Jam of the week: "Modern Guilt" by Beck
Wake up and turn on my iPad to watch YouTube videos while I brush my teeth. Drive to work and put on a Pandora internet radio station. Work on a computer most of the day while listening to news or music. Drive back and blast more music. Go home and check social media sites on my laptop. Fall asleep with the television on. This has been an average day for me for several months. I hear from my elders that they often find it difficult to disconnect from technology and find some happiness when they are able to do so.
However, I have friends who play video games, watch television, browse the internet and more all day and don't feel fatigued. Increasingly, I find myself in the former category. This is certainly not a rant against modern life. The internet makes my job as a journalist exponentially faster. It allows me to keep in touch more with friends across the country and share endless amounts of hilarious cat videos with them. But, I still can't shake that feeling after a long day of this cycle with sore eyes and plenty of energy left when I should be sleeping that I could be doing something wrong.
When I come to a new town, I feel compelled to explore it. It happened when I first got a car and explored every inch of my hometown in Illinois, it happened when I went to college at Wartburg in the town of Waverly and now it's happening in Webster City. It starts with seeing the businesses and things to do around town. My need to explore then takes me to the smaller, sparsely populated areas in or around town.
Since coming to Webster City just over three months ago, I'm now finding myself spending more and more time at parks. I'm not just talking about walking circles around the edge of Kendall Young Park, which I am an artisan at. I'm talking about driving outside of town for a morning walk in Bell's Mill Park which I did a couple days ago. It's not exactly a long drive, but it shows that I'm getting pushed well past the limits of Webster City to find more quality parks.
I started going to these parks a couple weeks ago when I had the chance. I now find myself needing a pre or post-work walk in a park to relax before or after work every day. I'm not sure if there are more trails that I haven't found yet, but I'm sure I'll find them eventually. I still find plenty of time to spam my friends with my music on twitter. Having that break from connectedness really helps me get through the day.
I've also been reading more at parks. Not only has that helped my guilt that stems from not reading enough, it's also helping me continue to learn after college. You might recognize those as two topics I addressed in previous jams. Yes, I do actually try to improve myself after I complain about how I don't do things in my columns.
I suppose my connectedness to technology offers many benefits, but it lends to complacency for me. Perhaps the lesson to take away from this is not the often discussed idea of getting away from technology, but that people have to find their own way to break complacency, especially when that complacency involves sitting on a couch.