My 3 and a half year old son picked up my 12″ powerbook the other day and plopped it open on his lap. Curious, I asked him what he was doing.
Hacking away at the keys he answered, with a rather serious look on his face, “I’m checking my email.”
I was appropriately floored.
This got me thinking, in the 3 and half years of my son’s life how much time has he seen me doing just that, “checking my email” on my laptop. Or, even worse, on my Blackberry. Suddenly, inexorably, my screen time has blossomed to an absurd degree.
It all started out with a book. As soon as I got the iPod and iTunes Hacks project I decided I needed a laptop. The need was practical. With a 2 year old and a newborn I needed to squeeze writing in anywhere in the house. Throw in a wireless network I was suddenly free to do work wherever I wanted.
The problem is I have a propensity to over-check. I’m not the kind of person who can’t go out because I can’t check my email, but I appear to have become the kind of person who has trouble being close to a computer and not just checking. The problem is, of course, there are so many things to check!
I have multiple email accounts, IM, and of course it’s fun to check how book sales are doing on Amazon, or how site traffic is at Apple Matters.
I have to say I do enjoy keeping up to date. There is still nothing like getting a new email, even after all these years of using email (Except of course for the spam). But still, when does enjoyment become a tether?
Seeing my son imitating me has certainly got me thinking.
Do you feel like you spend too much time in front of a computer?