Thursday, January 31, 2013

Screen Test by Terry Burns


The seduction of the screen.

No, I’m not talking about the movies.

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?


Jenny McLeod Carlisle said...

The convenience of using these screens is amazing. We can stay connected so easily now. Physically, though, I often have to take a break from the stimulalation they bring. Going outside to sit on the porch, walking the dog,closing my eyes for a moment; anything that doesn't involve focusing on a flickering light. Thankfully, getting reconnected after a break doesn't take long, and I'm off and running again!

Jennifer Major said...

I only watch TV on Sunday nights for Downton Abbey. Yes, I'm one of *them*. And umm, occasionally for Phineas and Ferb with my kids.

I've noticed a pattern, I'm at the screen all morning and do the housework in the afternoon. That seems to be how things flow best.
I can't do the all day everyday thing unless I have a deadline.
I like fresh air! I like moving around.
We have 4 kids, and 3 at home that keep us busy(non-stop) and so we rely on the screens to schedule each day.

Joanne Sher said...

I take a break from my computer, tablet, and cell phone (for the most part) twice a month. It is SOOOO good for me. Such a HUGE benefit to me. My next one is Tuesday - looking forward to it :)

Dominic Copeland said...

It would be easier if the screen was a a part of me like an additional hand or an ear. It seems more and more that the screen is becoming that monumental to our lives.
Still I absolutely love it. It feels like each screen is capable of leading me to a different area of fulfillment. On this screen I am a writer, on this screen I yelp at the world, on this screen I see what is happening out in the stratosphere. So I guess screen on...