What Does a Life Without Technology Look Like?

Milan Manriquez, Cub News Writer

In today’s day and age, everything revolves around technology – more specifically, the electronic technology that countless people use in their daily lives. But what would happen if this technology wasn’t able to function properly? Would we be able to function properly? Have we as people become so reliant on modern technology that without it we’d fall apart? Here’s how a recent local storm proved to be a great example of the challenges that come along with not having access to technology, as well as society’s growing dependence on it.

Right as the school year started in late August for the Cubs,  most of southern Michigan was hit with severe thunderstorms. Along with that storm came wind gusts reaching 70 mph, damaging vehicles, buildings, and roads, and contributing to more than 262,000 Michigan residents losing power. My house was one of the many in my community that suffered a loss of power due to these storms. Most of the time when I lose power due to bad weather, it’s back up and running by the next day, and sometimes even sooner – so it’s safe to say that I was not expecting to go three full days without power. 

 

Not having electricity gets incredibly dull after a while, and you begin to notice technology in your life that you either took for granted or didn’t realize how much of a necessity it was. For example, a pretty obvious day-to-day necessity in today’s world is the internet. Luckily phones now have the ability to work off of cellular data, however, most laptops do not – including my own. I was not able to do any of my online homework at my house due to the lack of WiFi. Not to mention that even my written assignments were difficult to complete at home, considering once daylight fell, it was a hassle to find a light source to complete assignments. During those three days, I drove well over an hour a day back and forth from libraries and family member’s houses just to gain access to the internet and to charge my device. U of D English teacher Chelsea Duhaime explains how not having internet affected her after the storm: “It was actually really difficult because my daughter has diabetes, and her DexCom works on WiFi, so whenever we run out of power it’s not only inconvenient, but also very scary.” UofD senior Luke Wegrzyn shares his less serious yet similar experience: “I lost WiFi for two days. I couldn’t do most of my homework, I couldn’t watch TikTok, and I couldn’t even talk to my friends because the cell tower was out too. Yeah, it kind of sucked.” On top of losing internet connection, things I didn’t even realize would indirectly affect me from the power outage became the biggest nuisances. Things such as not being able to eat any of the food from the fridge, because if I were to open those refrigerator doors, all of the food would spoil, or being late to school and practices because every single traffic light intersection became an incredibly busy four-way stop. 

 

Despite what it may seem like, the point of this article is not for me to complain about how inconvenienced I was last week – I understand that hundreds of thousands of people live their everyday lives this way across the country. I also understand how fortunate I am to be in a position in which I could make adjustments to get around those inconveniences. The purpose of this article is not for me to complain at all – it’s to put into perspective how dependent I, alongside most of society, have become upon modern technology, and how truly predominant its role is in our lives. Even the non-personal examples such as schools basing their curriculum around online work, and the use of electricity to guide traffic flow, show especially how reliant society has become on this technology. If technology continues to develop at this current rate, somewhere throughout that process a complete reliance on technology will be formed, and these more or less simple ‘inconveniences’ such as power outages could become a much more serious danger to society.