“Do you ever feel like a slave to your cell phone? Are all these things that are supposed to connect us making us less connected?”
This is the question posed by Dr. Catherine Roach in her NEW 100 class: New College Gateway. And her response: she’s challenging her students to “unplug” from some form of technology from Nov. 10–21.
“It’s an experiment. Partly, how to monitor how much technology we use and how it influences our lives,” Roach said. “It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I may be the last person on the planet without a cell phone.”
The inspiration for the unplugging challenge came from Roach’s NEW 100 curriculum. Each year, Roach chooses a book she feels best represents interdisciplinary studies. This year, she chose “The Shadows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr.
New College Unplugged will have a physical presence on campus, with Roach hanging a poster in Lloyd Hall called, “The New College Wall,” where students can write about their unplugging experiences.
Roach invites all students and faculty to participate, but no official event will be held.
“I am giving up email myself,” Roach said. “I’m going to have a prewritten message ready, and encourage people to contact me by phone or in person. I’m also inviting my colleagues to participate.”