Ah, time. What do we do with it? How much of it do we have? What does it mean to waste time? If you’re like me, you spend all kinds of time thinking about, well, how you spend your time.
I like to imagine that my natural state of being is one of prolonged and deliberate relaxation, a calm and collected existence that allows time to flow unobstructed from moment to moment. I hate rushing around. I hate counting minutes. Yet, for all this lackadaisical desire to push time out of my mind, I can’t escape the constructed shackles of the clock.
Time passes. People age. I am, therefore I age. I’m 30, and that just seems absurd sometimes. Sometimes, I stop and realize that I may want to do something important with my time.
Do something important, that is, until I get caught in an entertainment loop. I was playing a shitload of Sekiro for the past few weeks, but I got stopped by a handful of difficult bosses and put the game down. So I read some books to fill in that new block of unused time. I spent time with a good friend earlier today.
We are, in no uncertain terms, consumer machines. We devour entertainment. Rather than spend our energy on useful and creative endeavors that may enrich our lives, we consume the creations of others and get restless when that game is finished. When that season is over. When that YouTube channel is on hiatus.
This might explain why we’re so dissatisfied. I keep saying “we” and I want you all to know, I don’t mean the royal “we” – I mean the peasant “we” comprised of me and my friend. Whenever we get together, we talk about the entertainment(s) we enjoy. Then I get really into mindless consuming for a while.
That’s why I decided to finally catch up on Game of Thrones.
Except, when I tried to watch the show, my computer slowed down to a glacial pace and wouldn’t load the damn episode. So I decided to jump back on the Hearthstone train (new set of cards, woot) and hone my gameplay.
As soon as I tried to redownload Hearthstone, my phone crapped out and flat out wouldn’t cooperate.
Sometimes, I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something. You know, like, “Stop filling your time with other people’s stuff.” Other times, I just think my habits, mixed with my tiny budget, prevent me from enjoying all the creature comforts that many other people easily afford.
I have a Chromebook that’s something like five years old now. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t play video as well as it used to. My iPhone is also a dinosaur. Not like, a super powerful dinosaur, but an old and decrepit dinosaur that can hardly chew moss. It can’t even handle one game.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m strangely proud of making ends meet with the limited technology and funds I have. Compared to many people, I have a lot of cool shit. I can go online if I so choose. I can watch videos on my phone.
But the rampant consumer in me says that I can have more and better things. I can find more and better ways to waste time.
Some days, I really want to let the consumer consume me. Just give in to the mindless compulsion to watch and to play and to never think for myself at all.
I don’t want to be a mindless consumer though. I want to be more mindful of the way I consume. I’m not perfect. I still waste time consuming all kinds of entertainment that doesn’t really do much for me on a personal growth level. But, maybe with effort, I can use my time and money to support creators I respect and admire. Watch shows and read books by people who deserve my attention. Play games by companies and development teams who deserve my time.
I don’t always think about the ways I use my time. But I’m trying to be better about these things.