Challenge Five: The UnThing Experiment

Your challenge is to give something up and live without a key technology for at least 48 hours.


Practice the art of seeing. See your seeing as you observe how this technology might shape your assumptions. See big – how it is an integral part of a larger cultural system. See small – how it might shape our most mundane routines (or even our bodies). See it all – how our lives and culture might be different (for better and for worse) without it.


Step 1. Give something up, like shoes, chairs, or cars. Or try giving up some form of virtual communication platform for at least 48 hours, and potentially a week or more.

Step 2. Post daily updates using #anth101challenge5, reflecting on the following:

  • What do you miss about using the thing?
  • What have you gained by not using it?
  • How have you changed? Any insights? Do you see the world or other people any differently?

Step 3. Continue the experiment until you have some significant results. (Extend the time frame or move up a level if you do not have any significant insights.)

Step 4. Use your insights to reflect on the key lesson: “We create our tools and then our tools create us.”

Learn more at