Do you live on your device?

laptop

Most of my day is spent looking at the screen.

I used to be one of those people, who looked down on teenagers who spend their whole day texting, playing games, browsing social media on their phones/ iPads/ laptops every day. I was that “in my days…” person (despite being only 22), comparing kids today with my own childhood spent playing outside, mainly because phones and laptops weren’t available in the society I lived in back then.

Only recently I started to pay a closer attention to how much time I spent on my phone and laptop every day, and to my terror surprise I realised that it’s easier to count the time I’m not spending looking at the screen rather than otherwise.

Doing so many things at the same time, managing my own (start up) business, filming videos, editing videos, editing photos, posting on Instagram, writing on my blog (I already have enormous amounts of drafts that I never posted), answering calls, replying to messages and emails, and at the end of the day perhaps watching a movie or TV series to “wind down”.  So lets see… I don’t look at the screen only when I’m moving between locations (e.g. home – work) or when I’m sleeping.

How did this even happen?!

You see, I have to confess. I am so SCARED of losing my devices and spending a day without them. My work, hobby, leisure.. my whole LIFE is connected to the screen of a laptop and a phone. I am planning to do a digital detox some day, and every time I decide on date and time I end up not doing it because I find so many reasons WHY I need my phone at the time.

What if I go to an unknown location and I need a map?

But I need to check train times!

What if I receive an important email/ message?

How about Instagram? I post twice a day, so I can’t possibly skip that!

And what about the evening? What am I gonna do? I can’t watch a movie?

But… but but but…! There are so many “buts” in this one decision.

I guess we live at the age when our devices are like a physical extension of our whole lives. There are so many things we have to keep up with. We always want to stay updated, stay present in the social. Reply to that comment of an internet friend whom you’ve never met in real life.

I’m writing this whilst at a coffee shop where I go to when I can’t bare working from home. I sneezed. A girl next to me quietly said Bless you, whilst opening her laptop. I turned to her and smiled saying Thank you, and both of us instantly turned back to our screens. I need to talk to that person on Facebook. And reply to emails. And see whether anyone commented on my Instagram post. These are the thoughts that are running through my head.

I guess I looked down on kids who spend their lives on their devices, because this is something I don’t like in myself either. I remember being a child and approaching other kids on the street, talking to them, “Hey! What’s your name? Wanna play?“. I guess it would be too creepy if I did that with an adult.

…Before I stepped inside the bus, I braved myself to look in the eyes of a driver and say “Good Afternoon!” with a big smile. So I step inside. I quietly register my journey and look down proceeding to the seat on the deck, cursing inside, as I, again, didn’t smile to the driver as I intended to.

Maybe next time. I have a new email notification. 

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