A Moment Alone
I don’t know about you, but I am a Computer Person. Us computer people have some basic properties, most of which you would be able to guess- when given free time, or doing work in our chosen field, we use computers- this includes gaming, programming, talking with people over Skype, doing research for a paper or blog post, pretending to do research for a paper or blog post by going on reddit, ect. Most of my time per day is spent near or around a computer, mostly because all my work is done on one, and most of my leisure is done on one. Even for writing, most of the time it’s far easier to write on a computer because I"m slow with a pencil and paper. I don’t have a car, and I live in suburbia. Needless to say, I don’t get out much and most of what I do inside is on a computer.
A couple other things about computer people, at least many that I have met. A great deal of them suffer from gaming addiction of some sort, which thankfully I have avoided in this stage of my life. There is also the information addiction problem, constantly checking reddit, hacker news, webcomcis, wired, whatever our particular vice is. Consequentially, short attention spans are common, and sometimes it’s impossible to focus on anything without checking Facebook or opening a new tab to check Gmail. I don’t feel special for having this kind of problem, but I don’t remember having it in middle school when I lacked both Facebook and Gmail.
The other day, I was having the problem- I think I must have gotten absolutely nothing done, bullshitted around from Six in the Morning until almost noon when I had to give up. I was completely unable to focus on anything, wandering around the internet, not focusing on what I should be doing. So I shut off the computer, turned it off, and went outside. In Illinois, it’s only slightly above freezing, warm enough that a coat and gloves will keep things from being dangerous, but cold enough the snow hasn’t melted. I didn’t really do much, just wander around neighborhoods, where I live it was all cornfields until a decade and a half ago, so there aren’t really any big trees or anything, nor really much nature to speak of at all. And not wanting to wander around barren cornfields, I sort of stuck the the sidewalks. I just walked around for a couple of hours. I would like to say that I thought about things, or reflected on my life, but I didn’t really, or had something really introspective to say, but it was just quiet.
I don’t think we set aside time, sometimes. We don’t make space for silence. We are so caught up in our electronics and ambitions and everything else that we don’t get away from things, even for a little while. And it’s important to take a moment once in a while. It’s not really about reflection or introspection, but I like to think it’s a breath of perspective once and a while.
When I got back, I didn’t really work more than I was before, but I’m not sure that’s the point; I at least managed to stop habitually tabbing over to distracting sites.