Bored and Brilliant Part 2

Technically, Bored and Brilliant with New Tech City begins tomorrow but I’ve spent the last week collecting data on myself via Moment. Whoa. I am on my phone way too much. There is just no way around it. In the last week, I have averaged over 350 minutes per day on my phone. At first I set it for 90 minutes and when I realized I’d already broken time frame before I left for work, I knew I need something more reasonable. So I set it for 3 hours. And even before the evening was over, I had reached my daily limit.

What was I doing? The “normal stuff”: email, texting, messaging, facebook, instagram, twitter, reading the news, and watching netflix. Some of it is purposeful and work related, but do I really need to watch HIMYM while I brush my teeth? Must I flip through facebook while I stream Sherlock to my chromecast? And more than all of these idle, first world questions, how is this changing my brain? Do I know how to let my mind wander anymore?

In an article from February’s Real Simple, Teresa Belton, PhD., from University of East Anglia says, “It feels uncomfortable for the mind to be unengaged.” I have felt this more acutely as I have calculated my time on screen this week. I know that my mind rarely stops moving and the time to get quiet is fleeting. So perhaps, I need to allow for disengagement of thinking and perhaps true creativity will arise from these quiet moments.

And then the bigger question, do our students, who don’t really know life without a screen, know how to be bored or let their minds wander? Do they know how do doodle? Make up crazy games? Play without structure? I have some anecdotal thoughts on these things for another day, but for now I’ll say the data is mixed.

My hope is that through this experiment, I gain a better understanding of my own tech use so I can truly model appropriately for my students, not just talk the talk. Let’s just see if I can stay under three hours one day this week?

Until then, here is some food for thought from Bored and Brilliant which, alas, you need your screen to access.

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