Don’t Kill Time 2

Since I posted a link the other week to Tara Mann’s blog post on social media and being a person, I’ve been thinking a bit about a post I wrote a few years ago, called Don’t Kill Time.

In that post from 2012, I wrote:

Any of these activities are a good way to pass those in-between moments, those crumbs of a day, and get me through to a bigger, meatier morsel of time. They’re a way to kill time, but why would I want to kill time? Time is precious and limited and can never be truly gotten back. I’ll become a wrinkly old sod before I know it, I’d rather not accelerate that plan and miss any of the life on the way. Those crumbs may be tiny, but can be filling when put together.

I want to emphasize I have nothing against Twitter, listening to music, podcasts, or reading. All are excellent tools which serve their own purpose of entertainment, enlightenment, or information. All are important, but turning to them for the sole purpose of killing time seems perverse to me.

The thing I’ve realized recently is it’s easy for me to be “consuming media” from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, and often I do. My [phone] alarm goes off in the morning, might as well check Instagram, emails, New York Times, maybe RSS too. Have some breakfast and watch some Youtube. Read a book on the train to work. Work 8 hours on a computer. Read a book or my phone on the train home. Watch some TV with supper. Maybe watch a movie or program or read on my computer mostly until bed.

Not every day is like this, but it’s entirely possible I can go whole days constantly glued to something. No one of these things is inherently bad, especially not on its own, but the totality of it adds up to a whole day (or lifetime) where I don’t have a lot of time for my own fucking thoughts.

Lately it feels like my own boredom has become a privilege, but my is it ever wonderful. To realize I could go whole days without any time to just sit and think, what kind of life is that?

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This reminds me of a thing I've been thinking about and resent a little -- that books can ALSO fall into the same category of mindless media that tv, games, social media often are put in. Books, like video games and tv, can be meaningful, artistic, expressive, and invite introspection, but also like video games and tv they can kind of be trashy or hollow and just filling in the gaps between your time. Yet there's such a cultural unconditional love for books. The connotation to "I have been spending my free time reading a lot" is so different than "in the evenings I've been watching this tv show/playing this video game".
It's just been getting me thinking that I should give an automatic pass to reading, and that I should be thoughtful about what I read  in the same way I am critical about the way I spend my time on the internet or watching shows. 
And, like you mention here, I've also been trying to put more intentionality in taking time and reflecting on the things I've been reading (writing blog posts is a good way to do this! or talking to friends) (:

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