I remember having the original Game Boy by the age of 7 or 8. I received my first Walkman when I was about 10 or 11 years old. From that point on, I always had the ability to fill my downtime with music. In other words: I was never bored (unless I was out of batteries).
Now I have audiobooks and podcasts constantly playing in the background in my life. Sure, I pay attention to them and synthesize my own thoughts sometimes. Unfortunately, being constantly entertained from before puberty, I wonder just how much my brain developed with that program. Now I have the constant urge to stay occupied instead of simply just “be”.
On the other hand, I’m grateful to have noticed this about myself and actively take steps to create the empty space in my life, if just for a few minutes at a time. The most important reminder is when I treat myself to Chipotle and I am waiting in line. What is more obvious than each person in queue on his/her smartfphone? Solitary or in groups, young or old (but especially young). Take a minute to stop and smell the burritos, my friends.