Why I Want to Go Screen-Free . . . At Least Now and Then

woman reading news on smart phone multimedia flying iconsAs Ammon Shea, the author of Bad English, says, “A language that doesn’t evolve is a dead language.”

I have learned in my 50+ years that this is definitely true. And “screen-free” is one of those new words, one I need to put into practice.

The desktop computer (and the tablet and the cell phone) are fantastic for so many reasons. And yet . . . there is a time to click the off button and leave it that way for extended periods, at least to disconnect from the Internet.

The following are realities in my life—and possibly in yours as well:

  1. If I’m constantly wondering what emails and status updates I may be missing, my mind is not solely on the task at hand.
  2. And if I allow myself to become distracted, I must reign in my thoughts repeatedly in order to do the best possible job I can for others.
  3. If others are constantly texting and surfing the Net in my presence, I feel as if what I have to say matters very little to them. I don’t want to make others feel this way.
  4. When I allow my brain to overload, the ever-increasing stress and tension—both physical and mental—is palpable. (Just ask the burning in my shoulder.)
  5. The vast amount of information at my fingertips overwhelms me. Just how will I find the most gripping, the most accurate data to share with my readers? How will I have time to even scratch the surface?
  6. I develop the mistaken impression that what’s “out there” is somehow more important—at least more interesting—that what’s “right here.”
  7. I neglect the physical resources I have on hand (physical books rather than e-books and online info, for example)—and flesh and blood people with whom I share my life space not just my virtual reality.
  8. I have what I call the Butterfly Syndrome. I flit from one thing to the next to the next. And with all the additional possibilities opened up with the Internet . . . Let’s just say, there are too many “beautiful distractions” for this butterfly to take in.
  9. And because there are so many things to see, I feel as if I never truly complete anything. There are always more things to learn and see and do, always more inspiration to find.

All that said, I am thankful every day that I live in the cyber age. There are so many advantages. However, I am in the process of learning to balance the time I spend online and the time I go screen-free.

How about you? What are some challenges you find with the ready availability of the World Wide Web?


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by Stephanie Nickel , CES Editor, Writer, Coach, and Critique Specialist 

 


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