TUMWATER, Wash. – What would it take to give up your cell phone, computer, and TV for a week?
In exchange for unplugging for seven days, nine students from Tumwater’s Black Hills High School will be featured on NBC’s Today Show.
In late September the students gave up their smartphones for a flip phone to use in emergencies or to talk to friends and family, but they were not allowed to play video games, download movies, or text during the next week.
“I couldn’t sleep the whole night,” said Elena Valencia, a sophomore at Black Hills High School, who missed being able to text her friends or listen to her music with her phone.
But later in the week Valencia learned there was life without a screen.
“I was more engaged when I went out and did things instead of taking pictures and having to tell everybody where I was,” said Valencia.
Sophomore Brandon Powell said the experience made him appreciate his family more, because he wasn’t locked in his room playing videogames as usual.
“My family would be like, ‘Hey do you want to do this?’ And I’d be like, ‘Well, I’m in the middle of fighting this person on my videogame.’” Powell said. “Now I’m like, ‘Sure, I’ll turn off my videogame and go do that.’”