When I wake at silly times in the morning and get out of bed, I don’t even know why I put the TV on. I am not bothered about what is showing on the screen, it doesn’t light my way in the dark, I must turn the volume down so low it is impossible to hear. Yet, it’s always on because I can’t face the fact that I am staring at my gadgets.
Though it could be argued that my TV screen is nothing more than a larger one sucking my attention. An alternative to the smaller one in my hand, or the slightly less small one on my desk. It doesn’t feel as guilt ridden. If it's on, I’m not just staring at my phone, I am watching TV and happen to be using my phone at the same time. I am second screening but not really.
When, in truth, the screen is nothing more than background noise to make myself feel a little better. Simply lit up to offer a little self assurance that I am not lost to the doom scroll or never-ending dopamine hits of red dots on my devices. That’s what other people do, not me. I might select a documentary to play while I pay little attention. Just to really prop up my ruse. Fooling myself that I am learning or consuming something worthwhile instead of doing what I don’t want to admit to myself that I am 100% doing.
The mental gymnastics my subconscious does to try to appease my ego is comforting. At least I can sit here, at 3am, safe in the knowledge that I am watching TV and perhaps learning something instead of loosing sleep to my phone. I am better than everyone else after all and deserve this background noise just to drown out the screams from my logical brain.