Saturday, October 31

Living good stories

This week we celebrated Halloween at school. As part of that celebration, we had a Halloween dance on Thursday night. We spent most of the afternoon decorating so that the room looked creepy. We had one of the teachers who DJs on the weekend bring his equipment and DJ the dance. We had parents donate food and drinks. The dance turned out great. All of the students seemed to be having a good time, but i kept noticing something: even though they were hanging out with their friends, dancing, eating, and drinking, the students kept checking their cell phones about every five minutes. The thought that kept running through my head was "Really? You can't get off your phone for the two hours that the dance lasts?"

I was thinking about this at the dance and even into today when i read a line in the book i'm reading that said:

Most Americans aren't living very good stories. It's not our fault, I don't think. We are suckered into it. We are brainwashed, I think.

And i think that's the problem. We're to the point where we're getting so caught up in the things we have that we forget to experience the life we're living.
  • We worry about who could have called or texted us because what if something more exciting is happening somewhere else that we could be a part of? Not that we'd actually leave wherever we are or whatever to do it to go to that more exciting thing. It's so much better to experience it through another person's texts, right?
  • We worry about our ipods being charged because we need to have songs constantly playing. I'm more and more amazed at the number of students who claim they "can't work without having their ipod on." They complain that it's too quiet. Really?
  • We worry about checking and responding to all of the emails we receive when half of the people who email us aren't people or companies we would bother talking to in person for more than a minute or two.
And, yes, i understand the irony of this post since i'm typing it on my laptop to post on my blog on the internet for people (some of whom i've never actually met) to read, but i do think that there are good things that can come from the technology around us. But we have to use it carefully. I love having a blog and being able to read what other people are thinking and writing about. I love connecting with people i wouldn't have a chance to connect with otherwise, but i do try to keep it in check, which i haven't been doing a good job of lately. It's just so easy to sit in front of the television or computer and space out. Before you know it, you've gone an hour or two without thinking about anything other than whatever's on the screen. It's easy to text people instead of calling them because then you don't have to make excuses to get off the phone if the conversation is going too long. It's easy to do a lot of things, but that doesn't always make it better.

So this week i'm going to work on actually living my life. I'm going to turn off the television and finish the book i'm reading. I'm going to spend time talking to people , or better yet actually seeing people, instead of texting them. I'm going to read and respond to the important emails and delete the ones that aren't worth my time. I'm going to read the blogs i'm interested in, but skip over the ones i'm reading just to get them off of my list. I'm going to think about the story i want to be telling with my life and work on making it a better one.

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