Quiet

6 Nov

Yesterday I caught about ten minutes of MTV’s True Life. It was about people who have an addiction to texting. I stopped watching because this chick was pissing me off. She had a baby and was a student and she texted constantly, at home, in class (and her grades are suffering because of it), in the car, at dinner, everywhere. And her boyfriend was begging her to just stop and live her life and she maintained that it was her only form of social interaction and I just … NO. For one thing, WHO ARE YOU TEXTING AND WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? I don’t have enough friends to text that much!

Anyway, it got me thinking about how constantly plugged in we are in today’s society. I see families out to dinner who aren’t talking to each other, but they’re all texting. Women in my subdivision walk and talk on the phone. Next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, try to count how many people are on their phones as they drive by. It’s one of my favorite games. Usually, the average is about 3 out of 5.  I’m not excluding myself here. I love to text. I get email, Facebook, and Twitter on my phone and I use it a lot. Too much, really.

I’ve talked before about how grief is my constant companion. One of the (many) fallouts from that is that I never let my mind go still. Ever. If I have a moment to sit down, I read, or check Facebook or Twitter, or find something mindless on TV. If I’m in the car, I have to have music on. If nothing is on that I like, I call someone. If I’m doing some boring task at work that is mind-numbing, I need music or news in the background.

I suppose it’s a defense mechanism – my brain knows that if I stop, the grief might silently slip in and catch me off guard. So I don’t give it a chance. The shower is the one place where I’m defenseless (Kelly at Temerity Jane swears she reads in the shower, but I’m still trying to figure that out), so I usually compose novels in my head that I’ll never write.

It’s exhausting. The same way it sometimes seems exhausting to have the constant pull to check Facebook or Twitter. My mind is never quiet. I never just think.

It makes me wonder what we’re all missing. Before the age of smart phones or TV, what did people do? Read, go to bed early, talk to their families, I guess. But don’t you think they also had time to just be still? To think? To decide where they stood on issues, to come up with new ideas, to just learn about themselves? And sure technology helps us do all those things too, and some may argue that we are able to do those things better than if the technology wasn’t available to us, but I’m not so sure.

I know for me, it sometimes feels like I’m on sensory overload, filled to the brim with other people’s ideas or the media’s perception of something, or just too mentally stimulated to make sense of how my personality and my experiences shape my views of the world.

I’m just wondering what might come out if I stopped everything that was coming in.

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One Response to “Quiet”

  1. Life of a Doctor's Wife November 11, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Sometimes you write things and I don’t know how to respond – not because it wasn’t deeply, incredibly valuable and thought-provoking… but because I’m too busy thinking to come up with something to say.

    But I want you to know I’m reading, I’m listening, I’m learning, and I’m being opened up and changed by your thoughts.

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