Monday, August 18, 2014

Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 1

By Pascal Dennis

Trust y’all are enjoying the summer, as I am.

Working on a book project, so I’ve cut back my travel & begin my days in garden.

Of course, I bring my ‘screens’ with me, Pad & phone, which gives me pause.

Do we manage our ‘screens’ – or do they manage us?


Have we learned how to use our marvelous technology – or is it using us?

The answer to each question is clear, is it not? We’ve not learned how to use our tools yet, and they are dominating us.

Stand in any city part on a beautiful summer day. What do you see?

People enjoying the sunlight, shooting the breeze on a park bench, relaxing? NOT…

More likely, our poor fellow citizens are peering into their screens, oblivious to their fellows and the world around them.

Don’t want to be misunderstood. I’m as prone as the next person to this modern malaise.

(In our family, we've set some basic standards to blunt the effects, with some success.)

Why does it matter?

Our screens’ distracting influence can shorten our attention span, and weakens our ability to concentrate.

And yet, our screens also bring the world into our consciousness. We get a much better grasp of the ‘global chessboard’ and our part in it.

Technology, poorly understood and carelessly used, is a Faustian bargain. We gain a great deal, but risk losing something even more important.

Again, I don’t wish to be misunderstood. We can’t go back to an idyllic past before screens, (which wasn’t so idyllic anyhow.)

But we need to reflect on how our technology helps & hinders us, so we can reap the benefits, while avoiding the pitfalls.

Anyhow, I’m going back into the garden.

No screens this time – just my guitar…

Best,

Pascal


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