We currently live in a technological age where we have the world at our fingertips. We have Roomba to clean our house. Alexa to keep dates and reminders. Google to save our passwords. Hulu and Netflix to watch any show at any time. Computers to research anything that we want. Smart watches to track our every move. Cars that drive themselves, and so on. The point is, we are an electric and robotics-run world, whether you want to believe it or not. Do not get me wrong, I am pro technology until the day that I die and get giddy over the slightest advancements. I think it is absolutely fantastic!
However, 2020-2021 sure has gotten me to thinking. In 2020, COVID-19 hit, and we were banned to isolation and highly encouraged to self-quarantine and stay away from society to ensure the safety and heath of friends, family, loved ones and society in general. For the most part, everyone obliged with this and more than likely started utilizing all those fancy gizmos, gadgets and electronics that I so highly praised earlier. Again, nothing wrong with that. My point will soon be made clear. Fast forward into 2021, after we have been relying on those fancy gadgets for almost a year now, more than we ever have before, and BAM! College Station gets hit with the most ridiculous weather I have ever seen in Texas. We get multiple actual snow days. When I say actual snow days, I do not mean the rinky-dinky stuff that melts before it gets to the ground and sends Texans into mass chaos and confusion. I mean REAL TEXAS SNOW where you can build snowmen, have snowball fights and make snow angels, and you cannot drive anywhere unless you want to end up in a ditch.
The snow day that puts this blog together is the one that came on February 15, 2021. This snow day was a doozy. Not only was it legitimate snow, but it made everything like the set of Disney’s Frozen
. You were lucky if you could walk 10 feet out of your door without slipping and sliding like a baby deer. That was only the tip of this iceberg. It caused schools to close both in person and online, caused stores to close and stopped you from driving anywhere unless you wanted to end up in another ditch 40 miles away. It was bad and remained this way for a few days. We had rolling outages in our power and were very lucky to get internet. Basically, it was when BCS and its surrounding areas were forcibly unplugged from our little electric lifestyle after being so entrenched in it for the past year. Granted, you could still hotspot your phone, and there were a few places that could be used as safe havens, but for the most part a great deal of the convenience that we had from our electronics was stripped.
It just got me to thinking, because some of the people I knew were stuck with nothing more than their family and candlelight. They had to capture snow and melt it so they could flush their toilets and, on the flipside, take their perishables to the snow to keep it from thawing or going bad. My point is, for some folks, they were plucked out of 2021 and put smack dab in the middle of 1921, where the only fun they had was rolling a wicker circle with a stick around the yard or playing with a doll made from a sock. So, I ask you, when was the last time that you unplugged yourself from the electric world? When have you just stepped away from the screen, gotten off social media, or just stopped focusing on everything else other than where you currently are?
If you have not, I HIGHLY suggest it. Just take a moment every day to unplug and unwind. Do not tune into the news. Stop scrolling through your social media and Pinterest boards. Forget about who the new celebrity hot couple is or what exciting new show is on. Take a moment to just breathe, and focus on yourself and that moment. Take a walk. Go work out. Enjoy nature. Clean. Just do something that you can set your focus on to reset your body. They say that too much of a good thing can be bad for you, and I can assure you that technology is one of those things. It takes away creativity. It takes away the ability to interact with others. It takes away patience and analytical skills, since it puts everything at your fingertips.
Unfortunately, technology makes you dependent on it. I am sure that some of you felt so lost and isolated if you were affected by this pesky snowstorm and had no power or internet. Technology comes at a price, and you have to be able to control it before it controls you! So please, do yourself the favor and unplug and unwind. Your body and mind will thank you!
Your health and wellness coach, 01000100 01000001 01101110 0101001 01000101 01101100
Daniel Pall is a master’s student in the Department of Agricultural Economics.