To introduce this topic: I was walking through Walmart with my Mom when I was little, and these Cable-TV salesmen walked up to her. She politely said “We don’t have a TV” as we walked away and they stared after us like we were aliens.
Our family still doesn’t have a TV. We have computers and everyone over 16 has a phone, but my parents prohibit overuse of technology, and for good reason. Any doctor these days will tell you that computers, phones, and TVs have a negative effect on the brain, as well as physical and emotional well-being.
Just going outside and enjoying the fresh air or sitting down and writing something with pen and paper have become forgotten. Most people are just sitting around on their phones or laptops. (I say this as I’m on the computer writing this.)
Now, computers and phones have become a necessary part of life. (Honestly, TV really isn’t. Unless you consider boredom life-threatening.) We use them for everything. School, work, financing, communication, hobbies, etc… And that’s not really a bad thing. It’s a tool to help us with life.
Over-usage has negative effects, though. It really does. After being on the computer for hours on end, I feel sluggish and my eyes burn afterwards. It’s a time-sucker and we’re in danger of entertaining ourselves to death.
I don’t have a phone. Sometime in the next year I’ll be getting one, but I still don’t have one. Almost every friend I have has a phone. And it does make me feel slightly like an outsider, ostracized just that little bit more. It’s hard to fit in when someone asks you what your instagram or snapchat is and you answer: “I don’t have a phone.” And you can’t text your friends. I don’t disagree with my parents that I shouldn’t have one yet. It’s just the rule in our family that until you’re sixteen or have a real job (babysitting and dog-walking not included), that you don’t get a phone.
So I don’t have the problem of phone and social media addiction. I talk to my friends on my email, and WordPress and Pinterest are both things I enjoy to do. So don’t feel sorry for me, I have plenty of time-suckers to ease myself away from thinking. Or from feeling.
No one these days has to muse if they don’t want to. They never have to be alone – they can always have their device. It’s okay. We don’t have to think in our generation. Don’t worry.
But when was the last time you just breathed it all in? When did you last lay on your back in the grass and look up at the sunlight filtering through the trees? Or thought about the world, and why you’re here?
Just something to think about.