By: Hadassah Umbarger, Staff Writer
The problem about my arguing about these kinds of things is that the end goal for each reader is going to be different. But I’ll do my best and hopefully convince you to shift your lifestyle a little bit.
We all know that we’re on our phones too much – I’m not here to tell you that. I think that’s a message that we all roll our eyes and groan at hearing sometimes because we know it’s true, but we are stubborn and don’t want to be told how we’re failing.
So instead, I’m here to invite you to do something else.
We are humans. We crave tangible experiences. We want to touch and smell and taste the good things around us. When we limit ourselves to classrooms, then dorm rooms, then offices, we’re exposing ourselves to a dull whiteness, a bland professionalism that wasn’t created to increase our satisfaction and joy. One only needs light and a desk to technically get work done. And we don’t need natural light because we have artificial light everywhere we go. Even our interior environments are at the mercy of artificial conditions now, with air conditioning and heating. And so we live our lives floating in these spaces, living but not really living.
I’m trying to avoid despair. That’s easier said than done. But friends, just because we live in a society filled with these spaces doesn’t mean we have to resign ourselves to always being taken up with them.
I’m going to assume for the sake of the argument that we spend a number of our normal school day hours inside a building and on a screen. We need to start reclaiming some of our time for real and tangible things. What do I mean by this?
Your phone is technically tangible. You can hold it and feel it. But when you sit and scroll you’re only feeding your brain lil nuggets of stimulation. Oooh, pretty colors and sounds! But this stimulation is a sort of pseudo-stimulation. I think this is why we’ve seen interest increase over things like ASMR, fidget toys, and slime. Our bodies have been craving real things so much that we’ve invented fake real things for them – tangibles that do nothing but provide stimulation for no reason other than enjoyment.
Oh babes. My heart breaks a little bit each time I talk to someone else and realize that they don’t create anything. As a Christian, I believe we were each made in the image and likeness of God. Our God is a God who loves to create, and is infinitely creative. It’s no wonder that we too crave creating. I’ll admit that I’m an outlier in this category because I have wayyy too many hobbies, and am a very hobby-centric person, but I’d argue that everyone in some sense is creative, whether they recognize it or not.
Do you like to sing? That’s creating. Do you like to draw or paint? That’s creating. Do you like to bake? That’s creating. Do you find yourself writing things besides homework? That’s creating. Do you like to read things besides homework? That’s creating.
I’m not asking you to take up basket-making or leather-working. I don’t need you to get a flock of sheep and start spinning your own wool. I’m not implying that you should start growing and roasting your own coffee beans. (But if you do any of those things, please invite me over so I can do it with you.)
I’m simply asking you to maybe go on a walk and pick up some cool leaves every once in a while. Buy yourself a cheap ukulele and teach yourself how to play it. Make friendship bracelets for your favorite peeps. Let’s train ourselves to notice when we’re spending our free time inside our little fake stimulation boxes and feed ourselves with some real stimulation every once in a while. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Unsplash