I’m not great at a whole lot, but I am magnificent at wasting my time.
Work days end with me plopping down on the couch, drinking a beer and playing 2K. But is 8 hours really enough to create a life that resembles a successful human being? I’m beginning to think the answer is no, as evidenced by the amount of mediocre success I’ve achieved in 23 years.
I’m great at all channels of time wastage. 2K, Netflix, Hulu. And if it’s time for Game of Thrones (2 more days!) HBOGO.
My wife and I are creative people, but taking a critical look at our home life reveals it’s pretty boring. An excuse I like to make is that finances are kinda tight (netflix and chilling is cheap), but money is a terrible excuse. Creating is free.
And when binge watching is a cultural addiction that’s, you know, ok, it’s hard not to justify spending all of your free time inhaling TV.
Binge watching is this incredibly unifying addiction. We all know we should be making better use of our time but because everyone else is doing it, we some how have come to accept that this is an acceptable type of life.
Sure, the kind of shows we watch might be a way to connect with our fellow humans, but I’ve yet to have an edifying conversation with anyone about Seinfeld or Parks and Rec.
Video games, too, are an allowable addiction. Playing the latest Call of Duty or 2K for hours on end is another club that’s silently supported. Just one more game and you’ll level up your virtual self.
Other than entertainment though, there’s not a whole lot you’re getting out of video games or binging on your favorite shows. There’s no depth to it.
Being a consumer is walk in the park.
Being a creator is a Crossfit workout.
The untapped potential of our time is exponential. But instead of working to create something of value, something of meaning, we consume because it’s easier and seemingly more fun.
Watching a documentary on famous creatives is much easier than actually creating something and moving my thumbs to make MyPlayer in 2K score 45 points (ok, that’s a lie, I’m not that good) won’t make me break a sweat like practicing my hesitation dribble. But when I’ve spent my day expending creativity for other people, I somehow convince myself that there’s nothing left in the tank.
But the escape from reality that entertainment provides is usually short and unsatisfying…
…there’s always something missing. Some voice in the back of my head that sounds a lot like my mom’s, telling me to stop wasting my time. An instinctual notion telling me I was meant for more than 5 hours of Jerry and George’s hijinx.
Maybe I’ll do something about it. Maybe I’ll put down the remote and go create after I’ve created all day. Then again, maybe I won’t…still need to catch up on House of Cards.