Sometimes I forget that there are people who don’t spend all day staring at screens. While that may seem like an oddity nowadays, you don’t have to go back in time very far to find that it was once the rule, not the exception.
I honestly don’t know if we are better or worse as people due to that change, but I do know that it has been a short transition into the screen age, and it looks like it will only become more commonplace going forward.
Still, there are folks who rarely look at the tiny sun we carry in our hands, and seldom glance at the glowing wall we gaze into at our desk. I came up to the roof of my office building to eat lunch, not look at my screen, but it’s so natural now that I don’t even notice I’m looking down.
Maybe that’s the part that I’m not sure about, the piece of the puzzle that feels upside-down. When we look at a screen we have control, we can easily lose perspective, and detachment becomes second-nature. We look at bits of information and feel a connection to something…somewhere…but you just can’t imitate face-to-face interaction through an artificial lens.
I’m grateful for the tiny factory I have in my hands, but sometimes I catch myself staring through it like a one-way window into another world, where time doesn’t matter and comrades are easy to find. If my lunch break leads me to this tiny device instead of looking out the widow at the beautiful day, maybe I need to set this down for a while.
I fully believe that our digital actions are “real life,” but if the portal snaps shut…I don’t want to be trapped inside.