A person looks at a cell phone in front of a 5G tower.

Screen Rage, Distraction, and the Benefits of Internet Fasting

Sometimes I write my column by hand before typing it. I’m sitting at an inclined desk, the kind that rests on a table. Lid opens on a hinge with space below for stationery, pens, envelopes and stamps; closed, it provides a smooth, angled writing surface.

Sorting thought into words behaves much like my fountain pens, starting off dry and gradually flowing from hand to page. When I settle down, the hand and the pen can surprise me with an utterance, a choice of words or an analogy that I didn’t see coming. There may or may not be music playing.

This piece, however, I’m writing on a laptop, my eyes staring at the light from the screen, my fingers pounding on a keyboard instead of drawing letters with a pen. The phrases stop at the start, like a browser running slowly on startup, and just as they start, a pulse of light from the mobile phone. I check; Yes of course. What if it was something important?

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