Television and Internet streaming has made our generation a nation of watchers, but not doers.
I remember playing outside a lot as a child, swinging and running down to the river with my puppy to watch the canoes go by. I would spend hours fighting off enemies and pretending I was a wood nymph. I have an active imagination and did not need to Google ideas like I had to do with this article.
Through the ages of eight to 16 I either had no television at all or the equivalent of two channels. There is only so much reruns and Dr. Phil you can watch. I did not even discover the Internet until I was 17. I was homeschooled so I had plenty of time alone—enough to keep my childhood imagination alive longer than most.
When I look at the whirlwind that is my college experience, I realize just how dependent I am on the Internet and television for my entertainment. I am allowing others to give me ideas and inspiration when I should listen to my own muse.
I have always been a large fan of reading and often spent hours on end reading at night when the shadow monsters would come out to play in the yard. But as I discovered books, so did the movie industry. While turning books into movies is profitable for the industry, it has a negative effect on society in that it stifles imagination.
The Hunger Games series is the most common example I can think of. As soon as the movie was announced, everyone I knew was reading the series. Perhaps this was because the bookstore was advertising the books heavily in an effort to cash in on the movie industry’s business plan. I don’t know anyone who read the books before the announcement of the Hunger Games.
You can look at a timeline of the past 15 years and see this positive feedback trend. When a movie is announced and it looks halfway decent, the books will start selling like lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Look at the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, Eragon, Percy Jackson, Twilight and a host of others.
Some of us are too lazy to read the books and instead wait for the movie to come out because it is too much bother to read the book beforehand or even afterwards. It is safe to say a lot of these people do not read unless they have to and instead rely on other mediums to give them imaginative ideas.
Why wait for someone to give you inspiration to do something? Imagination is something that can’t be taught by anyone, although I admit the children’s show Phineas and Ferb comes close. We can’t rely on television to feed our imagination when they are borrowing ideas from authors because they can’t come up with their own good ideas.
Good ideas come from experiencing the world around you. This does not mean you have to backpack through Europe; it means you should open your eyes!
My friends came up with a plan on how to survive a zombie apocalypse at Ferris. They used the information they gleaned around them to fuel their imagination. What you do with your imagination is up to you. You don’t have to write a novel or short story, just entertain yourself. Step outdoors and experience what is going on around you and you will find new daydreams to amuse yourself during boring lectures.