As I mentioned in my post from Tuesday, my students conducted a technology fast over the last week. While I allowed students to define which technology they would fast, most of my students conducted a cell phone fast.
The day their essays were due, I had my students stand in a continuum around the room: “I had no problem doing it, it wasn’t a big deal” all the way to “I couldn’t do it and I had a breakdown about it.” We also conducted a class discussion about what happened for them.
It took a bit for the students to get rolling, but those who struggled had some commonalities. These students stated the were afraid of boredom. When I asked them to define what boredom means to them, they said “It’s when you sit by yourself and you get the feels.”
I kept pushing, and I proved, “What’s wrong with the feels? I thought it was good to have feelings and to be engaged in your world in that way.”
You know their reply? “It reminds me that I’m alone. I can’t handle that feeling of being alone in the world. I want to know people are out there with me and if I have my phone it reminds me other people are there with me.”
The class named this feeling “the Great Oblivion.” They concurred that it is simply too scary to explore.
This is the exact reason it’s necessary philosophy is taught to juniors in high school. When the explore philosophers, they begin to understand they are not the only people with “the feels.”