Looking back over my more questionable calls of 2017, one I keep coming back to was the sum total of my time in front of a screen. Watching Netflix for no reason, checking and re-checking the same apps, playing games with no point. Repeat.

I’m no stranger to addiction, and while Media is a pretty broad subject, I’ve at least been able to quit drinking before. The idea of living without a screen seems as preposterous as it does impossible; I’d imagine for most under the age of 45 that switch would come as quite a shock to the system. Yet these assumptions are admittedly unreasonable.1 These are all aspects of an addiction.

Information has always been something people seek out, yet until this generation its availability has been relatively controlled. The sheer volume of what the internet is, how many people it reaches, and the various fascinations that will cross paths as a result, is difficult to comprehend. Considering the current confluence of technology and information can be an overwhelming process.

Yet at the end of the day, for most people, these devices are trinkets; distractions of gossip and a more convenient form of re-stocking the pantry while snooping on your spouse. The way a night at the bar can be a distraction, or a more convenient form of spending the night, than the other offerings of society. It isn’t true to anyone but the person in the stool—or behind the screen.

While it’s finally being discussed as an issue, the potential problems of media over-saturation and addiction could be mainstays of social conversation for some time.2 Digital technology is now inescapable, seeming destined to be a mainstay of daily life. This shouldn’t be terrifying, yet with our current incarnation of the internet, it is.

There’s no direct answer as to why, but it’s a fascinating question.

  • It’s not even that I can’t remember a time without them, either; I didn’t own a cell phone until age 20. I didn’t have a smart phone until the fourth-generation iPhone (I was 28 or so). I even preferred life that way. So why is it so difficult to go back to it?
  • Silicon Valley millionaires becoming anti-Silicon Valley in some attempt at being cool and edgy can fuck right off, though.

Posted to Social at 13:31 on 2 January 2018

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