Too Many Screens

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Cambria (photo by Wendy Kennar)

(My Preferred Distraction)

This week, my post is a bit of a rant or complaint.

I’m tired of screens.  I was in a doctor’s waiting room recently, trying to read my book (and yes, an actual book), trying to keep my nerves at bay.  And I was distracted.  Distracted by the office phone ringing.  Distracted by patients making their follow-up appointments and patients arriving and checking in for their appointments.  I was distracted by the pharmaceutical representative who bumped her cart into the side table near where I was sitting.

But I was most distracted by the television on the wall.  It was on.  A performance of some sort was being broadcast.  I glanced over once and saw acrobats on the screen.  Another time, a woman was singing.  But all it did was contribute noise.  Which made other people louder because they needed to speak above the sound of the television.

I sat in my chair, but what I really wanted to do was get up and turn the darn thing off.   When did it become okay for televisions (or screens of any kind) to be on all the time, everywhere?  I go to pump gas, and there’s a screen at the pump.  I’m not there to find out a basketball score or the weather or watch a commercial for a mortgage company.  I’m just there to put gas in the car. 

Seems to me there’s enough noise out there already.  And by noise, I mean audible noise and visual noise.  We’re bombarded by billboards and posters and moving images.  It’s enough.  A little bit of quiet is really okay.  Maybe I feel this way because I’m a writer, because I’m a parent, because I was a teacher. 

Or maybe, we’ve just gotten to the point where it’s too much.  Let me know what you think in the comments section.

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