Low quality fun, high quality fun

I’ve been thinking a lot about the quality of the fun I have. Here are some examples to set the stage.

Low quality fun (for me):

  • Scrolling Reddit, Hacker News, Twitter, all those.
  • YouTube recommendation rabbit holes
  • Dumb mobile games like Candy Crush
  • Watching The Office for the 13th time

High quality fun (for me):

  • Game night with family
  • Trampoline games with kids
  • Trail running
  • Watching good movies or shows for the first time
  • Reading fiction

The buckets make sense, right? But how do I define them? What does “low quality fun” or “high quality fun” really mean? Gotta look at both sides: how do I feel when I’m starting the activity, and how do I feel when it’s over.

When I’m starting: Is the decision to start that activity is mindful or mindless? It’s about intentionality vs. addiction. I never mindfully decide to spend some time screwing around on Reddit. It sucks me in. It’s a mindless addiction.

When it’s over: Do I end up feeling good about the time I spent on that activity? I feel blah after low quality fun, and energized after high quality fun.

Are there exceptions? I don’t think so. I can’t think of something that mindlessly sucks me in, but leaves me feeling energized. And I don’t know of anything that I mindfully choose and then later regret.

So I guess the definition. Low quality fun sucks me in mindlessly and spits me out in a puddle of guilt. High quality fun requires an intentional choice, but rewards me for making that choice.

Does this actually matter? Why not just make a list of what I want more or less of? Well I did that but I was curious what those things had in common. Now I know.

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