Oh sweet silence! –@AlexRob38667713

Oh sweet silence!

In one of the books on the SCA reading list there’s a quote from John Lennon that goes “time spent doing nothing is never time wasted”. Or maybe it was Paul Harrison (or not, I always get him confused with George McCartney, the problem with The Rolling Stones is how similar they all look). Nevertheless, if it was John he was definitely onto something. 

I’m not trying to sound overly dramatic when I say this but the PROBLEM WITH THE WORLD THESE DAYS is that everybody spends too much of their lives consuming content. Whether that content is entertainment related, like the Tube of You, or social-related, like Book of Face, or work related, like the In of Linked- people devote hours of their day to the largely useless and ultimately demoralising task of “keeping up to date.” 

I am by no means innocent of this crime. Recently, after a two-hour period of intense negotiation and haranguing with Apple Customer Support (lovely people by the way, thoroughly recommend), I managed to upgrade my phone to latest version of iOS. One of the new features of the new iOS, which by this point should be called iOSwhogivesacrap, is some internal gadgetry that informs you how much time you have spent per day on your phone. I know. Terrifying. 

To prevent anyone reading this from throwing me an impromptu intervention, I won’t reveal what my average screen time per day was. But let’s just say that by the standards of someone unfamiliar with the internet or PDA’s, it was a LOT. The scary thing is, I don’t even think my time was particularly high when compared to other users, especially teenagers. Add that to the amount of time I will need to spend watching adverts and reading magazines to keep up with the content produced by just the British advertising industry and I’ve got a serious problem on my hands. 

So what to do about it?

To be honest I don’t really know. As a creative, or indeed as any form of content creator, it seems you need to be plugged in to basically every incarnation of online interaction known to mankind. At the risk of sounding like an old fart with giant eyebrows- “Remember the good old days?!” 

The old days when you could spend a full eight hours staring listlessly out a window with nothing on your mind other than your own thoughts? Yeah. Those were the days. 

However, like a cow walking up a flight of stairs, time cannot go backwards, and that hazy, blissful epoch is lost to us. So, the only thing to do is adapt and conquer, as my man Bear Grylls would say.

To that end, I will henceforth try my hardest to be constantly aware of the amount of time my brain spends focusing on external things, and take steps to give my poor, frazzled head some breathing space. I find long walks in a park with nought but the sound of silence, and perhaps a few birds, works best for me. 

Ok then, bye. I’m off for a walk.  

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