Wk12-Art Experience-Ethnography (Pre-Electric Cultures)

I was pretty excited about this project, especially since Earth Day was on Saturday!! The logistics definitely took some planning. I didn’t want to do it during the week, even on Friday because I’ve been so swamped with homework and things to do. So I needed my laptop to do a lot of stuff. At first I was really hype because I’ve been needing to read two novels for my history class and have only read like 4 pages (hopefully my history professor isn’t reading this). I was going to have a night without any electronics or electricity and just knock out some long overdue reading. I knew I wouldn’t have synthetic light, but then I remembered they don’t let you have candles in the dorms!! So that plan got ruined haha! I didn’t really know what I could do in the dorms and figured I would just end up sitting in a dark room all night staring into the void.

However, I planned some things out and although I was unable to go 100% electricity free, I think I did a pretty good job. Plus I got to do it on Earth Day!

On Saturday, Luke and I, along with a few of my friends, drove up to Pasadena to go swing dancing for the night. Luke and I have been swing dancing together for about a year and a half and it’s one of our favorite things to do! It was really fun to have the opportunity to go with some of my friends as well!

We were at the swing dancing venue from 7-11pm so it took up most of our night! Dancing obviously doesn’t use electricity, and there was a live band too! The only thing I couldn’t avoid was the use of lights. There were only strings of christmas lights over the dance floor though so it was a lot dimmer than usual.

We had a great night full of dancing, laughing, and friendship. The only other thing I could not avoid was using a car to drive home. Other than that, I had an electricity free night.

The whole experience was pretty easy because we were having fun and keeping busy. It is something I really enjoy doing. Especially with the live band, it’s way a more natural and authentic experience than listening to a recorded soundtrack. Whenever I am with Luke, friends, or doing something I really enjoy (like swing dancing), I don’t even think about my phone so that was not an issue for me.

This project really didn’t effect my sleep since we stayed out so late. Afterward we got food at talked with each other so I didn’t get home until after midnight. I think if I had just stayed inside and laid in the dark until I fell asleep, I would’ve been more sleep deprived than doing an activity where I stayed out late. I have a hard time falling asleep most nights so I know I would’ve tossed and turned for a long time.

I actually really enjoy putting away the electronics and focusing on the natural beauty of our world. Technology has advanced us in many ways and it definitely has it’s benefits. It is limited in some ways. I think we really need it nowadays for transportation, light, and communication. However, I think people are TOO consumed with it to the point that it makes me pretty sad. This is mostly an issue with technology that we do not NEED like social media and iPhone games. I hate seeing families out at dinner and they are all on their phone. It breaks my heart. I kind of hate the fact that I was born into a generation that is so attached to these things. It is not what life is about. Therefore, I do not think it was an issue for people in the past to live without constant stimulation.

Personally, I think life is more rich when we go out and explore the world the way God created it in all it’s natural, organic beauty. When combined with personal interaction and love, our lives are a million times more fulfilling.

My ideal level is definitely a balance. You need to be smart with your time and how you use it. Sure, it’s great to connect with people through social media, but we don’t need to constantly be checking it every hour. It’s reached the point where people go on their phones in public to avoid personal interactions and social anxiety. It’s nice to just put it down and enjoy the scenery around you when you’re walking somewhere. I am also a strong believer of limited phone use when hanging out with other people. It just feels rude to me and it’s so much better to interact face to face.

One photo I took early in the evening at the venue where I went swing dancing. The other photos are from another time Luke and I went swing dancing at the beach-also a very natural and wholesome experience.

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