Staring at the Screen

As a parent, I spend a ton of time trying to convince my kids that they shouldn’t stare at screens too long throughout the day. That staring at screens will melt their brains and they simply won’t be capable of doing the things they need to get done in a day. And it’s accurate. I can tell you that if my kids stare at a screen longer than an hour, they are nearly impossible to deal with. Movies are a struggle for us, even, although if the movie is good enough and we’re watching together as a family, they generally come out of it ready to talk about the experience, more than just being completely melted little people.

So, I’m aware. I know. I know how bad these screens in our lives are. I love them. I love technology and all the things we can do with these screens that are infiltrating our world today, but I also know that there are plenty of options on them that aren’t productivity related.

And I absolutely fall into those traps way too often.

The truth is, I’m far worse about this when I’m tired, but after a day of staring at screens for work, I also find myself still scrolling through endless piles of nothingness on my little phone screen because I simply don’t know how to interact with the world any longer and I guess I feel like that’s something that I can handle, when I can’t handle anything else.

This issue is far more prevalent during winter in Wisconsin, as we spend far more time outside in the world and doing things during the warmer months than we do during the never-ending winter. But, all the same, staring at these screens serves as a form of comfort, even if they tend to be something which makes me even less capable of doing the things that need to get done.

The productivity loss I have due to these screens which are also responsible for all of my productivity means I find myself in a regular process of rage deleting things off my phone. It’s so easy to find some other time waster to put on my phone. This is why I don’t do Wordle any longer, because although it didn’t take much time out of my day, it was a gateway drug to Quordle and Nerdle and Heardle and…soon I was out of time entirely.

But, I need these screens. Especially now that I’m running a business with my wife, we’re constantly needing to find ways to keep the business running. I just need to get better at putting the screen away when I don’t need to be using it.

Especially since I know how bad of an influence I’ve been on my kids about it.

Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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