So many confessions, so little time.
Hi, I’m Ann Garvin, and I like my screen time. Hear me out.
I like my screens, but I also enjoy quiet time walking my dog outside. I like to stare into space and read real books. I love talking to my neighbors, going to listen to music, eating dinner with friends. In-real-life time is awesome.
But, I text, write on my computer, tweet and watch TV a lot and I like it. I’m sorry, but I do.
Stay with me, I’m going to veer off a little.
I don’t want to throw away everything. Marie Kondo, I’m talking to you. I know I’m supposed to hug one of the many throw pillows I have and decide if it gives me joy, and I tried. Lord knows I tried. I embraced that pillow and I thought, it doesn’t NOT give me joy. I put it back on my couch that also doesn’t NOT give me joy, and I turned on the TV.
It’s a hectic place inside my head. I bet your head is just as busy. At the end of the day, TV helps me stop thinking things like:
- Now that my kids are out of the house, what is the use of me?
- How can I reduce my carbon footprint and not go overboard and become that lady who brings her own mason jars into Trader Joe’s?
- Is it okay to tell the man at the gas station that my name is Ann and to stop calling me Beth, or should I let sleeping dogs lie? Am I being a doormat?
- Which leads to this thought: Should I read that Crucial Conversations book that has been sitting on my bedside waiting to have a conversation with me, for a year?
Why am I going on about this?
I want to stop feeling bad about my screens.
I want my iPhone to stop reporting my screen time to me like screen time is porn, not good for us as a society, but especially young people. But, it’s not porn. And, maybe it isn’t terrible in all ways.”
Here’s what it is to me.
I watched the Modern Love episodes on Amazon Prime. After each episode, I leashed-up my dog, called my daughter, who lives in Minneapolis four hours away, and we talked about why it made us cry. We talked about the obvious reasons and the less obvious, more profound ideas, and we laughed at our similarities even though our stages in life are so dramatically different.
Then she and I watched Succession together and dreamed about what we would do with a million dollars. Why is a story about brutal money grubbers compelling? We talked about how sometimes the people we liked occasionally redeemed themselves. We talked about the people in our lives who did that aswell.
My other daughter Meghan called and asked if she could work with the Tall Poppy Writers and create a better Instagram experience for our readers. She came to PoppyCon (our annual meeting), and after the meeting, we watched funny videos she made on her phone. We read a bunch of funny tweets that had us laughing so hard, that Poppies joined us to see what we were doing.
My daughters and I have a good time with our devices. I don’t think the laughter is breaking our brains even if we are laughing at screens.
I know there are evils in our techie ways. But sometimes there is love and connection there too
Do my screens give me joy when I hug them? No, but my kids do, and sometimes those hugs are in person, and sometimes they are e-hugs.
I’ll take them both.