Recently I was involved in a conversation in which one participant announced that another participant's "fun activity" that she occasionally does with her kids and is just something interesting and fun was "just another way to waste time." And as participant #1 announced this you could visibly see participant #2's face fall. Although participant #1 didn't notice, as she had started embellishing upon the evils of Facebook.
And it started me thinking.
What is a waste of time? Is there a criteria for it? And how can someone that is not you possibly judge if your activity is a waste of time?
I started thinking about the things that I do throughout the day. And wondering which of them were a waste of time. I started thinking about the TV that I watch. And I decided that some, but not all TV is a waste of time. Reading is NEVER a waste of time. Unless it's porn. Then it's just wrong. Blogging usually isn't a waste of time. Unless it is an addiction. (uh-oh).
Spending time with my children. Now this is where it gets tricky. Does it matter what you are doing? Is playing barbies a waste of time? How about hide and seek? Is tickling them a waste of time? Now, I figure reading to them, doing their homework with them, using flashcards to teach them their letters and numbers are safe. But how about tracking a dollar bill on the Internet to see where it's been? Is that a waste of time? How about play dough?
I decided something. If your activity is:
A: Making you a better person
B: Improving your relationship with your family
C: Improving your mind
D: Improving the minds of your children
E: Improving your health
F: Learning something new
G: Learning to understand other people
H: Allowing you time to relax and unwind so as not to lose your mind
I: Not judging other people
Then it logically follows: it is not a waste of time.