TV screens are now officially inescapable.
On the subway - a massive screen broadcasting the news at waiting travellers. In the gym - news updates every 20 feet or so, and even in the locker room. At the pub, strategically placed so that no seat is safe from having a screen in direct sight. In our homes, parents, without thinking, buying three or four TVs for various rooms in the house. In our hands, of course - screens are now literally attached to us, which we check anywhere between 46 and 150 times per day, touching or tapping it 2,617 times.
And - prompting this particular rant - on a recent weekend getaway, at the hotel's breakfast buffet, there were at least four screens blasting the news as we waited patiently for our scrambled eggs, scrambling our brains in the meantime.
See the family of four there? The kids and parents craning their necks reflexively as the news showed them HD-quality wildfire death and destruction and the latest political news from a country that's not even ours. They're not talking to each other, not planning the day of touring ahead.
Why are there so many screens all over the place? We're not sure. But it's a sign that society has essentially stopped thinking, stopped speaking.
While content is our business, we're also big believers in being able to unplug from it. So that content itself still has meaning; so we can still have space to think for ourselves.
Society as a whole needs to pitch in, since most of us can't help ourselves.
Let's start with some basic rules: the gym is for exercising, the pub is for eating, drinking, and socializing, and the hotel restaurant is for speaking to your partner and your kids (and maybe some extra waffles).