In a world that relies so heavily on electronics, the thought of enduring a pandemic without them can bring newfangled gratitude

Our new normal has everyone feeling different. As we remain stuck within the walls of our homes or apartments, life can get lonely and boring. Our daily routines and work schedules have been stirred. There is no question that our lives are suddenly filled with uncertainty. 

With that uncertainty, feelings can emerge unprovoked. Since I arrived back home in Arizona, I have been struggling with motivation to complete various assignments and a canceled graduation does not seem to help. 

This quarantine has given me time to reflect on a lot of things, considering there isn’t much else to do. One major revelation that I had since being home is that although plenty of things have been taken away from us, one thing has not. And it happens to be technology.

It has become a part of everyone’s lives and it is almost impossible to think of a life without it. However, people once lived in a time when radio and colored television didn’t exist. 

With the dreadful Wi-Fi connection at my house, I am provided with an ongoing struggle to stream movies and shows to avoid boredom. When it affected my ability to have efficient Zoom calls, which has made up 95 percent of my social interactions, I began to entertain this revelation.

Many of us have heard how important it is to unplug and take time away from electronics, but in a time like this, I believe that many of us are thanking technology.

Can you imagine if the coronavirus affected our electronic devices? What would you do? What would this quarantine be like without the luxury that technology provides? 

As the entire country is ordered to stay home and social distance, I am not entirely sure what I would do if I didn’t possess my iPhone, laptop or TV. 

And it appears that two of my friends think the same. 

I spoke with Michael Embry, an Azusa Pacific alum, in a lengthy discussion. I asked him what he would do during this time if he could not fall back on technology.

“To be honest, life without technology seems difficult to comprehend, realistically and existentially,” Embry said. “Even though I try not to use it a lot, I still find myself using the majority of my day consumed by mobile devices. Without those, I would write letters and write in my journal.”

Caelin Nelson, a senior cinematic arts major at APU, admitted that although she is not trying to accumulate too much screen time, technology has a new meaning to her in this quarantine. 

“For me personally, I’m trying not to be glued to my screens too often, so I’ll go for a walk, sketch, paint, tidy up or work on my scripts,” Nelson said. “The main purpose of technology for me at this point is to stay connected with others since physical contact was cut off.”

During a time where social interaction is limited, it can be easy to forget some of the activities we can do without relying on technology, which Embry summed up nicely. 

“Journaling is a healthy way to get your thoughts on paper while still utilizing your self-expression and creativity,” he said. “In addition to this, I would enjoy singing, as it is a good creative escape and gives your vocal cords a good workout too. After all, famous musical pieces come from the response of a plate or as a result of being locked away in one’s own home.” 

This is also a time when we can enhance our spiritual lives and spend quality time with family. 

“More recently, my parents and I have made time to do devotions together and sometimes play board games,” Nelson shared. 

This season may bring about a flood of emotions, but it is important to recognize the blessings that we have. Quarantine would be much harder without technology and I believe that when we come out of social distancing, we will look back with a newfound appreciation for it.