The Honor Blog
Today is: Apr 10, 2020
Post From: Mar 25, 2020
Screen Time in Lockdown
All right - it has been a very long time between posts. That happens to me a lot - things are busy, and this is one of the things which winds up moving backward. However, now that we have lots of enforced time at home, I am hoping to post a few things here.
Something which struck me today was a headline I noticed about "screen time". Giving credit where it is due, the headline of the article is "At This Crazy Moment, Screens Are Proving Our Salvation", and it was written by Karol Marcowicz for the New York Post (dated March 22, 2020).
I encourage you to read the article (linked here) - it is quite good. The premise is exactly what you would expect from the headline - thank goodness our technology allows us to function with as much normalcy as it does! And Ms. Marcowicz is right. As a Math teacher, I find that I am able to present materials to my students on-line, and with a few videos added, I think we are doing pretty well. Honestly, I think my students are getting everything they need to learn as much as they would have in my classroom. This will not be true of all school situations of course - there are subjects which do not work quite as well - I think discussion-based classes are more difficult to work into an on-line form, and 3D art will be a challenge. My wife is a kindergarten aide - teaching kindergarten on-line really is a challenge.
Despite its imperfections, though, the fact of the matter is that we are able to accomplish a lot of what we need as a result of the technology. Twenty years ago, this simply would not have been possible.
I don't want to take anything away from that positive view - we are very fortunate to be living in the time we are living. Technology has allowed us to continue a level of function which is quite high, which is good for everyone.
While I want to emphasize that positivity, though, I also want to express the hope that we view our technology as a work-around, rather than as a replacement. One of the negative consequences of technology is that many people wind up putting time into the technology that they might have spent with other people - the technology has a tendency to insulate us from one another. That is not healthy - humans are meant to be together, meant to connect with one another. I hope that when the corona virus has passed, that we will move the screens back into the background to connect with one another.
Much of the reason that screens are positive now is that we are in a time when we MUST isolate ourselves, so screens allow us to function within that isolation. But when the time comes that we do not have to isolate ourselves, it is going to be important that we do not.