Wasting My Life Away, Looking for Some Anime, Ohhh Me…

At my church retreat this past weekend, I gave a testimony in front of the body.  While I mostly spoke about my need for control (and a clear lack of control in my life), I could have talked about a lot of different ways God has worked in me.  One on-going challenge for me is to stop wasting so much time.  I think with the advent of the Internet, and so many entertainment options, this is as big a concern as ever.

In college, I was particularly bad with time management.  I could waste an entire day doing basically nothing.  I’d spend hours watching anime, reading fanfics about anime, tuning into anime music videos, and doing other endless fandom-related activities.

It must be worse today for college students with so much anime readily available.

When I graduated college, our church had a send-off for my senior class.  After our dinner and presentation (the skit concerning me was entitled “Great Teacher Chuckie,” Chuckie being my nickname), we each offered some advice for the younger students.  Mine was primarily this: don’t waste your life.

anime computer

And while I’m not saying we should ditch all media and anime in an effort to manage time wisely, I hope you won’t waste your life being entertained.  Ultimately, watching Youtube and Crunchyroll all day is meaningless.  And when we realize what we can do to help others, care for the needy, and bring awareness to the suffering, all the time and resources we waste on entertainment is more than wasteful – it’s cold, uncaring, and selfish.

So watch your Zetsuen no Tempest, but then consider my advice, and go do something.  After all, it makes no difference how many cool gifs we posted on our Tumblrs, but it does make a difference when we reach out and offer someone a little bit of love.

16 thoughts on “Wasting My Life Away, Looking for Some Anime, Ohhh Me…

  1. I needed this.

    I hate myself for wasting so much time on the internet. I’m only 19, but I already feel like I’m letting life slip by just slouching in front of the computer, filling my head with mostly nonsense. The Internet has a way of pulling you into its lair and smirkingly keep poking at you, knowing full well you won’t do anything about it, because we’re far too enamored with it.

    And I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but one of the reasons I respect you a lot is because although I’m not Christian and most certainly don’t look for ideals in anime, is that you manage to stick to your belief even on the Internet. See, the internet has a way of forcing your mind into thinking that its collective opinion on matters is better than your personal view – for example, the whole “rationality prevails” concept leading to “atheism prevails”. It’s like the idea of secularism is “let’s all get together and decide there is no god”. And many other things that make you feel like your opinion is inferior to that of the net’s, like Tesla>Edison, the first season was the best season, playing CoD makes you an idiot, weed is great etc. It truly is a dangerous thing, because it opens your mind to worlds you’d rather not waste your time on, shaping your personality into something a lot more cynical and high-and-mighty.

    I’m glad I left and I’m convinced I should go again. But hopefully this time, spend a little less time on the net. I still love anime to bits, but this procraddiction has to stop. As much as this online community means, it does nothing to remove real world loneliness. What we think is a little retreat, a little escapism, is actually far more time-devouring than we think. And I need to stop this addiction, because I have to admit and realize that I am addicted.

    I had to put this emo rant somewhere. Hope you don’t mind 🙂

    1. Thanks for the kind words and thanks for sharing, man. 🙂

      You know, it’s only recently that as I’ve dived into more social media outlets, like Tumblr, that I’ve fully realized how easy it is to waste hours and hours with nothing. I wonder what the effects of all this laziness, cynicism, and the whole group Internet mentality is going to have on our generation – I don’t think it’s going to be good.

      1. @TRazor: Good on you for making that realization at your age. (I’m 25 and I’ve forgotten more useless Internet memes and trivia than I care to admit…) Another insidious thing about frequenting the ‘Net is how many of the beliefs/attitudes you absorb aren’t held by those who spend most of their time in the Real World – so there can be a failure to appreciate other opinions when it comes to interacting with people offline.

        @TWWK: Yeah, I blame the whole Web 2.0 and social networking thing for making Internet use as mainstream as it is today (it’s easier than ever now to get sucked in when all your friends are on Facebook!). Yours is a great message!

  2. “And while I’m not saying we should ditch all media and anime in an effort to manage time wisely, I hope you won’t waste your life being entertained.”

    I know I’m not! Heck, with the workload that’s been leveled on me, I’m behind on my reviews! Ah well, gotta pay the bills somehow!

  3. I find it always a dubious discussion in what is wasting life and wasting fulfilling life. I’m in the belief that everybody has its own way of making his or her life fulfilling. If this is a waste of time for the other, it is not a waste of time for the other person.
    Also doing good is not a bad thing, on the contrary, more people should care about their environment. Still it is easy to blame the civilian(yourself) for governmental decisions in which the unwealthy and poor are being left behind. Not everything can be resolved with ones welldoing. But the message of your post is clear, that we should do something meaningful. But then again what is meaningful for one person, doesn’t have to be meaningful in the eyes of the other.

    1. I agree that what’s “meaningful” differs from person to person. Lines between what we should do can be hazy. But I believe that there are “truths” in the world and things are universally meaningful, including showing love to others. And if you’re self-absorbed to the point where you’re not caring for others, I believe that’s fundamentally a waste of time.

  4. Dude, you just described my life! *wastes time on computer when she should be doing homework* but I have to admit, a lot of it is stress related. In a sense, it’s become my “escape” so I don’t have to face certain things, but in the end, I should quit being a coward and face them. But…well, sometimes it can get complicated from there XD

    1. The Internet (and whatever else entertains us) is an easy and fun way to escape from it all. I know at the end of a hard day, I just go to TV or computer and veg out. Unfortunately, I think I find too much solace in, say, anime than in my time with God.

  5. Gonna go ahead and. . .not disagree with, but offer a different view on this, as a relatively young college student.

    A year ago, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life – actually, scratch that, I had no clue whatsoever. Then, in the spring of that year, I was browsing Youtube idly, unarguably fitting this definition of wasting time. That was when I came across a certain video, which for the sake of not boring you I won’t discuss in detail. In this video, which was definitely made as entertainment, I discovered my passion. Due to the explanations within, it was suddenly clear to me why I liked the things that I did, how I could make the things I wanted to make, and most importantly showed me the *artistry* of a medium where previously I knew only a vague conception of “good” or “bad.”

    Could this really be described as “wasting time?” I found the craft I feel (at least, for now) I want to devote my whole life to, so I would surely disagree. If anything, it was the opposite, as since then I’ve lived a more focused life, concentrating on what I feel is important with more focus. That said, my anecdote certainly doesn’t invalidate your advice, and I think your words should be passed along whenever possible. It does, however, suggest an alternative perspective which felt relevant to the discussion, so I figured I’d share.

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