BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Today’s society revolves around technology, so one could only imagine what life would be like without having access to our everyday electronics. When Gov. Livingston held “GL Unplugged”, a technology free day, on December 13 and March 2, students got to try a new perspective for a day.
Assistant Principal Tara Oliveira, who spearheaded this event at the school, said the main goal of this event was to “have students disconnect from technology and reconnect with people.” She believes that reconnecting with people leads to mindfulness.
She was happy to see students and teachers working to participate in “GL Unplugged”. “It was inspiring to see teachers come up with different ways to teach the class.”
Since technology is so important in one’s life, the GL administrators set up activities to act as a substitute for technology. There was an art contest held during lunch for designing a logo to represent a tech-free lifestyle. For students not interested in drawing, there were conversation starters on the tables during lunch.
Sophomore Hanna Dorsett described the conversation starters as “helpful, but were not necessary to start conversations.” Students were able to hold conversations without being attached to their phones.
When she came into school on the tech free day, junior Caroline Mondelli was unsure of what to expect. Throughout the day it became clear “how much technology affects our lives.” She explained that in her math class her teacher usually has a slideshow for the notes, but wrote the notes on the board. “This made me realize how thankful I should be for the technology we have access to.”
Sophomore Kristen McConekey questioned the purpose of this day. “Technology has come so far and we are taught to take advantage of it, so why would we be forced to all of a sudden not have access to it?” However, McConekey was excited for one effect of the event. “At least there wasn’t any homework over the weekend!”
GL Unplugged, an initiative of the Wellness Committee, is an effort to help students relax and unwind away from technology. The administration hopes these breaks from technology help to curb students’ reliance on everyday technology.