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Katie Byers

  • Disconnected

    by Katie Byers | Apr 27, 2017

    Hey, Spartans!

    This week I spent our mid-semester break road tripping the South Island of New Zealand. From stargazing in the hot springs at Lake Tekapo & climbing Roy’s Peak at Wanaka, to kayaking the Tasman Sea & laying on the sandy beaches of Golden Bay, I was completely disconnected from my phone. When I came here, I decided to save the money and not get a phone plan, so when I’m away from Wi-Fi, my phone basically turns into only a camera. For safety reasons, I did buy a small little burner phone with about 20 texts so that I could let someone know I was safe or in case of emergencies. I spent the last 10 days completely disconnected from the outside world except for a very brief time at a hostel where we had Wi-Fi for the night. Free Wi-Fi here is hard to come by, most places charge a pretty penny for Wi-Fi and most of the time it is very slow if you do happen to find it. I can honestly say these past 10 days were the best of my life. It was not a glamourous vacation whatsoever, but I got to experience everything completely in the moment. No matter what we did, I couldn’t get distracted from my phone. I knew nothing of what was going on in America, my friends, or any other world news. It was a refreshing change. I had lots of time to think and learn things about myself. I got to talk to people and see things that I wouldn’t have seen if I would have had access to my phone. I learned that between social media, texting, and other various notifications on my phone popping up all the time, I miss so much of what is actually going on around me. Every place I went, we either slept in a hostel or at a campsite. I was forced to interact with everyone around me. I know we’re all guilty of doing this, but I was not able to grab my phone in situations where I normally would try to avoid talking to people. I had conversations with locals and really lived in the moment. Since coming back, I’ve turned off all notifications on all my social media avenues and have been trying to live in the moment more often. Yes, social media and technology are great things, but disconnecting once in awhile is something that will change your life. I highly recommend you try it sometime.  

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    KatieByers
    Katie Byers '18 is a biology-chemistry major & business minor. A member of the women's basketball team, she plans to study abroad in New Zealand in February 2017, and her dream job is to work at an orthopedic hospital.