So there I was, on the computer… again. This is the other part of my life that I don’t tend to talk about much. Maybe I don’t because I feel like it’s implied as part of a working student’s collegiate career. Or, maybe I don’t REALLY notice it until I have been over satiated with too much screen time. Either way, I don’t think I was mentally and emotionally prepared as I resuscitated my collegiate career.
When I previously attended for a few semesters, I was focusing on a competency of Psychology and Adventure Education, eventually deciding to take a sabbatical from school and go work in the field for a few years… to really make sure it was where I wanted to channel my future scholastic energy. Taking that leap provided me new insight, and upon my recent return, deciding to focus my attention on a Cultural and Regional studies competence.
Alongside this decision that has only taken me 10 years to bring to fruition, I have been bringing in the bucks as a work study in Admissions as well as serve Big Brothers Big Sisters as an AmeriCorps Volunteer, planning events and promoting partnerships within the community. Throughout these various activities, I have realized that technology has such a large, underlying theme to most of my involvements… I began to wonder what kind of impact this is having on me. So, ironically, I Google’d it.
The NY Times has an entire series dedicated to the ‘Brain on Computers’, discussing topics like how technology makes us more impulsive and forgetful; the risks of being a parent who’s constantly plugged in; how digital natives apparently have a higher risk of being more distracted than those from previous generations; and finally, my favorite… how being outdoors can help reduce or possibly reverse the effects of technology by learning how digital gadgets affect how we think, feel, or behave.
The most noticeable effect was stated to have been the amount of attention that was available, without distraction, to be present… to be in the moment. Also, it was theorized that when too much technological face time occurred, studies had shown that ‘real time’ reasoning skills could possibly be hindered, making problem solving and creativity harder to conjure. I thought about this for a while, and I instantly knew that that was something I struggled with. Although I don’t have a smart phone, I do listen to my iPod a lot, work on my computer in my home space often, and am constantly communicating through colleagues, family, and friends through digital interface.
My goal for the rest of this semester is to create a workable and livable balance… to use my intention to manifest a daily regimen of space, reflection, and nature. I think school will become even more fantastical once I figure out a plan of being.