First, my dis-claim-er: This is not an attempt to justify or perpetuate. It’s an attempt to understand. Maybe with that – if we shift toward trying to understand why we do what we do, and stop condemning it while shamefully continuing it, we can peck our way out, back to screen-free freedom. Yes, this is about screen dependency.
Lofty aspirations to tackle this. I don’t have any ideas yet, no suggestions or how to’s, but I can share my thoughtful answer to a sensitive and somewhat heated question – Why are we all looking at our smart phones, computer screens, blah blah so much – regardless of whether or not we’re with, or even have children?
A simple answer occurred to me today while I was angrily scrubbing my way across a couple far too dirty bathrooms (I have a two year old…and proclaiming this IS a justification effort, btw).
Maybe it is simply because we miss each other. We are trying to sneak little peeks at our lost or missing adult connections, or new ones we’ve made via the e-stream. It’s friends or family we’re too busy to see. People we have just become too separate from, whether by geography, or other kinds of distance; ex-partners we wish well (or unwell – if that’s how you roll), people we gave our dogs to when we couldn’t make it work in that apartment, or whomever.
We’re longing for the threads of reciprocity, the connection, the interwoven history. Most of us make new connections wherever we wander, but it is normal to want to see the faces of the ones we’ve left behind. The ones who shaped us and taught us, whether through soft or thorny measures. We are sentimental beasts, and we are curious.
And then there’s all that other stuff – the oohs and ahs the internet beholds. I have no wisdom to espouse on that, and now I need to go finish the other bathroom while my children are still asleep. Because right now I’m sneaking some connection to the vibrant pulse of humanity outside my beautiful nest, and my husband is wondering what I’m doing.