Dave’s Blurb

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. 

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