Ahh, humble inhabitants of the modern world. So 'independent' yet always searching for a sense of belonging, connection and Snapchat streaks.
From the hour I awoke this morning, to this very second as I write, I can see that the majority of my day has been in the company of a screen. Laptop, phone, television, phone, laptop, lecture board, phone. I can feel my innocent oval eyes squaring up and perhaps it's time I pursued that much need optician appointment... (In which there would be more screen staring, how eye-ronic).
Ofcom states that the average UK adult spends 8 hours and 41 minutes on media devices per day. I bet that's more sleep than most got last night. Surely I'm not the only one who finds this concerning?
As I notice and question the retinal impact on myself and the screen sucked nation, I also notice a saddening shift from eye contact to screen contact. Gone are the childhoods of tree climbing and park frolicking. Now it's dates with no conversation, on the job insta-scrolling road-men, and even mothers on their phones pampering to the pleading cries of their young with an ipad pacifier. Technology is taking over.
I have tried cutting out tech 'cold-turkey' but let's face it, we don't want to live in a communication-less cave, nor can we ignore the obvious need for an internet connection in order to get by in our work and studies. So here is a SCREEN to beat the screen with mindful management of an the internet bug that is sweeping us away...
Britain may not be the best place to experience this offline phenomenon, but fresh air, the great outdoors and vitamin D are an excellent excuse to leave the phone alone and boost your natural fresh glow (not your screen brightness).
Did you know your friends exist in real life? Yeah, me either. By all means texting to meet people is efficient, but keeping a hold of the eye contact and holding back from a quick phone check when you meet is essential for meaningful connection. I've heard the game where you place the food bill on whoever reaches for their device first works a treat?
Sleep> social media.
Try turning your phone off at night (saves battery too!)
Did you know that if you don't instagram yourself at the gym, it still counts as exercise? It really does. Leave the tech in the locker, you might just filter out that press-up procrastination and get your feel-good workout done in half the time.
There is no escaping the endless benefits of technology for education and businesses alike. But you know what, sometimes a book or a newspaper can be just as page-flickingly informative and even easier to concentrate on.
A nod to the post-man, a smile to your neighbour, a quick chat to the barista. Call me old fashioned but these are little things that I think make us human. Little connections of eye contact and smiles benefit a holistic scope of health and well-being in a community. Your tweet on the other hand- yeah not so much.
So, from this I cannot guarantee the improvement of vision, nor can I promise the escape of 'phone fomo' that leads to the habitual whipping out of the media device in awkward social situations. But, what I aim to deliver and achieve from this post is a little thought exploration into the possibility of appreciating more of the little life-perks and pleasures found when we take a break from such time-consuming timelines, tweets and technological ties, and reshape those corneas with well-rounded shapes and media escapes.