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By Dominique Bonessi

Look Up!!!

I finally get what this guy is saying.

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity of taking a trip to Wadi Feynan.  If you ever come to Jordan most of your trips will be to desert valleys [wadi] with beautiful multi-colored rocks, uncharted paths, and kind locals.  The tourism industry in Jordan has made a killing off of weekend expeditions from Amman to the valleys including transportation, meals, accommodations, and activities.

I have had several opportunities to stay in traditional Bedouin tents, biked across the desert, watch the sunset, and sleep in the Econo Logde, an eco-friendly hotel in the middle of Wadi Feynan.  And through it all I did it without a phone, a computer, or wi-fi—what a concept.

But really, on a daily basis I don’t have wi-fi or access to internet for at least two-thirds of my day.  I go to school I talk with people in Arabic, I meet with friends and have coffee, and I look up when I walk from place to place.  Disconnecting from my phone and technology has really made me realize how much I use my phone in DC and at school.  But what for?—It is such a distraction and doesn’t allow you to live in the moment.

I also realized that not being constantly connected to a phone also helps me with my Arabic.  Instead of being on my phone I take the time to engage in conversation and focus in on the target language.  I have heard that the iPhone is killing the art of conversation and I agree; we look for any excuse not talk to people who are in the same room as us, and for what?—Take time to turn your phone off and enjoy time with the people you love.

When I go back to GW I think I will try to turn off my data when I don’t absolutely need it and avoid receiving Facebook and Snapchat updates at all hours of the day. I also want to start only using my phone if I have a wi-fi signal and saving those important moments for myself instead of constantly having to share them with the world.