Screen time

G and I put down our books and strolled time into the kitchen for a snack.  He filled the coffee pot while I munched on almonds.  Life is better without a computer, isn’t it?  While my mind was busy formulating a 5 part response that included the word no, my mouth quickly blurted out: yes!.

Damn it.

Our computer started having problems several weeks ago and G brought it to two different places to have it fixed. Although it turned out to be a relatively straightforward hardware problem, the diagnosis itself was slow-going and just like that we became a non-digital household.  The second G was out of the driveway, electronic box-in-hand, g asked to see a video of a backhoe and protested loudly when I told him that it was simply impossible.  The whole next day I hovered around the non-functional monitor trying to get my bearings.

And then, we just forgot.

We read books. We played together. We talked to each other.  g never asked to see another video.

I’m not ready to give up this connection to the digital world.  There is the practical side: bill paying, newspaper reading, research, etc., the frivolous side: things like browsing all of the lovely things on Etsy or indulging in day-old Daily Show episodes and, of course, there is social media.   I already gave up using Facebook. I don’t use Twitter or Instagram but I do love blogging.  I can’t point to anything that I’ve missed more.  G accuses bloggers of being one more facet of the hey, look at me! exhibitionist-driven web 2.0 but I truly don’t agree.  We all need to believe that what we put out there has enough substance to merit sharing with the 2, 10 or 2,000 readers that might see it but most of us enjoy reading other people’s thoughts as much or more than we do writing our own.  I believe that this is real community, even if it never results in a face-to-face meeting.

So I’m not ditching the digital any time soon.  And I look forward to getting caught up on all of your blogs.  But I would highly recommend the occasional break from screen time because it’s good to remember that, as wonderful as the internet is, there are some other very time-worthy activities waiting on the sidelines.

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12 Responses to Screen time

  1. Lesley says:

    Yes, I can definitely get all ocd around my computer… I am glad you’re back online, and I pretty much agree with you. I don’t think it’s exhibitionist to actually want people to READ what you write. For me, I can’t motivate to keep a journal that no one will ever read. It’s not because I want to feel special, it’s because I need to have an audience in mind as I write.

    And as for reading, hell yeah, i’m TOTALLY hooked on a couple of dozen ladies’ family building tales!

  2. elizabethkbaker says:

    I agree with above. When I write, I like to picture how my readers are going to react and respond and I’ll admit, I like the feedback. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Glad you had a good “break” and thanks for the reminder we all need one once in awhile!

  3. Daryl says:

    It’s sad, but I think my being okay with not having a computer would take a lot longer than it took you. Good for you! But I’m glad it was temporary because yours is one of those blogs I so enjoy reading!

  4. jjiraffe says:

    Hee. I love that he links Web 2.0 with the exhibitionist nature of blogging. Only in the Bay Area ;)

    Good for you for doing that. I agree that reading blogs rules. Today I’ve spent about four hours just reading ALI blogs, really enjoying myself. (Darcy’s out of town.) Such great writing out there…

    Welcome back. You’ve been missed!

  5. susiemeserve says:

    Oh, I agree. I want to start initiating a 24-hour screen-free time every week, like, say, Sundays. Just a little break to reconnect with the soul. But, yes, glad you’re back! It was a real pain to have to actaully call you (kidding).

  6. Ana says:

    Its hard to pull away, but always quite nice when I do…things that seem CRUCIAL suddenly become unimportant when unplugged. I think taking breaks is good for practically EVERYTHING in life—I like contrast.

  7. marwil says:

    I had a little screen detox this weekend, not totally blanked out but spend way less time in front of the screen and picked up a book to read instead. I think it’s important to not let it take over completely and actually log out and do other things as well. Always a balance to find.

  8. Misfits says:

    I unplugged a long time ago from television. On the weekends, I leave the interwebs alone for the most part, but I can see how very calm life could be with just letting it all go every so often. I, too, find the blogs bring me back.

  9. YES! I agree on all fronts. Less computer time. Blogging is good for the soul. And now that I’ve found blogging, I find myself on the computer more when I’d actually like to be on less. Hard to know how to harness the ever-present impulse to open the damned laptop, but I’m working on it…

  10. Justine says:

    Though we get all high-and-mighty that we don’t have TV, we do get sucked into our digitalt world. Even worse now that we can check email on the iTouch, the base for which which my husband installed in the dining room, of all places. But you are so right … we need to detach. And yet … how to do so and NOT feel yet MORE guilt … something for me to work on!

  11. glumbunny says:

    HEY! LOOK AT ME!
    I never had a hard time unplugging before I started reading blogs. Before then, it was like, should I read the e-mail that will only piss me off or, you know, NOT? There was nothing else of interest in the ether. Now, I have developed that unfortuate habit of checking in. SIGH. You people and your interesting stories! My husband, on the other hand, can’t go more than 10 minutes without pulling out his phone, and it actually really pisses me off. I feel like nothing in the whole world is interesting enough to capture his attention, and I’m so afraid he will pass this habit on to our children. While Bun Bun is stil currently screen free, I know it won’t last forever. I used to not watch TV at all, and while I’ve put my foot down about having an actual TV, so we download things, it’s now what we do in the evenings. I’m so frustrated by this, yet so completely and utterly complicit.

    Went off on my own little rant there…which is just to say, hell yeah.

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