A day without tech

A day without tech
Left to Right: Noli & Davin Kazama
Left to Right: Noli & Davin Kazama

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Everyday, we plug in our computers and laptops, cell phones and television, to instantly connect with the rest of the world and far away friends. What would we do without technology?

"Oh my gosh, I can't even imagine it now," said Hawaii Kai resident Sheri Mick.

"I be would sad and bored," said Hawaii Kai resident Kimberly Nakayama.

"I wouldn't be able to receive emails or check facebook, I'd go crazy," said Sephaim Boutalan of Kalihi.

Are electronic devices really taking over our lives?

"I'm a high school teacher and discovered that our students don't have as long an attention span as they used to because they're so used to having instant communication. It's very difficult to get them to concentrate," said Barbie Faubion from Washington State.

We wanted to find out for ourselves, so we came up with a challenge: live without technology for one day! Camera in hand, I video-taped how one Hawaii family spent the entire day unplugged.

Davin and Noli Kazama are working parents of two young girls.

When asked how often he uses his cell phone and computer, Davin answered,"All the time, pretty much all day everyday, texting, phone calls and sending emails on the computer."

Their little daughter Sunny cried when she found out she couldn't watch TV

"Once you turn off the TV she's a bit upset and we have to kind of remind her that once we turn off the TV, she can't cry otherwise she can't watch TV anymore," said Noli Kazama.

At 10:21 a.m., the challenge starts! All electronic devices are shut down. I allowed Noli to make one last call.

While on the phone, she said, "I won't be able to use the phone later! So, let's see, how is she going to get in touch with me?"

It's already proving to be quite tough for the Kazamas living without TV, computers and cell phones!

Davin reached for his phone the moment it went off and I quickly reminded him he isn't allowed to pick it up.

"Yes, I did fail the challenge about an hour in," said Davin. "I'm trying my best."

They can't reach for the remote, so they pack for the beach.

"We're going to try and spend as much time out of the house as possible," said Davin.

They run into their friends at the Honolulu Elks Club. It's a day of great surf, great weather and great company. For the Kazamas, "no tech" time turns into family time.

"So far so good, nobody's using any technology," said the Kazama's family friend, Christopher Tokumara.

However, everyone else around them seemed to be plugged in. They spotted at least 7 nearby beach goers preoccupied with their cell phones.

"Unconsciously, I think people are just so attached they don't realize how much they rely on it," said Noli. "If worse comes to worse, I'd have to use a pay phone but honestly, I don't know where the nearest one is around here."

Four hours later, Davin says, "It's much harder when we're at home. It's about two hours before the UH game time and it's getting pretty difficult, I think we're shaking."

To pass the time, baking replaces texting. The Kazamas and their friends work together to bake a cake and cupcakes. So far, being tech free seems to set them free.

"It's like camping," said Davin. "We played a lot of cards and games we never played since we were kids."

As the sun went down, Davin and Noli got ready to welcome more friends over.

"We invited a lot of good friends over to BBQ and they're really good friends cause they're going to help share the pain with us," said Davin.

Without any distractions, they focus on each other, share stories, and when it got really tough, turned to their kids to entertain them. It was just like youtube only it was the real deal.

"We learned we're very dependent on technology and without it we're quite bored we even dressed our daughter in her Halloween costume," said Davin.

Noli agreed and said, "You're more compelled to do family stuff together with friends."

The challenge ended up leaving them with more memories than you could fit in a flash drive.

Copyright 2009 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.