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    Posted March 6, 2014 by
    Keokuk, Iowa
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

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    The Importance of Daydreaming


    Once upon a time I was a daydreaming fool, but it has been at least a year since I last did it. I space off daily, but there is a difference between the two. Daydreaming fills my mind with fantastic characters and stories; when I space off I accidentally brush my hair with the deodorant.


    I'd like to blame time for my lack of musing, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm suffering from information overload - which is something I always considered complete nonsense. But technology has its hold on me, and it snuck up on me just like any other addiction. It started as a fun thing to do when bored and evolved into an insatiable need to connect with people and events 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


    I've replaced my imaginary friends with live ones that answer my long, winding messages with LOL. I encounter strangers that ask for pictures of my boobs along with my address. I have a minimum of 5 tabs open on my browser at all times: one for email, one for Facebook, one for news, one for comedy, one for the weather, etc. I read my horoscope although I realize it is bull, and my day won't be complete until I take a quiz to see what my spirit animal is. I know WAY too much about people that I don't talk to on a daily basis, and while it can be extremely entertaining, it makes me feel like an online version of the nosy neighbor down the street.


    Don't get me wrong, technology isn't to blame; my misuse of it is. Staying connected with family and friends through good times and bad has proved invaluable. I feel closer than ever to some of them because this format allows us to converse in a deep, meaningful way that is sometimes lost during the hustle and bustle of social gatherings. I've learned so much about the world through articles, pictures, and people thousands of miles away. I wrote a story about a guy I assumed was a male pig, and we've been great friends for seven years now. I spent a year writing a comic book artist named Kat in Italy. She helped me learn Italian and I helped her with English.


    I wouldn't be speaking to all of you right now if it weren't for this internet connection, so yes, I do appreciate what we have.


    However, I haven't felt like myself in a long time. From the age of 11 until a year ago, I wrote every day, whether it was a long story or a few paragraphs.  In the past I spent countless hours wandering the woods, fishing at Red Wing Access along the Des Moines River, sitting by the Mississippi River with a notebook, and hanging out in the sun, listening to the waves of the ocean at Crescent Beach in Florida. Those quiet excursions, full of nothing but internal contemplation, gave me great ideas for stories.  It made me more creative, focused, and ready to take on the world.  But I've lost touch with the beauty and benefits of daydreaming.  Now that the problem has been identified, I am making a concerted effort to return to the world of make-believe. If you don't hear from me, or you happen to see me talking to myself and karate-chopping the air, don't worry. It simply means I'm back to normal.

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