24 hours?
    I heard that hundreds of Bournmouth Srtudents were taking part in the experiment, designed to examine the "intimate" relationship young people now have with the media. "Intimate" is a great word, a perceptive word for the relationship that some people have with the media. The media talks to them, tells that what to think, organizes their lives, and provides "intimate" friendships (where the friends have never met face to face).
    Three participants were wandering disconsolately.
    As filming went on, it struck you just how dependent this generation is on modern media technology.
    I wonder why? Is it the thing to do?
    I wonder about independent thought, creativity, becoming comfortable within one's own skin, finding who you are so that you can share yourself with true friends and "intimates".
    Dr Roman Gerodimos (who is running the Unplugged Project) said there are already signs of how much the experiment "is hurting" those who are taking part: "They're reporting withdrawal symptoms, overeating feeling nervous, isolated and disconnected, they don't know what to with themselves or their time." Does this sound like comfort within one's own skin?
    Wow, I don't know how many people find these preliminary results frightening, but I certainly do.
    What was most frightening is that, perhaps knowing the experiment was short and would end soon, the tortured victims made no step towards innovation or creative thinking; they simply wallowed in addictive-type despair.
    Dr Roman Gerodimos: “The words ‘addiction’ and ‘dependence’ kept recurring in their narratives. They felt they lost connection with friends and family, even those living nearby, but also thought that the study was an eye-opener as it gave them the opportunity to reflect on the extent to which the media is part of their lives.”
    24 hours! And some participants dropped out!
    Dr Roman Gerodimos: “At an educational level it could benefit our learning and teaching strategies, but it could also make us more sensitive to young people's needs for socialisation and awareness."
    (Students can choose any consecutive 24 hours, between 18-24 October 2010, to take part in ‘Unplugged’.)
    It's little wonder to me after reading about this study, that we have far more sheep in our modern societies than we do leaders. From the moment these sheep get up till the moment they go to bed, they are plugged into the mind games and the talking heads who tell them what to think, what to twitter about, and make them feel important, part of something bigger than they are.
    Where in this modern age are young people learning how to think independently, question everything, and form their own way of being in the world - with unique talents and ideas to offer?

  • Comment number 44.

    I would have thought they would be fine, but maybe the British Pub is in a worse state than i thought if not even students can go to a pub, take in the atmosphere and speak to people face to face without being distracted by technology

  • Comment number 45.

    I have to say that I'm an avid reader and love nothing more than switching off my iPhone, turning the television off and curling up with a good book, or, better still leaving hubby downstairs and taking a book to bed. I've recently moved house and when unpacking all our belongings hubby said "which wall in the bedroom do you want the portable LCD tv put up on" my reply? "none of them"

    I am the person who sits in an office on her own all day, pc on, work phone, iPhone beside her, iPod in her ears. I've made the decision to switch off from media as much as I can especially after a hard day at a media driven office.

    In fact, I can now drive to Tesco and not panic when I realise that I've left my mobile on charge in my kitchen, nor do I no longer feel the need to update my twitter and facebook every 5 seconds!

    Don't get me wrong, if Santa doesn't bring me an iPad this Christmas he may be getting a divorce for the New Year, however I will also enjoy spending the Waterstone gift vouchers that I'll enivitably receive with gusto!

  • Comment number 46.

    It is easy to disconnect from technology if you didn't grow up with it. Nowadays, children have cell phones, ipods, and other expensive gadgets that I don't even own. I read some article awhile back saying that latest group of students grew up with instant communication and all this technology. They don't know what it is like to be denied access to their beloved electronics. Either this is an addiction or gadgets have become part of our bodies. This reminds me of a poll I took this morning, It seems like other people couldn't live with out technology with suffering some sort of withdrawal.

  • Comment number 47.

    I have to say i'm a little miffed at some of the responses to this article, lots of you seem to be saying you can cope without media when on holiday, but surely thats the point of a holiday? A break from routine that has been planned and everything is neatly wrapped up before you go "off the grid".

    What this article was about is how people cope without access to any kind of media without pre arranging with friends and family that they will not be contactable in this manner.

    Personally I like the fact I have a always on constant stream of facebook and twitter updates and that I can access the news or look for a piece of Trivia when I'm out and about. But that doesn't mean I have forgotten how to talke to others or to engage in the "real world".

    Times have moved on and I think most people, wether they admit it or not, would be lost without at least the Radio or the Paper to let them know what is going on in the world on a regular basis. Or to not be able to communicate with Friends and Family that are much more widely spread out geographically than they were even 20 years ago.

  • Comment number 48.

    I am an IT professional but I'm not on the net at home.
    Something which suprises most of my colleagues but I always tell people that I have this other thing going on at home - It's called a life


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