who knew there could be brilliance in doing nothing

The story on NPR this morning about the way we are using our screens to fill up our time made me stop and think about what would happen if I didn’t give in to the impulse to

1) look things up on Google at the drop of a hat, or

2) check email when I’m just sure I should be getting a response to a question I asked earlier in the day, (or worry that I’d better check because I probably have to respond to someone else’s questions) or

3) play Mahjong or Solitaire or Yahtzee – supposedly to “wind down.”

It isn’t that I’m obsessive or even compulsive about checking my phone or my tablet but I’m sure the act of checking and using them the way I do is filling up time in my day when I might otherwise have been —  what — daydreaming? napping? bored? twiddling my thumbs? engaged in something – anything – else?

I do knit – and I can’t really check screens when I’m knitting.  And I do read a bit before bedtime.  But there are times in my afternoons and weekends when one little search for information leads to a click on another site or I have to look up something else up to fill in a gap in my information.  Bored and Brilliant is the title of the NPR story and if I wasn’t wandering down those rectangular little rabbit holes, I probably would be doing some creative thinking of my own. Perhaps I’d be more inspired in my writing – which has taken a nose-dive into a cave for a long winter’s nap.

So the next time I find myself wondering about something, I’m going to keep wondering instead of wandering – and perhaps I’ll write something brilliant.

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9 responses to “who knew there could be brilliance in doing nothing

  • dogtrax

    I think we all need those days (weeks, even) when we say, it is time to turn the power off and see what the world is like without the technology. I am not against the digital (which is obvious if you know me) but it does feel like our devices can encroach on our lives too much at times.
    Get knittin’
    🙂
    Kevin

  • blkdrama

    I am more and more connected to my phone screen, wasting time but I can’t put it down yet. I am getting ready. A trip to the beach in February will help. Great thing to think about with your post Amelia. I have to pick up my guitar more.

  • Adrienne

    I don’t have a smartphone for that very reason. I feel as though I spend enough time looking at a screen, whenI am at work. I am also a knitter and feel it is a great destresser.

  • Dana Murphy

    I need to get a hold of that story! My One Little Word for 2015 is ‘connect’, and this is precisely why I chose it. I need to disconnect from my phone/email/facebook/whatever, and connect to my life. I disconnected this past summer for 3 whole months… it was beautiful. I highly recommend it.

  • Tara Smith

    That was an interesting story, wasn’t it? I’m certainly thinking about my usage habits, too!

  • Terje

    I don’t have a smartphone but I think I spend too much on computer and I-Pad. Would I be ready to collect data about it? Do I need data? Maybe it would be enough to just be mindful. Not easy though.

  • Michelle @litlearningzone

    Love your thinking on this … more wondering and less wandering. So true, right? There are many benefits to being so connected. Yet, we need forced disconnected time too, to do more than digest information, and be creative! Best of luck in your endeavors of creativity!

  • fireflytrails

    This is so, SO true. I do the exact same things as I am sure so many of us do. Computers CAN save time and yet they can consume it, too. Still, I am glad to read your writing on my screen. Thanks for provoking my thoughts.

  • Sara Renae

    I love how you end your post with wondering versus wandering!

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