Today on my drive back from the Malibu Hindu Temple (for class), I stopped at Barnes & Noble specifically to sit and read this month's "ideas issue" of The Atlantic because I was intrigued by the cover story, "The End of Men." What I ended up finding the most fascinating (if not the most depressing), however, was the idea put forth by Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air.
Kirn suggests that no one bothers to think or daydream anymore because it is so much easier to just whip out the iPhone to play games, stalk people via Facebook and send out usually unnecessary text messages. This happens when people are waiting for their friends to meet with them, when drivers get stuck at red lights and worst of all, when professors are telling students information students are paying to hear.
Why can't we take advantage of doing nothing anymore? I think my best gym experience occurred when I forgot my issue of Time and spent a good hour just daydreaming on the elliptical. (I don't know why I keep bringing up the elliptical; I'd really rather people not picture me in that state.) Sometimes the best ideas come about when you shut the laptop, turn over the Blackberry (or that damn blinking red light will be hard to ignore) and turn on the brain.
Some may argue that this constant connection to the interweb (my personal favorite word) allows people to stay engaged to what else is happening in the world 24/7. While I am a huge advocate of living beyond a "bubble" and I like checking my CNN app from time to time, the person sitting across from you at Starbucks may not appreciate the fact that he or she is not as interesting as Tony Hayward.
I am absolutely guilty of ignoring what's in front of me in favor of reading the latest Tweets, but I have found that life is a lot more interesting when you allow yourself to live as completely as possible in your surroundings. Even if there are no people around to ignore, those moments of silence enable the chance to ponder, reflect, consider...and get ideas for blog posts.