The Great Oblivion

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.”

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5 thoughts on “The Great Oblivion

  1. I love that your students had a “tech fast” and wrote about their experience. Sometimes I think we miss so much with our connections to things and people that are with us. So many young people don’t know how to enjoy quiet time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! What a profound discussion your provoked in your students. I was so saddened by how they handled the feeling of being alone…I love tech, but I hate that it’s made us feel that alone time is not valuable or should even be avoided. Thank you for sharing such a powerful moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm, I had not thought about this tech fast in that manner. The students thoughts about not having tech resonated with me. “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.”

    This gave me pause as I am raising two children in this generation. I often get the “Mom” “MOM” text while they are at school and I am at work.

    Liked by 1 person

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