Monday, May 24, 2010


At the dance recital last night the emcee asked for all noise-makers to be silenced. "Because of the blue-screen epidemic I'm asking that everything be turned off and left off for the entire program. I don't want anyone to have the stage be blocked by a blue screen, even if it's just you looking to see who called."

I was so proud of her! Sticking up for her dancers and all the work they'd put into the night's program.

What effect does this have on our brains, I wonder, this constant need to communicate even the most inane things? What is this inability to remember, to have to make note or immediately relay this or that? Where is the uninterrupted contemplative time? Why has serenity been so easily forsaken in favor of tyranny, the tyranny of the blue screen?

Even the sanctity of church is challenged by the distraction of people texting, getting up for coffee and other beverages, rejoining the congregation only to get up for more, or to head to the bathroom. The inability to be still. In body and brain. The perceived need for constant outside stimulation. What is so important that a person has to be communicating with others during church? If it's that dire then stay home as you'll just be distracted anyway and a distraction to others, too.

That's the thing, though. It's seldom dire. It's just blather, nothing that can't be either utterly ignored or accomplished with an appropriately timed text, email, phone call, or - gasp! - face-to-face conversation. What is the hurry? The urgency? What is more important than mindfulness which is the the victim in all of this? We're losing the ability to ponder, to mull, to grapple, to listen, to be still. To rest.

It's the Blue Screen Epidemic.

If it hasn't already infected you, beware, it's coming. And it's highly contagious.

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