Screen Drifters

We’ve all done it, sometimes a lot. Searching the web, being online, going from screen to screen. The world wide web is a necessary component of the current time and place we live in. Our lives revolve around the experience of taking-in and sharing information online.

The trouble with this experience is how much we actually need to be looking at screens vs how much we do not need to be online looking at our co-workers daughter’s Quinceañera. We can easily get submerged in the experience of drifting from screen to screen. Like a bee, we buzz from flower to flower only instead of pollinating; we avoid the present life of convivial human-to-human interaction. We miss out on walks outside, time on the phone with friends, even reading. How many times have you thought “I want to read a book. I want to be immersed in a novel and feel the weight of a book in my hand.” And then you look online for that perfect book that will hold your interest and there it goes; your attention is sucked dry into a vortex of screens. The novel you were searching for turned into a Facebook stalking of your ex-boyfriend’s ex which then leads you to researching the vacation your ex-boyfriend’s ex was recently on and the next thing you know you’re watching that YouTube video (again) of that girl who made an dating profile video referencing her love for cats. And then it’s time to go to bed because you have to wake up and do it all over again – because after all, the day isn’t officially started unless you check your Instagram before you have your first cup of coffee.

I’m here to tell you: THERE’S A BETTER WAY! You know what it feels like to waste time going down rabbit holes of endless screens. Capture that feeling. Let that sensation simmer and the next time it happens you’ll have a plan. What’s the plan? I’m glad you asked. The plan is this: decide now what your throw-cold-water-on-the-face moment will be. Like when in movies that one character who will not wake up from a sleep no matter what you do, so the other people in the movie throw water on that person’s face and instantly the person is up and ready to go. That’s you. You are both the person who throws the water and the person who gets all wet in the process. What is your plan when that screen time is your “can’t wake up” moment?

Let me give you some suggestions:

  • Pick up that book you’re going to buy on your way home from work tonight
  • Make a list of foods you want to try making in the next coming weeks
  • Get your running shoes on and go for a walk even if it’s just around the block.
  • Call your mom
  • Cut your toe nails

And that’s what is going to happen next time you are lost in the sea of broken screen dreams. You’re going to have a plan. And part of that plan is making the connection that life is better when you are living it. There’s a time and place for online rabbit holes, but don’t let the rabbit holes take you away from being productive and living the life you want to live.