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Screen Time Addiction

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August 10, 2010 by wcobserver

You almost have to be living in a shoe box not to be a part of the electronic age.  The electronic revolution has happened in a compressed time frame, in less than 25 years.  We have columnists in their 80’s who can tap out a column and email it; they download photos and provide computer tips.  Electronics has changed conversation forever and it is more apparent in young America than anywhere else.  No one is disconnected; the mind never rests.  People sit in silence, yet there is never a quiet moment.

Gone is handwriting; it’s all about keyboarding.  The art of letter writing…nearly extinct…140 characters can say it all in a “tweet.”  Forget about calling; texting is the way to go.  Facebook is a must.  If you get a lull in the moment, plug in your ear buds and listen to a podcast, or read an e-book.  Unwind tonight with some good television screen time while your kids play video games in the room down the hall.  Who has time for a meeting; just email your team member three cubicles down and ask when their work on the project will be done.  No need to learn to spell…lol.

It’s a national phenomenon and it’s just as prevalent in Observerland as it is everywhere else; we are addicted to a plethora of screens.

I challenge you to keep a diary of all the time you spend with the various screens in your life; it’s staggering, really, and adults are only at the tip of this iceberg.  Young people are glued to their screens 24/7.  You’ve heard of the kids with over 14,000 texts in a month; there are also people out there who have literally worn out their thumbs from typing and texting and suffer from “blackberry thumb.”

My son attended a friend’s bar mitzvah a few weeks ago; the family sent him a thank you note with photos from the day.  One of the photos featured three boys, including my son, sitting on a pew in the synagogue after the ceremony.  All of them were sitting within inches of one another; heads bowed studying their electronic devices.

While we were vacationing, a couple sat in a dimly-lit steak restaurant that overlooked a harbor full of beautiful boats lit by a full moon.  They sat facing one another at a cozy table for two, both engrossed in screens, not even looking at one another.

Recently, we were making arrangements to meet friends on a corner.  Two teenage boys wouldn’t call each other and we spent half an hour across the street from each other texting.

How much do you want to know about what people are eating at that very moment or how long they’ve been in line at the grocery store?

Arkansas has passed a law to prevent texting and driving.  I saw a driver at a stop light texting and holding a cigarette with one hand, holding a newspaper in the other hand, a donut shoved in the mouth.  Where does common sense prevail?

How much screen time have you had today?  How much screen time have your kids had today?  Call me old-fashioned, but call me.  Or better yet, come over for a tall glass of lemonade and a dose of plain ol’ conversation.

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