We All Scream for Bright Screens

I’m going to take a chance here. I’m going to assume that I’m not the only one who stares at screens a little more time than I’d like. Small screens, big screens, we all scream for bright screens.

This is hurting me. I’m missing out on the wondrous life beyond the screen. Forgoing missed opportunities to connect with loved ones, observations of the magically mundane, chances to turn strangers into friends. Talk about more JOLL. But as a parent, this hurts my kid even more.

She’s receiving the unmistakable message that a screen is more important than her. More interesting. And most heartbreaking, more valuable.

Even knowing this, it still draws me in. Why’s the sky getting dark? Well, let’s check the radar. Where should we eat? Let’s see what Yelp says. Who just emailed me? Lemme look. I wonder if so-and-so saw that I tagged her in that kindergarten photo? Hello, Facebook. Wow, That just happened? Check in with the Twittersphere. How many steps was that? Open Fitbit. A few minutes waiting for the bus? Time to finish that great Ta-Nehisi Coates article.

It goes on. I previously shared all those suggestions of how to reduce screen time in the household. And I’ll be honest, not one has made its way into my practice.

Until we reach the singularity, our everyday experiences will be mediated by these interruptions. To deny them is to reject that more information is better than less, an idea that I cannot believe no matter how hard I try. Sure, there’s a point beyond which more information adds little or nothing, but given the choice of information versus none, I will always choose information. Because I am a curious and learning human.

And that desire brings me back to the screen, time and again. I don’t have an answer. Like most things, I suspect moderation and judgment play a role.

I know we all think about this. What thoughts have bubbled to your surface?

Andrea Lee is a mom who’s winging it, just like everyone else. 

Tags: technology, screen time, mobile devices, tablets, computers, laptops, TV, Television, distraction, distracted, quality time, occupied, Busy, Kids, Kid, Children, youth development, the y

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