Tech Note:
On Peak Screen
28 June 2018

Time was, I didn’t know anyone else who owned a personal computer. Now I feel like the only person who doesn’t use a smartphone.

Of course I own a smartphone. I rely on it for phone calls. I do a little texting, mostly with the drugstore. I have found the calendar app to be unreliable. 

I don’t play games, anywhere, and I don’t use the Internet on the smartphone, except maybe to find out where something is.

There is no discipline at work here. What there is, is a strong preference — more than that, really — for conducting my digital life at my desk, with its nice big keyboard and three screens. I was too set in my ways, when the smartphone came along, to change. 

So when I read the following, I feel both lucky and superannuated. 

“What you get sucked into is not the one thing that caught your attention — your text message or tweet or whatever,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at the technology research firm Creative Strategies. Instead, you unlock your phone and instantly, almost unconsciously, descend into the irresistible splendors of the digital world — emerging 30 minutes later, stupefied and dazed. 

I also feel like an immigrant who just got off the boat. The impulse to re-board the boat and sail back to a more familiar clime is strong, but it only reminds me that any sailing in my future is going to be in the other direction. 

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