Monday, 12 January 2015

Thunder on the mountain

I am at the university, waiting for the clock to strike 17.00 in order to talk to a man about an upcoming exam. All very exciting. Outside the wind is howling, with trees struggling to remain rooted in this wet earth. In order to concentrate, I am listening to the rain. Not actual rain outside, but a collection of rain sounds on my iPod. The rain sounds drown out the voices of the other students in the common room discussing their various projects, it drowns out where I am and what I somehow still need to do today. The rain sounds mute whomever is snoring in the room at the hostel we booked, they make my roommate watching TV in another room less audible, they surround my head in a space of white noise crafted for thinking and concentrating. 

I wrote to a friend of mine that I wished we could all turn off the social media, our phones and tablets and gadgets, since often they distract us more than they help us. My task app keeps reminding me of tasks that I know I still need to do, making me more nervous and feeling as though I can't accomplish anything. Whatsapp messages, spam emails, FB messages, they all distract. And not because I am actually that popular and receive a lot of messages, but rather because once I have the phone in my hand I will check all social media channels and emerge 30 minutes later wondering what I was even scrolling through. It is making meaningless meaning, continously reposting outdated information to satisfy our desire for constant online stimulation. 

Then again, I am reliant on exactly these media to remain in touch with friends an family in far away places. Without Skype, FB and WhatsApp living far away would mean restricted communication. Perhaps a resolution here is not to give up these media, but to gain controll of them again, to not be reliant on the to maintain contact, to not be a voyeur in the lives of people who could just as well tell me the stories that fit whatever it is they posted on social media. 

20 minutes left. 20 minutes of possibly answering emails, of prepraring for a meeting when I would much rather just be at home already. 

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