Patt Morrison for July 3, 2012

The ‘busy’ trap: got free time?

Commuters board a train during the eveni

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Commuters board a train during the evening hours at Se metro station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 6, 2012.

The phrase “I have free time” seems to be so elusive in the rustle and bustle of our modern day society. Busyness is now potentially an addictive condition for adults all the way down to children.

According to Tim Kreider, adults schedule time with friends the same way 4.0 students plan community service. Children’s schedules are so densely packed with extracurricular activities that they come home from school exhausted, as an adult from a full day’s work.

Kreider reflects nostalgically about the days as a kid when he had three hours of “totally unstructured” time. Now contemporary society riddles and traps people with obligations left and right, leaving no room for free time to breathe and relax.

Now the phrase, “I am so busy,” has taken over. Is this a “boast disguised as a complaint”? Does this phrase make one feel important?

Kreider emphasizes the indispensability of idleness, in a last attempt to salvage it.

WEIGH IN


Are you so busy that you have no free time? How has this affected your life? Do you wish to change?

Guest:

Tim Kreider, author of "We Learn Nothing," a collection of essays and cartoons; his cartoon, "The Pain - When Will It End?" has been collected in three books by Fantagraphics


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