It’s easy, I tell them. I just surround myself with other screens. Tons of them — far too many, actually.
There’s my laptop. And then my other laptop. You see, one acts as my desktop computer, while the other one goes mobile. Then I have my phone. And my iPad. And my computer at school. And my other computer at school.
And my Kindle.
Too many screens means too much to read, too much content, and too many opportunities for distraction. I’m a walking example of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows.
My screens keep me connected, but they also make me anxious.
My students love my screens. They text me and get an immediate answer via text or Google Voice. They post on iseroma.com and get quick approval up to the site. They make changes to an essay on Google Docs and get my feedback promptly. They’re never far away from my support.
I like my screens, too. I get to read a lot and keep current. New content comes to my Google Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Kindle, email, and SMS.
But no matter how much I organize everything, there’s just too much.
That’s why, during my vacations, I try to reduce the number of my screens and focus on only a few. This Thanksgiving break, for example, I’m getting reacquainted with my Kindle. A Michael Pollan book is the main thing I’m reading, and each morning, I read the The New York Times that gets delivered to the device.
And that’s it — well, not really. I’ve been on my other screens, too, though not as much. I’m fairly sure, though, that my 300+ daily tweets and 200+ Google Reader items don’t always need my attention. After all, I might miss staying current, but at least I’ll be present.