Students Urged To Turn Off Computers, Phones

Disconnect Day Challenges Students Used To Technology

A group of students at DePauw University encouraged classmates to stay off the Internet and shut down their cell phones Wednesday to raise awareness about the way technology functions in their lives.

Student body president Christine Walker and senior David Dietz said they weren't sure what to expect, 6News' Joanna Massee reported.

The goal of the project was to get students to think about how much they depend on technology.

"I don't think the ultimate goal is to have people throwing their blackberries off bridges or anything or get rid of their laptops forever," Dietz said.

Student opinion was mixed.

"I think it's a really good idea to see how the students reach if they had no connection with the Internet and cell phone and things," said student Yashaswee Malla.

"I think it's kind of silly. My entire life revolves around being plugged in," said student Margaret Musgrave. "I have to check my email for class. Professors email me. I have to download readings … in order to be prepared for class."

Professor Bob Steele said he'd like to see his students try disconnecting, even if it means missing an assignment.

"It would be a very good excuse. I'd like to have that conversation ahead of time rather than after," Steele said.

Some students didn't even want to try.

"I don't know how we would function all day on this campus without technology," said student Jennifer Behrens.

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and author Nicholas Carr will debate the role technology plays in the lives of humans at 7:30 p.m. on DePauw's campus.