Life in the (new) Age of the Screen

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The other day, my daughter sent me a photo of herself about to attend an in-person class at her university. I was stunned.

Screen shot!

It made me realize a couple of things. First, it brought home to roost how extremely different (and difficult) life as a student is these days. Secondly, it made me understand that we have really moved into a new age where the screen is really in your face. As if it weren’t bad enough to have to get out of the way of people are walking head down on the screen of their mobile or how often we are stuck in front of the screen, zooming at home or in some makeshift office space. Now, students are being forced to don an additional screen for in-person classes.

And then we also have some extraordinarily long (socially distanced) queues at testing centers for individuals to be screened for the presence of Covid-19 or its antibodies. Yet another screen.

Bottom line: We have veritably entered into a new age of screens. How much of an impact will all these screens have on our future (not to forget on our kids’ education)? What will be the impact on mental health? How will our relationships change?

A part of me believes (and hopes) that the pendulum will have to swing back in favour of a lot more human contact. I hope we’ll be able to take some of the positive habits (e.g. washing hands) and regain some greater form of civility despite all the devices, layers and screens between us.

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