Stopping Spectating: A New-Years Resolution

Brendan Goodman 13/01/15

Over the winter break, while in the car on the way back home, my father and I got into a discussion about growing up today, and he expressed how lucky we all were to live in a world so connected to information. His views certainly have merit; we live in a time defined by constant access to all sorts of answers to all sorts of questions. Social media has risen to prominence, allowing us to keep tabs on our social circles at all times, seeing all the amazing, and rarely (posted of, not experienced) not so amazing, parts of our friend’s lives. We are also defined to our ability to access educational information, sites like Google have allowed us to get answers to our questions at the drop of a hat. After all, why would I use valuable memory space in my brain to remember who wrote “Friday” (let’s all just try to forget) when I can simply Google it or ask Siri?

The problem that arises for me is that this level of access to information has cut down on our want to go out and experience things and find them out for ourselves, our want to do and to learn. Want to know what it’s like to work out like an elite athlete? Youtube has videos. Want to see what a 10 million dollar lakefront home looks like? Reddit’s “Room Porn” subreddit may be for you. Every question about what it’s like to achieve any dream can be answered with a few searches and clicks.

This is in stark contrast to what my father experienced growing up. In his era, if you wanted to know what it was like to work out like a professional athlete, you either spoke to one, you went to a library to figure out if you could find a book, or if all that failed, you worked hard and tried to become one and find out yourself. If you wanted to know what it was like to own that 10 million dollar home, you worked to be able to afford one. Being constantly lambasted with internal looks at the rich, famous, and successful could be satisfying our want and motivation to achieve that for ourselves. Instead of working to accomplish these things, we sit at home, clicking through links, losing track of time. Eventually, we look up and realize we’ve wasted a day away and really accomplished nothing.

It is at this time of year that many people have made or are making resolutions. Many are looking at themselves and wanting to change their lives. I think it should be everyone’s resolution this year to do something that brings them closer to the life the want to have. To work towards your goals, whatever they may be, instead of intently watching people who have already achieved them. Want to run a triathlon? Start training. Want to be an NHL referee? Get your level one certification. Want to build a cabin in the woods? I seriously would not know where to start there but you should do it! This school is filled with all kinds of people capable of doing incredible things, and I dread to think that information is holding some of us back from accomplishing what we otherwise may. We have all this information at our disposal, let’s use it to learn and grow, not to become complacent and satisfied. Let’s use it to change the world, and our lives, for the better.

Let’s stop watching.
Let’s start doing.

 

Brendan Goodman is a Co-Editor-in-Chief at the Queen’s Tartan