‘Not everything you enjoy is bad’ Stewart says

Graphic by Brian Hwu.

Graphic by Brian Hwu.

By Kelly Stewart
Opinions Editor

I will be honest: whenever I sit down at my computer to check my e-mail or Facebook – my homework is done of course – a part of me feels strangely guilty for wasting time not doing anything productive.

I know this is not just me; it seems like doing something pointless that does not build up your future is frowned upon in society in general. Pointless things are seen as a complete waste of time, or in extreme cases (such as in those pessimistic books in English class about a catastrophic dystopian future) the downfall of the world. Watching TV or playing video games is bad because they do not exercise your brain; spending time on the computer is bad because you spend too much time ‘plugged in’ and not enough time in ‘the real world’; reading magazines is bad because they are not good enough reading material.

Why does everything you enjoy have to be bad? So what if it has no point? That is the point of pointless things; they allow people to rest and do something fun after a long day.

Students especially spend most of their time doing important things. Getting ready for college takes studying; getting good grades and taking on enough activities to stand out among applicants, practicing and taking the SAT and the application itself is a long and arduous process.

Graphic by Brian Hwu.

This is not including everything else students have to do: projects and tests, long hours of studying and endless homework – all to get ready for our futures. Students deserve a break from things every so often too, and we need a chance to unwind and forget our problems.

Just because people like to sit in front of the TV and do something mindless for a while does not mean the world is going to end up like Fahrenheit 451, just as playing video games are not going to make every gamer a violent maniac.

People who argue that reading books is a much better pastime probably mean well, but think about it; if we somehow lived in a world where books had been invented after TV or video games, there would be a large number of adults arguing that books were worse for you than the more conventional method of entertainment. We have been conditioned to think these older mediums of storytelling are better than the newer ones, for the sole reason that they are older. There are millions of books just as ‘bad’ as TV and video games.

Try to imagine what working your mind – annotating a book for a deeper meaning, doing some mental exercises, thinking about deep things – all the time would be like. Exhausting. It is good to rest your mind with pointless, mindless things for a while sometimes.