Dave's Blurb


Written by Dave Miller in the March 2013 Issue

I’m staring at a screen right now.

It’s a tool. I’m using it to express myself. But not long ago (actually a few minutes) I was using this tool to look at stuff I don’t need or care about. Yes, I spend too much time online.

It doesn’t get much better at work either. My company, Back40 Design, creates engaging online experiences. Or simply said­—we make websites. We’ve been doing this for the past 12 years and business is good. There’s no sign of the web slowing down. But I can shut it off. It’s a choice I don’t make often enough.

Yes, there are times when being “available by phone” is important. If you have kids or parents that need you in an emergency, it’s indispensable. But, as I see it, everything below that is up for debate. Lately, I’ve been more conscious of the time I spend, head tilted downward, staring at my phone. It’s staggering. Here are some examples of the insanity:

I walked several blocks the other night in the dark staring at my phone. My dog was there to guide me (who’s walking who?). I was technically spending time with my dog, but in reality, Apple’s falling stock prices had the lion’s share of my attention.

I was riding motorcycles in Arkansas last month (you know the warm weekend we had in February) and I was zipping along with my helmet bluetoothed to my phone and I took a call from my dentist’s office. Wow, I’m glad they could reach me. I need to unplug more.

Dave's Blurb

My wife and I were out to dinner earlier this week. When she excused herself for a few minutes, I began an inner struggle to look—or not look—at my phone. It took a few minutes, but the phone won. This time.

Okay, maybe this is a bit dramatic, but I know I will regret the hours I spend surfing Craigslist, CNN and Slate instead of engaging. My granddaughter. My daughter. My wife. Others. Anyone. And this is why I am struggling to mitigate my screen-centered life.

I drew the cartoon below to illustrate what we might look like in generations to come. Hopefully not. I’m closing my laptop now and taking the dog for a walk without my phone. 

1 Comment

Catherine Says:
March 19th, 2013 at 10:29 am
Information is an addiction! Once we realize we have a peoblem, we can do something about it like get a phone with no internet service, ha!
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