It seems like I spend most of my life looking at a screen. It’s how I work incoming and outgoing submissions, communicate with clients and editors, research markets . . . in short it’s how I work.
But then there’s social media that I have to participate in for the sake of visibility and name identification. There are hundreds of emails coming in demanding my attention. Time to pay the bills? Look at the screen. Get some rare time to write? Look at the screen.
Taking time away from the computer? Watch the big screen across the room for a movie or some football. Need to know what’s going on in the world? I don’t read the newspaper anymore, I get my news from TV news or online. Watch the screen. Even if I am watching the big screen the computer is pushed aside on an airdesk and the sound of a message coming in or other alert can pull me right back.
Make a phone call? Much smaller screen, but can do email and facebook there too. Now the screen is actually attached to my body if I am out and around. I just had a computer meltdown and was without it for several days. That should have been a relaxing respite but it wasn’t. I was stressing over getting it back up and the things I was supposed to be doing and wasn’t.
How much is too much? When things are competing for my time it is often one type of screen competing with another. I know it is a constant problem for writers trying to carve out writing time and balance it with other aspects of their life. I’m just the opposite, trying to carve out time away from the screens.
How about you, what’s your relationship with the screens in your life?