News Blackout

The 21st century world is highly connected, and the information is rapidly passed from one point to another. Virtually everyone has an online presence of some sort. A majority of people, more so of the young generation, communicate actively with fellow users almost.

While media does take up most of our time, it passes for a pastime activity for most of us in today’s world. During the initial stages of my solitary 48 hours, I was almost clueless over how to spend all the free time, which seemed unusually long. I stumbled upon a plain paper book while ransacking the house for anything to keep me busy. In it, there were some drawings I had made about five years ago. I decided I would try to make a pencil sketch of the first thing that would strike my mind. It did not last long, especially when I realized I was not as good as I had been five years ago. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]
I lay on the couch for a long while, before I went to the kitchen to find something to eat. I decided to take a walk late in the afternoon. It was refreshing to watch and listen to the birds, something I enjoyed so much that I tried it on the second day as well. However, most of the time, I found myself restless. It was the first time I had spent alone for so long and I understand why. There were some pieces of paper on the floor of my room on which someone had scribbled some illegible content. I made some paper planes and hats out of them. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]

On the second day, I saw a broken hinge in one of my wardrobes that needed fixing. I reckoned this would be the perfect opportunity to do so. It was not the only thing I fixed. It would have been perhaps more beneficial if I invested more time in perfecting my pencil sketches, however, I did not find it as interesting as I did years ago. Traditionally, during the era of Romanticism, solitude was recognized as a crucial aspect of personal growth, according to Deresiewicz. However, the confusion on what to do, in addition to the constant thought that the presence of friends would make the moments better, was an issue of great concern.

It is worth noting that while I engaged myself in these small tasks, I found myself thinking about my life and the decisions I had made so far and whether or not they were taking me in the right direction. A number of my plans are stored in my phone. Although there were not that many plans, I could not exactly recall all of them. There were some short-term plans I had made with friends, such as the visit to California scheduled for summer this year. Deresiewicz is logical in claiming that modernism has indeed devalued solitude. Such an experience is likely coupled with restlessness, and the constant urge to connect with others, which had an adverse effect on human creativity.  [How might you act on these insights? How might your media consumption change?]

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