By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -
No Facebook status updates. No selfies on Instagrams. No tweets on Twitter or texting about weekend plans.
Some area high school students are putting down their smartphones, tablets, laptops and video games for three days as part of Tech-Time Out. And some are finding it's harder than it sounds to go cold turkey.
"It's already three hours and I'm crying for my phone," Belen Lee said.
Wyandotte High School student teacher Julie Jackson conceived the idea of Tech-Time Out.
"I hope the kids really learn how to focus on one thing at a time, and learn how to balance their academic life with their social life," Jackson explained.
More than 500 students signed up for the challenge.
So instead of posting to their Facebook wall, students are encouraged to use pen and pencil and post pictures to an actual bulletin board and communicate in person.
Wyandotte High School teacher Sarah Futrell said it would help students see how electronic devices are affecting their lives and relationships with people. Some have found they are quite dependent on digital devices for communication and amusement.
"I don't know if they were aware how they could navigate life without it," Futrell said.
Junior Todd Kennedy has found the challenge to be quite hard.
"I'm always with my phone 24/7," he said. "It's hard for me to put it down."
Jennifer Delgado was finding it hard to be without a computer and access to social media. No access to texts, instant messaging and video posting has proven to be harder than some expected.
"I take a lot of pictures. I just like blowing up my phone," Lee said. "Messaging people is a big problem for me."
Sophomore Issiah Matthews wasn't suffering from withdrawal at all.
"It's not a big deal. If I can go all summer without TV, I can go without a laptop or cell phone for at least three days," he said.
Some staffers at Wyandotte High School also signed up to take the challenge.
Naturally once the challenge is over, participants will return to social media and share videos about what they did over the course of the three days sans digital devices.
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