NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 7, 2014

Boomer Talk: Seeing through a screen

Have you ever counted just how many hours you spend in front of one screen or another, both at home and at work? If so, you may be one of the many who finds yourself addicted to viewing life through a screen. I looked at this for myself and found the result disturbing.

The majority of my waking hours are spent in this way, looking at the computer for information and checking emails; the phone for up-to-the-minute weather or texts; and, of course, the TV for entertainment and occasional education. I also notice most of this screen viewing is done while sitting, slouched in a chair or on the bed.

At the risk of sounding counterculture, I question if all this advancement in technology is in fact leading us down the road to a very unhealthy lifestyle. It is one that encourages us to be not only sedentary and consuming fast food, but also makes us dependent on our screen for the instantaneous communications we think we must have.

There is, of course, always a choice to take better care of ourselves ... like getting up from the chair at least every hour, leaving the screen, walking around, stretching some, getting some fresh air and then going back to sit for another hour. But, too often, I hear the mantra: “No time; too busy; gotta keep on keeping on.”

It is a bit sad to recall how, in the not-so-recent past, much more time was spent with friends and family, talking to one another, visiting face to face, in person. But now, most of us no longer value this so highly and instead use voice messaging and email and text, all of which, unquestionably, are quicker, but at the cost of losing the depth that comes from taking the time to develop and sustain relationships.

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