Opinion: What We Are Losing Through Our Gains


By Carla Charter

It was a picture of a beautiful Victorian era dollhouse that appeared on my Facebook page that started me thinking.  Ignoring the irony of something from the Victorian era appearing on a modern-day device that those from that time could not have even conceived of, it was still more than that which drew me to this photo.

This dollhouse, when you looked at it closely was an intricately carved two-story miniature work of art. It had everything a girl of that era could have wanted in such a creation. There were glass window panes, crafted front steps and a beautiful little porch not to mention the multiple Gables on this typical Victorian home.

I sighed as I thought of all the time and workmanship that must have gone into building something like this.  The hours lovingly spent at a workbench creating something exquisite, maybe for Christmas or for a birthday for a beloved little girl in their life.   I wondered to myself, does anyone even do this type of woodworking anymore. as I glanced down at my phone.

That’s when it struck me.  The hours spent on a project like that generations ago, were probably done in someone’s spare time, soon becoming a relaxing enjoyable pastime from their everyday lives. That these days that very same time is spent on our phone rather than a beloved project.

It’s not just woodworking.  Think back on the pastimes of your grandparents.  Gardening, knitting, puzzle making, card playing.  Does anyone even spend time stamp or coin collecting anymore? These ways to relax and enjoy each other’s company or the company of ourselves for a short while, seem to have fallen by the wayside. Traded instead for being connected to the cyberworld 24/7.  There is something about losing yourself in a passion project for a couple of hours that no amount of texting or e-mailing can replace.  Nor should we let it.

Maybe it’s time we all put down our phones for a while to find ourselves and our passion projects.  To take time to rediscover who we were before technology created who we are today.  Maybe we all need to take some time to disconnect and instead lose ourselves in a project whose reward is simply the joy of being involved in it.