I don’t know about you, but I have always been easily hooked by the stimulus and excitement of technology and the digital world. What with its vibrant and colourful display, lightening speed and endless possibilities of exploration and discovery, how could someone not?!
I remember some of my very first computer classes in elementary school where we had to code a little blinking green turtle’s movement across the screen. And then in middle school participating in a type-a-thon where we sat for 12 hours honing our typing skills all in an effort to raise funds for a class trip. From there it was Nintendo and the infamous Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt games, to Sonic the Hedgehog on GameBoy, to eventually in my teens, a home computer. Tempted by the world at my fingers tips, I would have spent hours on end clicking and dragging were it not for the fact that I didn’t have the time to do so.
Growing up in the great white north, I was very fortunate to both have access to extracurricular programming and the support from my mom and dad to participate. Between the ages of 9-17, I was involved in a number of different opportunities each week. From private piano lessons, to dance classes, to teaching dance and singing with the Yellowknife Youth Choir. I also played in every school sport I could, and was avid in the drama and music clubs around the community. Needless to say, there were lots things to keep me off of the screen.
COVID, has been an easy flop back to the endless hours of digital stimulation. It’s an honest fact of our world that much of our interactions are on screen and 100+ buttons and icons communicate our messages for us. It’s scary to think about… that what was once a hobby for many, has now infiltrated almost every single piece of life. From work, to continuing education, to pursuing and learning new hobbies, to seeing the people we love. By definition, a hobby is ‘an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation’. And yet here many of us find ourselves drowning in the depth of the digital grindstone.
I get that it has been a necessity given the scary and uncertain times we find ourselves in. But it’s time to get back to some hobbies that don’t require you to be ‘plugged in’. With summer winding down and schedules soon to shift, I’m making it a priority to spend less time typing and scrolling, and more time biking, hiking and connecting face to face. How about you – are you ready to be rewired and make some new connections?