People waste time with idle conversation that has no value, listening to indecent music, and constantly refreshing FaceBook or Twitter to view new updates. Watching hours of television, playing video games all weekend, and sleeping excessively are all huge time-wasters. What does this type of lifestyle achieve? With no discipline or structure in their lives, many people follow every arbitrary whim with no direction, like wandering cattle. In addition, smoking cigarettes in social situations adds to the time spent each day on mundane, trivial activities. One would think that smoking socially would be a thing of a past, now that everyone is fully aware of the health hazards of smoking and “No Smoking” signs can be found virtually everywhere, but people still choose to waste their lives away in terms of time and health.
Life is essentially an agglomeration of time, which makes every time-wasting instance like a mini suicide. People talk of spare time as though it’s a continually regenerating resource, but in reality, there is no such thing as spare time. All we have is the time left until we die; therefore, we must instill meaning in every moment of our lives and use our time effectively and efficiently.
In this era of instant gratification, people falsely believe that they must be entertained by their gadgets or social media or some other form of entertainment at all times. This skewed perception encourages students to complain about how boring a professor is or how boring it is to read a book required for their class. Society has taught us to believe that our only purpose in life is to enjoy ourselves, exerting as little effort as possible as we do so. The implication behind this mentality is that everything must be entertaining at every moment, or else it deserves to be discarded and quickly forgotten. The overstimulation of being constantly bombarded with information—FaceBook posts, tweets, text messages, advertising, etc.—has greatly contributed to the reduced attention span that people have, and many people can barely perform basic tasks due to their severe distractibility. ADD and ADHD have both become more prevalent in society, perhaps also due to this continual inundation of trivial information and excessive connectivity.
Pornography is the leading type of internet content, which is certainly a telling sign of the way that people use their time, and many people have become slaves to this addicting activity. In addition to wasting time on pornography, many people would rather chat idly on FaceBook, watch foolish “viral” videos, download indecent music, and play meaningless computer games than spend time reading books or otherwise increasing their knowledge of the world we live in.
We must not continue to waste our time on such foolishness. Our lives are precious things that can be taken away in an instant, regardless of age, health, or personal background; there is no use in wasting away our lives with mundane, frivolous activity. Every moment of our lives should be dedicated to reaching our ultimate goals and dreams.
Instead of playing “Angry Birds” for the millionth time, fill your iPhone with apps to improve your vocabulary—or even learn a new language—and expand your mind. Instead of idly chatting about nothing all the time on FaceBook or via text messages, save your conversations for when you spend time with your friends in person, and you will find that you have much more important, interesting, engaging things to discuss. Instead of complaining about every little thing that went wrong in your day, focus on the positive aspects of it and use your positivity to motivate you to achieve more. Instead of remaining in an eternal mind-fog of overindulgence, instant gratification, and extreme hedonism, wake up and do something with your life: help others, make a difference in the world somehow, and make something of yourself.
I am not saying that you must never enjoy anything or take the time to relax and have fun. There is certainly a need for that; in fact, leisure is one of the habits in Stephen Covey’s book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” though he uses the term “sharpening the saw” rather than “relaxing.” Getting reenergized is a necessary part of achieving meaningful things, but it isn’t the only required step. We need to focus on the most essential parts of our lives—the people in our lives whom we love the most, the causes that we feel the most passionately about, the skills that we most want to acquire, the dreams that we most want to fulfill—and start living an active, not passive, life.