Chelsea Mallinson

Ethnography: Pre-Electric Culture

a night without electricity

This project was difficult. To be honest, I was not looking forward to it. I know I need some sort of electricity at all times. I quickly realized that I am addicted to checking my phone. I realized this when I turned off my cell phone and would subconsciously press the home button and my thumb automatically went for the spot where my Instagram app would be.

But something happened where I was liberated by not using my cell phone. I was not as stressed. Because every time I check social media I:

  1. Get FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
  2. Get down on myself because I see all these beautiful girls all over my feed.

By not being on my phone it eliminated that stress. I was also more relaxed because I did not have to worry about texting/calling/e-mailing people back.

It is crazy to think about how we take a light bulb for granted. Luckily, I have a bunch of candles but of course they’re not as convenient. But at the same time it was peaceful just reading with candles. I feel like I got in touch within myself more than I would have if I was just texting the night away. We are so overstimulated that we can’t focus on ourselves. I feel that by taking a day or a night off from all the crazy distractions of the world we can all be more at peace!

a book on a bed and a candle and flower on an adjacent nightstand
Bedroom, photo by Chelsea Mallinson