Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thinking vs. Analyzing (or Plugged In)

Plugged In

Hubby and I always joke around and say I have a thinking problem.  This thinking problem contributes to my depression.  Well, the other day he sent me this article on texting. 

The article was interesting and informative.  Guess what? This article made me think.  This article actually made me think about my thinking problem.  From reading this article, I realized that I have an analyzing problem, not really a true thinking problem.  If I was just thinking and creating new ideas, this would enhance my creativity and most likely improve my happiness.  But, no, I’m thinking about and analyzing the past, the present and the future—thus making myself unhappy.  I’m doing this, because I rarely have any idle time or time to myself.  I fill up my brain with television, books, texting, Words with Friends, and I fill up my time with kids, friends, exercise, eating, and working.  I rarely have idle time to stop and think.   

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, think literally means “to form or to have in the mind.” Analyze means, “to study or determine the nature and relationship of the parts of, by analysis.”  When I’m with my friends I’m always analyzing situations, politics, religion, you name it.  When I’m with my kids and my husband I’m reacting to circumstances, analyzing what is said and done, and acting or reacting from that analysis. 

Writing allows me to analyze certain paths in my life I took, or explore a situation in which I wasn’t happy with the outcome.  I do think when I’m writing, creative thoughts, but my ideas almost always are oriented in some aspect from my past or present that I’m trying to work through.  Thus, writing for me is a release, a way to completely analyze a situation and come to terms with the outcome or possible outcome. 

The only time I truly think is when I lie in bed at night, waiting for sleep to take over my brain.  I have sudden interesting thoughts about blog writing, I create new ideas in my head, and I don’t usually analyze the ideas to bits and pieces.  I love this idle alone time at night, although sometimes it does hinder my sleep. 

Our world has been taken over by technology in the last ten years.  Heck, in 2000 I had just bought my first cell phone, and now everyone has one.  Everyone has a computer and an ipad.  We find more and more ways to connect to each other without really connecting.  We our isolating ourselves, but feeling more connected in certain ways.  By texting, we can be in touch easily without the necessity to pick up the phone and hear another person’s voice.  This, however, doesn’t normally allow us to express sarcasm or have a deep conversation with another person.  And with the advent of texting, face to face communication has faltered.  Have you ever had a friend who you can text with easily but not talk to face to face?  I believe this is because of the lack of “thinking” involved in texting. 

I, like everyone else, see the value in texting but I also see the downside of using it as your main mode of conversation.  I see the downside in that it limits people’s downtime, affects creative output, productivity, and even draws people away from family time. 

I think it’s important to have some down time when you’re unplugged from the computer and the cell phone.  Set a limit by saying, “I’ll turn off my phone for this one hour period every day,” in order to have idle time or to spend time with my family.  Think, don’t analyze everything!

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