You may have looked perplexed if, 20 years ago, someone would have told you that we’d spend most of our days glued to glowing screens, that we’d blur the lines between work and home, that our connectedness would disconnect us from what matters.
It would have sounded dystopian. Yet we agreed to it. Not all at once, but gradually. One supposed improvement at a time.
A screen on your wall.
A screen at your desk.
A screen in your pocket.
A screen on your lap.
A screen in your hand.
A screen on your wrist.
“Every night in America is like a competition to see how many screens we can get between our face and the wall,” Ronny Chieng observed in his recent Netflix comedy special. While we may have won this competition, we’ve lost something important.
If our innovations get in the way of a life worth living, are they actually degenerations? What happens when the colors on our screens are more vivid but our lives are increasingly grayscale? When we upgrade our tech but downgrade everything meaningful? When the ceaseless glow brightens but our joy and purpose dim?
At what point do we turn it off?