Remember when a screen was just a screen? A cluster of grey mesh squares that let the breeze in and kept the bugs out? Did your house have a screen door you’d let slam? Did fresh air sweep in through the screens of your windows while you slept? Bees brushed up against it in daytime and crickets sang through it at night and the wind flowed in and out, as did friends.
Remember that screen? That uncomplicated, no-need-to-monitor screen? Maybe I’m merely pining for summer, but I miss (sort of) when that defined screen.
We have many screens in our house, many different sizes and brands. I’m staring at one right now, watching my words pass from my fingertips to the screen, and it’s truly amazing… I can’t fathom even how that works. So I can’t say I am anti- screen. Because I have them and use them and appreciate them and can’t imagine life without them.
But they sure do require a lot of effort and self-control. Sure, they make life easier (I guess. Sort of. In a way…) but the other screen, the one with the tiny holes, doesn’t need as much monitoring. You don’t have to wonder how much is too much, (That’s enough fresh air for you Johnny. Close the screen!) or convince your whatever-year-old they don’t need that particular one yet. You don’t have to change the channel, employ net nanny, worry about auto correct turning your pick up the kids into pickle the kids. You don’t have to guard that screen door quite as diligently; when you’re done for the night, you shut the door and lock it. That’s that. You don’t have to worry so much about who might be lurking, trying to “connect” with your kids.
It seems that everyone, (over the age of twenty-one) including myself, has developed a love/hate relationship with screens. The love part: Convenience. Safety. Being able to get a hold of your spouse/kids. Preserving sanity on long trips. What would life be without email or allrecipies or Hotwire or Pandora or Amazon…. ? Hard to imagine.
(and now I feel older than my years)
Screens just seem to suck the life right out of you.
Now I’m staring at my other screen, the mesh one on my front window, wishing I could take off the storm and feel a life-giving breath of fresh air.