In the world we live in today, our lives are completely consumed with media. Whether it is snapchatting ugly pictures to your friends or keeping up with the news, our apps on our phones have become part of us. It’s hard to imagine a life without the constant anxiety of trying to keep up with friends and family. What are we missing if we don’t refresh our feed every 20 minutes? What would we do without the availability of social media?
I’ll tell you what we would do… LIVE! While abroad, it’s normal to not have wifi or data everywhere you go. I know it’s a scary thought. You may begin to feel out of touch with your friends at home, but realize that it is okay. Being without social media 24/7 taught me how to live in the moment. Going to dinner and not worrying about who was texting me was such a relief. I was able to fully engage in conversations and give people the attention they deserve. It seems as if we all want to connect with others online, but forget how important our real-world connections are. Living without wifi made me truly appreciate the people I have in my life. I may have been MIA for certain periods of time, but those who cared about me never hesitated to reach out. The friendships I made abroad were purely based upon our unforgettable memories; memories that consisted of taking walks through new cities, running through airports, or studying on world famous steps. All of these moments were filled with laughter and bliss in which none consisted of our noses in our phones.
Not having wifi all the time really allowed me to clear my mind. Not in the sense of relieving stress, but in the sense of living. I was able to realize what I wanted in life, pick up some new hobbies, and make incredible friendships.
Kristie Kovarovic is a senior at The University of Kentucky studying Communications. She participated in the API program in Florence, Italy in Fall 2015.