Thirty Days, Zero “Real World” Contact

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Brush your teeth? Take a shower? Go…*ahem*…use the bathroom? Maybe if you lived in the 90’s. These days, the first thing people do when they wake up is check their Facebook or Twitter or email. In a world where technology drives communication, people are more and more dependent on the devices that supposedly make our social lives easier. But can these technologies like social media and smartphones completely replace face-to-face interactions? You don’t have to go far to learn more!

Cristin Norine is a freelance production manager in between jobs. She met commercial photographer Josh Elliott through her work. Some talk here and there and a few years later, the Public Isolation Project was born.

For the entire month of November, Norine had been isolated in a transparent, first floor storefront located in the bside6 building on Sixth Avenue and East Burnside in Portland. The goal? Show how much we are connected with little to no privacy. For 30 days, Norine’s every physical and online move (except bathroom moments) are visible and projected for all to see. She tweets, text messages, email, and hold video chats on Skype. No in-person interaction for 30 straight days. Read more about experience on her blog.

Following her “technology 24/7” experiment made me think about my own use of social media and smartphones. Last night I decided that for one day (today) I will not be checking my Twitter feed or updating my Facebook status. Kind of like what celebrities such as Alicia Keys and Kim Kardashian are doing in support of World Aids Day — raising money for charity by signing off their social networking sites for 24 hours.

I failed.

I woke up this morning, reached for my phone, pressed the Facebook application, and suddenly realized what I have done. Damn.

Have you thought about taking a break from social networking sites? Here’s some advice: Hide your phone! Now if you excuse me, I’m going to log off on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I’m shutting down my computer and placing my phone next to it. I’m heading out. Maybe I’ll meet and talk with some new people at a coffee house…actual conversations that involve eye contact and speech. *Sigh*…..where’s my phone?

Photos courtesy of The Oregonian.

7 Responses to “Thirty Days, Zero “Real World” Contact”
  1. Jyll says:

    So true!! Even at work we run into the same issues- lack of talking face to face even though they are located in the same building, same floor. Were you successful at having a real conversation?

  2. Yvonne Ngai says:

    “Pubic Isolation Project,” huh? Sounds illegal.

  3. Yvonne Ngai says:

    Whoa, it’s gone! Must be magic. 🙂

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