Life

Distraction

At first it was the television.

It sat front and center of every living room. Residents and visitors alike would stare at the glowing screen, chatting during commercial break.

Then came the video games. Names like Atari and Commodore. Devices attached to our precious televisions gave us something to do while we were glued to our televisions. We could direct glowy bits against glowy bits to earn points on a screen.

Now it’s the cellphone; a computer, video game machine, and television rolled up in a device so small it fits in your pocket.

I’d never really thought about any of the devices much; I’d grown up with a television so I wrote it off as the changing trends of time.

As I sat in my break room at work I watched my coworkers all glued to their devices.

I went out to eat with my friends, not to talk, but to watch them stare at their screens as they ignored me. I looked around to discover that I was the only adult aside from the servers not staring at a screen–until I saw a server sneak a peek at her phone between rounds.

“Do you have a charger?” a recent guest to my home asked as soon as she entered.

She sat at the power outlet, mumbling at me as she swiped at whatever she was doing.

At first I was annoyed by the trend. Why bother hanging out with someone if all you’re going to do is ignore them? What’s the point in having real-world friends if you spend your time staring at a screen during visits?

Now I’ve finally turned the question on its head:

What are we being distracted from?


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