My Growing Solitude

From the moment this activity was assigned to us, I was intrigued. I have always been interested in how constant communication has affected my generation in particular. I was surprised at how my peers were so flabbergasted at what seemed to be a simple but interesting assignment. But as I was about to begin my blackout on Friday morning, I realized that I should not have been so quick to judge. Everyone is different in how they view and judge media, and for some it may be much harder. But I was still determined to be open minded to the idea, and I hoped others were too.

I began my complete blackout Friday morning including signing out of all of my social media. Even my morning routine changed since I usually start Friday with coffee and the local news. But I noticed how I did not feel any anxiety in this, but more ease. I found myself happy to not be distracted and be able to spend my time doing needed things around my dorm. I noticed it actually caused me less anxiety since I was getting more things off my plate and using my time effectively. William Deresiewicz mentioned how with constant communication, we never have the solitude to be alone and think, then digging deeper into ourselves and seeing who we really are. GOOD! It felt so good to have my own thoughts and ideas running through and not think about all if the craziness in the world. In a way, it seemed kind of guilty to be cut off from the world and not contribute to the sadness or happiness of what is going on in the world. I realized that it has become human nature to show and acknowledge emotion towards all going on in the world. I caught myself unconsciously opening Instagram and Facebook multiple times a day because it is just an innate action when I am “bored”. Every time I would catch myself, I would take the effort to do something productive. I hung out with friends I have not seen in a long time, carrying out conversations that isolated us from the world just for a while. We tried to go kayaking and were not able to since there were no more available once arrived, and we just dusted ourselves off, laughed, and kept going.

It truly I DON’T DOUBT YOU hit me as I reread Deresiewicz before my blackout as well as after, because I realized how spot on he was with our generation and the ones before. By coincidence through a conversation, my boyfriend brought up Walt Whitman and how we wrote in isolation. I immediately remembered how Deresiewicz would reference Whitman constantly, and I was glad to know that I surround myself with people that are aware of how solitude can be a beautiful thing and how it helps you grow. In all, it was an experience that still lingers with me. I have not logged back into my social media and have not been eager to watch the news. I know I will continue to be connected to be current in our events, but I have begun to appreciate my own solitude.

-Serena Beze

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