I just ran across a site that crystallized some thoughts which have been floating around in my head for a while. It’s an article on time usage, Gin, Television, and Social Surplus, discussing the disgusting amount of collective useful time we burn in this world every single day. Go read it, and see if it doesn’t change your perspective just a little bit.
I’ve been considering the utility of my time lately; you can see some evidence of that in my last post, the thoughts on self-improvement and the application of the Atonement in our lives. What books we could read, what books we could write, what languages we could learn, what dreams we could realize, if we were just willing to reach forward and turn off the television. I’ve started turning off the power strip for the TV (even before I read this article), so it takes enough effort to watch television that I don’t do it unless I’m determined. In other terms, if it takes less effort to pick up Wuthering Heights than it does to walk over to the TV, turn it on, and find the remote, I’ll be reading a lot more Brontë.
While I don’t agree with Clay Shirky’s conclusion that we need to spend more time in social networking media, I do believe that how we utilize our own cognitive surplus will be something we’ll be held accountable for, before our family, our society, and our God.
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.