Free Your Mind – Pratt Tribune
By Jennifer Stultz Editor
I read a lot. When I was a kid, my parents both worked a lot and my older sister thought I was a nuisance, so my choices of what to do were to play outside (which I did a lot) or to read.
My mother was a church secretary, so every summer when I was out of school and not old enough to stay home alone (because my sister, who was four years older, didn’t want me, you know, being a pest and all), I had to walk mom to work. His office happened to double as the church library, so after taking all the toys out of the nursery down the hall (and putting them back), after building a block tower to the ceiling ( at least that was the goal, but often the falls are too much for my mum to handle), after scribbling on Sunday school blackboards (and cleaning them), after finding and playing with all the kits flannel stories (and put them away), after practicing my piano lesson, after sliding on my stomach to the front of the church sanctuary under the pews (no mats then) and back, there was nothing else to do but read.
So I read just about every book in the church library. In my early years, there were books from the Madeline and Corduroy series to hang out with. I have read Misty of Chincoteaque Island and all the horse books, like Misty – Stormy’s Foal, and other equestrian masterpieces by Margaret Henry.
As I got older, I remember reading all the Little House on the Prairie books. There were mysteries by Nancy Drew, Little Britches, Happy as the Grass was Green, a great book about Chopin the piano maestro in the adult section, and some pretty quiet historical Christian romances. I can still see all those books lined up on the shelves, along with many more that I just had to read. And I’ve read almost all of them.
I loved to read, I loved to escape into all these other worlds and discover people, places and events. The hardest part was finishing the last page and letting these new friends go, still wondering what happened next.
This love of reading, nourished when I was a child, certainly paved the way for me to a life as a journalist when I became an adult. I’ve always had an interest in just about anything and everything that happens around me because somewhere in time I probably read a book about it.
Reading has been my lifelong friend, until now when I noticed that it became much easier to access my phone games when I was relaxing during downtime. I used to take books with me everywhere so I could read while waiting in the car or at the doctor’s or wherever I had nothing to do. But that has changed.
In fact, I have at least two books in my purse, but instead I find myself playing quick Scrabble on the phone, or Woodoku is a good waste of time.
Unfortunately, I don’t learn anything from these phone games except that I just want to try one more time to get a better score, just a few more possible points. It’s so satisfying to beat the game, over and over and over again. Where is it?
When I think of the time I’ve wasted beating myself up with these games, my stomach almost hurts. And then I look around and see almost everyone I know doing the same thing. And it happens to people of all ages, of all classes, of all nationalities. U g.
Why are we doing this? Where has the love of learning gone? Where is the imagination, the ability to think for ourselves, the physical and mental strength to just hang up the phone; where did it all go?
I don’t learn anything from Woodoku except maybe different strategies for placing wooden blocks in a grid to earn points, and even if I develop a thoughtful strategy, my chances of earning points depend on the random selection of wooden blocks. wood by a coded system. Oh, it’s a good “relaxant”. I get little notes of affirmation that make me want to try again and again. But I know enough to realize it’s a false god before me if there ever was one.
I haven’t read the books I have in my purse for at least six months to a year. That’s when I started playing these stupid games on my phone. I’m sure I have a problem with that, but do I really care? Not really. I really want to consistently score over 1,200 points per game on Woodoku. What’s wrong with that? I don’t bother anyone else. And I have an unbroken Scrabble winning streak. How far can I go without losing?
Pat me on the back, but what I see from the outside is not good. So here’s a note to me and anyone else who might be in the same boat: hang up the phone. Re-read books, people watch, talk to those next to you too. Reconnect with family and friends. People are not mean. Stop taking the easy way out with phone games. In the long run, you will find that you saved your mind by doing so. Phone games are a trap.
There are times when our cell phones are needed and a good part of our lives, but we must learn to use them in moderation. More and more, they have become a diversion that takes us away from what really matters in life.