Last week my husband was away for a couple of nights presenting me with a rare opportunity to have the room to myself. How did I use it? Binge watching half a season of Downton Abbey. It seemed like such a “treat” at the time. A chance to curl up in bed with a story I enjoy. Only. Several hours past my usual bedtime I was still saying to myself, “Just one more.”
The whole non-treat aspect began earlier than I would like to admit when I stole away like a thief in the night, ear buds tucked in my sleeve pre-meditatively, so that my son would not know what I was doing. This so flies in the face of what I stand for and what I expect from him. This one action alone tells me everything I need to know about the long arm of technology. It leaves me dazed, pondering; “What is it that is so powerful that I would go against my body’s needs?” “What is it that is so much bigger than my values and what I stand for?”
And that night, even though I was tired, I was too wired to fall asleep. It was another hour before I was able to turn off the theme song to Downton Abbey that kept looping insidiously through my mind over and over and over again. Once asleep, I was treated to a night of disturbing dreams and images. The next morning I was bleary-eyed and stiff. And even though the air was sweet and the day magnificent, I barely slogged my way through a run that I typically so look forward to. Later that day going to teach one of my favorite topics (ironically enough entitled Technology and Its Impact On Our Health And Well-Being), I was unable to focus on my notes for class. Nothing seemed to stick, and my usually creative zeal was MIA. I crawled through the day; my passion and vitality hijacked the night before by images on a screen.
What could almost be laughable is that we are talking about a PBS series. I mean, really. This seems pretty low on the power continuum of gaming, shopping, social networking and porn. But the compulsion was there nontheless. There is no denying that. And so I ask you, how in the name of all that is good in our lives are we and our children going to stand up to the really seductive and addictive stuff?
P.S. If there was ever any thought in my little rat brain of how great it would be to have Netflex, it is gone. I don’t think I would be able to live with myself and the dull and meaningless life that would ensue. I do not think I could bear theme songs and characters on a screen hijacking my very existence.