What Happened to Our Free Time
So, what DID happen to our free time? It use to be there, I know it. Was it the invention of the internet? Was it cell phones? Was it social media?? When did you start noticing your time wither away to nothing?
When I was a kid, all through middle school, I remember playing in the streets with my friends. Riding a scooter, playing kick ball, dodge ball, playing ditch (hiding from cars). I even remember playing a neighborhood wide game of hide-and-seek, where if you touched base (lamp pole) you would yell “Oly Oly Oxen Freeee.”
We didn’t have satellite dishes, iPads, internet (2002 is when I first used dialup), Netflix or redbox. Nope, to watch a movie at home was a chore. I had to rake leaves or shovel snow to make money, ride my scooter to the store, rent a VHS tape, then ride home. This is all considering that the VCR was up and running.
In High School it was much of the same, but this time, I would see movies in the Theatre, I had a part time job at a grocery store, I would hang out with my friends, go camping, cause typical adolescent trouble around the neighborhood, I was skateboarding, playing in a band….I had so much free time. What the heck happened to it all??
It seems that most of us are in this predicament. Though some are even worse than most of us. They rush around, talk on their cell phone, check emails while they are driving to work, texting friends as they walk, running late, rushing in at the last minute. There’s not much you can do for a super demanding job, but is this technology which is meant to help us, doing the opposite? Or are we abusing it, like a person that is addicted to video games? It wasn’t like this when I was a kid, that’s for sure. Yes, having a full time job consumes a lot of time, but back in the old days you could relax after work, or catch up with family or friends. Paint, take photos, go on hikes, any of these would be a great replacement to checking your Facebook, or updating Instagram. Just think, people use to go to the library and read for fun. Shoot, I haven’t been in a library in years, and I update my Facebook and Instagram like everyone else. So no, I’m not saying I’m any better. I have Netflix, internet, all this technology crap. I’m just saying it’s good to use it as a tool to make your life easier, but don’t abuse it and let these great inventions take up the valuable time you have left on this earth.
How about this! Try to go a day without your phone and see how it affects you. Do you find yourself twiddling your thumbs instead of overly busy and stressed. Try a WEEK without it. Try to go a week without the internet, or a week without Netflix. Are you seeing valuable time coming back into your possession? Are you spending more time reading, hiking around in nature, hanging with friends and family, or creating the art you’ve been wanting to create for years? I am locked into this whole internet and computer thing in order to complete this project, but I’m sure I can go a day without my phone, or a week without Netflix. Are you willing to join me on this experiment? Let’s figure out what is consuming our time and take it back so that we are able to create the art we NEED.