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Personal Essay Example: The Unplug Experiment

4 pages
902 words
Middlebury College
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The use of a smartphone has become a big part of my life. This is because I rely entirely on my smartphone for communication and social media participation. It is also a device that is widely used by billions of persons in different parts of the world (Strahle, 2016; Arezes, 2017). According to research conducted by Statista (2016), the number of smartphone users in 2016 was projected to reach 2.1 billion and 2.5 billion in 2019 (Statista, 2017). This is a sociological discussion of an unplug experiment that explains my experience in smartphone usage.

Experiment Discussion

During this experiment, I will switch off my smartphone for 24 hours. It will be a weekend, and as such I will not worry about missing out on very important calls from the school. Additionally, this time will be adequate to yield meaningful results for the experiment. This is because apart from using the smartphone for communication, I rely on it for social media indulgence. As such, missing out on regular Facebook and Instagram updates from my friends will positively influence the success of the experiment.

During the execution of the project, I felt distracted by the thought that I was missing something in my life. I noticed that I kept checking my pockets every few minutes, subconsciously checking for my smartphone. Furthermore, I felt the need to hold things from my immediate environment in my hands. This was also an indication that I am used to holding my smartphone in my hands for most times during the day. Also, I felt a constant need to contact my two best friends and to know what they were undertaking.

Furthermore, I experienced a difficulty in concentrating on all the other activities I had to take during the day. This is because I felt lonely and distanced from friends. Furthermore, I felt a great need to know the status of some of my family members who live in the next town. This is because I am used to communicating with them after every few hours of the day through my smartphone. Also, I found a difficulty in sleeping during the 24 hours that the unplug experiment period lasted.

Also, I felt an anxious mood due to the large volume of information that I missed out on during the experiment. For instance, I did not know the fashion trends of the day, and the local and the local musical concerts that I could attend with my friends. I was unable to eat my meals well, and I only consumed a few spoonsful before getting satisfied. Ultimately, I felt more attentive to all these sensations than during the times I had my smartphone.

As time progressed, I grew more anxious and tempted to check my smartphone for any messages. I would hold the smartphone in my hands with a great temptation to switch it on. However, to distract myself, I would quickly move to the kitchen to fetch a bowl of cereals or move to the bathroom to take a shower. This period was when it was only four to six hours away from the experiment deadline. When the allocated 24-hour deadline was over, I was very relieved to turn on my smartphone.

I dropped all other things I was doing and spent two consecutive hours finding all the information I had missed during the experiment. Additionally, I spend part of this time replying to the messages that had been sent to me via social media platforms assuring them that I was okay. I also felt disheartened for missing out a free local music event that was attended by some of my most favorite celebrities. As such, I did not believe that switching off my smartphone was beneficial to me at all.

After performing the experiment, I realized that using the smartphone technology plays a very important role in my life. This is because I realized that I was remarkably dependent on the smartphone usage for communication and social events participation. Additionally, I realized that smartphone usage has made my life easier. This is because I can easily plan my life and keep in touch with my friends and family at any time of the day or night.

Additionally, I am positive that I felt better to resume to using my smartphone as a technological device. This is because after conducting the experiment, I increased my appreciation for the functions that the smartphone technology does for me. Lastly, I chose this technology because I use a smartphone for a minimum period of 15 hours in a day. As such, it was perfect for the experiment as it is a technology that has greatly influenced my life.


In conclusion, this exercise represents an interesting experiment to me. This is because it enhanced my realization of the importance of technology in my life. Today, I ensure that I always keep my smartphone close to me and also regularly check information updates from my social environment. Ultimately, the unplug experiment is a perfect experiment that can be used to determine the significance of a medium of technology in our lives.



Arezes, P. (2017). Advances in Safety Management and Human Factors: Proceedings of the AHFE 2017 International Conference on Safety Management and Human Factors, July 1721, 2017, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, California, USA. New York: Springer.

Statista. (2017). Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2014 to 2020 (in billions). Retrieved from Statista:

Strahle, J. (2016). Green Fashion Retail. New York: Springer.


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