Starting to examine how much of my day is spent in front of a screen and that stat becomes a slap in my face. TV, computers, tablets, and phones all count. It is staggering. As I vented yesterday in my posting, being tuned-in is a constant problem in my life. But what ends up being amusing, or maybe ironic, is that despite being tuned-in, I feel disconnected. This being said, when I do finally get moments to decompress, if I don’t grab a device or turn on the TV, I become almost zombie-like. Comatosed.
Oddly enough, I write almost exclusively using some form of a computerized device. This post, however, I chose to write out with a pad and pen. Ancient writing implements.
Immediately, there are a few things that happen. First, my brain has to slow down. It’s forced to. Writing by hand is far slower than using a computer. This creates a weird struggle in my mind where I need to slow down to keep from getting too far ahead, but where my mind also wants to race forward, excited for the next distraction. Frequent pauses just to bring my mind back are a must.
Second, my hand hurts. No wonder, right? This is a set of muscles I haven’t used since my school days when frantically trying to keep up with my note taking. If I do this more often, the endurance of these muscles will grow and it’ll hurt less (or I’ll at least perceive it as hurting less).
Lastly, I am less distracted. Not that I am not distracted; it’s that it is far less pervasive. The distractions are muted, pressed more into the background versus staring me in the face with open tabs or readily available apps. It’s not as easy to move from writing this way. Were I writing using a computer, I would be able to just click over, even by accident, and watch my attention become lost.
This isn’t going to become a quick-fix, easy solve to any of my issues. It may help. It may help fight against other anxiety inducing factors in living a life of viewing screens. Who really knows? Smacking against that drive towards productivity certainly makes the prospect of doing any writing this way quite daunting. It just takes more time. Add in converting my writing to digital (as I did here) and the time compounds. But should I be after higher productivity when I am feeling how I previously described?
I don’t think I should be.
A little side note: there was some minor edits to what I initially wrote out. Otherwise, this post is largely exactly how I hand wrote it earlier today. The embedded photo shows the original.