the iPrison

Once, we were at a restaurant enjoying our lunch, when I started hearing sound that wasn't part of the restaurant's music. It sounded like a live TV show with laughing and clapping.

I looked over and saw a mother and daughter eating lunch together. Only, they weren't really eating lunch together.

The daughter had her earphones on and was watching a Korean drama on her iPhone while eating.

The mother did not have earphones, but that did not keep her from watching her Korean talk show while eating her lunch — with the volume up high enough that we could hear.

(Cell-phone etiquette tip #1: No one around you wants to listen to what you're listening to. That also goes with those who have laptops in public places, like coffee shops. If you forget your earphones, do the right and polite thing — just wait until you get home to watch that video or listen to that audio clip. Oh. Tip #1.5 — also, in a public area, don't put your conversation on speaker phone. No one else is interested in your conversation about what you need to pick up at the grocery store. I guara-darn-tee it.)

It was such an odd sight. Mother and daughter eating together, but neither engaging one another. Why even eat lunch together? Or watch the same show…?

But it's a common sight, right? People walking around with their faces buried in screens (oh. Cell-phone etiquette tip #2: Don't walk and text. Seriously. It's a bit dangerous. Just youtube “walking and texting” and you'll see how it can be hazardous. Improv Everywhere even made a video about this epidemic:

I mean, it seems like we give someone about 2 minutes (at best) to intrigue us, or back to our phones we go.

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. But instead, many of us find ourselves prisoners to the screens that dominate our lives.

At the end of the day, who's controlling who?


Killing Me Softly With Their Pixels

Steve Jobs while introducing the iPad in San F...

Image via Wikipedia

So there I was, watching TV (Sportscenter). While replying to a text on my phone (about sports). And surfing the web (
I then saw the ridiculousness of this scene. Watching TV, texting and surfing the web, all at once. Had I owned an iPad, I’d probably have that on as well, and probably on a sports website given the scenario.

But seriously. The screens in my life are getting out of hand.

I have a slight problem of coveting, especially when it comes to technological gadgets. My mind is already working on how I can rationalize an iPad purchase. (Btw. We’re moving to an apartment that’s a bit further away from the church. Therefore I would have to commute by bicycle or walk 2 miles to church. Carrying a laptop is going to be heavy. Oh boo hoo, Joe has to carry a laptop. Yea I know. But an iPad would be a perfect travel companion. Not too heavy. And I can get done the basics that I need on the iPad. So yea.)

But, have you noticed how much screen time dominates your life? You’re working and surfing the web at the same time. Studying and texting at the same time. Eating and watching TV at the same time. Watching a movie at the theaters and texting at the same time, and becoming a friggin’ distraction to everyone at the theater, because every time you text, the phone lights up and our attention goes to the little light that just came on, and we all resist the enormous of throwing something at you, or fight the urge to walk up to you and grab your phone and throw it all away, to the applause of everyone in the theater.  I mean for the sake of Peter, put the darn phone away!!!!!!!!!!!!

The way technology has advanced is amazing. You can now watch a TV show and have a twitter conversation with the host of the show. You can have access to breaking news wherever you may be.

But our desires to constantly stay connected to the Internet can have negative implication to real human connections; connections that we were created and designed for.

It seems like the more connected we are to our gadgets and the world wide web, the less human to human interaction we get. I call a youth. They don’t answer the phone. I text them, they reply instantly. I feel like we’re becoming more and more impersonal in person and more and more personal via a machine. (And seriously kids, just because you type lyk dis n stuff on your computer, does not mean you should type like that for assignments or letters or anything else….)

Based on an Entertainment Weekly article (where I got the title of this post), I decided to also limit my attention to one screen at a time. I don’t know how plausible and doable this is for me, but it is something I desperately need to do. My screen time is affecting my life and dominating my life in ways I don’t want it to.
I’ve been reading way too much blog posts and online articles that my books that need to get read are collecting dust. And I want to read them, feeling the paper, writing in the margins, and not on my iPad (which I hope to have in my possession when iPad 2 comes out… hah).

My screen time is affecting my health. I’d rather stayed glued to the TV or the Web instead of going outside and taking a walk, playing ball, working out…

The screens also have had an affect on my relationship with God. With all those screens on all at once, at best God gets parts of my attention, and not the full.

While I may not be able to cut the screens out of my life completely, I can try (really hard) to limit myself to one screen at a time. It’s something that my life will thank me for in the long run.

And I’m sure that I am not the only one with this problem. And I’m sure that this one screen at a time will be a constant struggle in my life. I’m sad to admit how much of a struggle it will be. But it is a struggle that needs to be addressed.

I decided to end my rambling with a Jesus Juke,”if only we were all connected to Jesus the way we were connected to the web through our gadgets…”

One screen at a time…