I’ve been spending WAY too much time in front of screens of late. Like WAY too much time. It’s beginning to feel positively unhealthy. I’m feeling stuck. In thrall to the white light, like a tech-age zombie.
It may seem a tad ironic that I’m typing these words on my laptop, whilst obviously watching them appear on the screen. But the truth is that the key difference is that at least this particular smidgeon of screen time is about output and not about passive, indiscriminate absorption. As a result it feels freeing and enlivening in a way that scrolling through random photos on Facebook or watching videos where I ‘won’t believe what happened next’ will never be.
The truth is I have to spend a lot of time on the internet. I work on the internet. (Not as in ‘I fix the internet’ but as in ‘I work online’ 🙂 ) The problem is, that in the same way I was an indiscriminate telly addict when I was a child, I may start off by doing work emails and important website updates but before I know it I have 15 tabs open, with Facebook, Twitter and news media sites requiring my constant checking. Never mind that they are rarely interesting or edifying, if I don’t check them every few seconds I may miss something hugely important.
They are like chewing gum for my mind. Instead of tackling scary tasks I can just distract myself from them with a little shiny screen time. But the thing is the scary tasks are still there. Just pushed to the back of my mind and drowned by the hum of trivia. And because I don’t do them and try and push them down they bubble under in my subconscious. And so they wake me up at night. Or they make me grumpy, because in reality I’m annoyed at myself and I know I’m copping out.
And when I say ‘scary tasks’ they are mostly terrifically mundane. But a mind in avoidance can manage to make the most minor task seem scary. You really have got to hand it the marketing guys at Nike. They were on to something big when they came up with their slogan.
Just do it.