Grad student lives without technology for month

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Christina Wall has traveled back in time, to a place where there is no television, no Internet and no e-mail.

In this pre-1950 land, there are no frozen dinners, no nonstick skillets and no fast-food franchises. She can't use a dishwasher, clothes dryer or microwave; she has no access to ATMs, DVDs or CDs.

Wall, 32, an Eastern Michigan University graduate student, hasn't left her west-side Ann Arbor home for another plane in the space-time continuum. She's simply going a month - through March 2 - without using any technology created since 1950. It's part of her master's degree project on the impact of technology in modern life.

When she has a headache? Uncoated aspirin instead of ibuprofen. When she needs to contact a friend? Snail mail or an antique rotary phone. When it snows? Sledding instead of reality TV. Her project is a completely original conception, said professor Denise Pilato, who teaches in EMU's College of Technology.

"In some ways it's an experiment," she said. "And being that it's an experiment, there are a lot of surprises for her."

Perhaps most surprising is that there have been so many happy ones.

For example, Wall estimates she'll save up to $400 this month because it feels more "real" to spend cash than to use a debit card.

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