Screen time

There can’t be many people in the developed and modern world for whom those two words don’t throw up debate at some point or another. Screen + Time = Tension in our house, with an argument every single night about [delete where appropriate}: having it, not having it, having too much of it, not having enough of it, definitely not being allowed it tomorrow. And it’s not just with the teenager.

My alarm is on my phone so first thing in the morning that takes me straight into all my social feeds. Like most of us my daily calendar is also on my phone, and while I’m checking that, Mr Fairy is confirming his first work call, also on his phone, while our boy is wandering into the front room to pick up his own freshly charged phone and find hilarious morning memes before his eyes are even open. And when they’re both at work and school, I’m writing on another screen, my computer. And so it goes. You too?

Sometimes, though, this virtual world of ours gives out positive experiences. Just now, while the boy had a go on his gaming console (Thursday treat) and Mr F caught up on emails, I had a quiet Facebook check, and spotted the live feed of a friend in Singapore. Karen was a schoolmum who I met on day one and liked straight away. We quickly became good friends and I have missed her, but there she was, doing a five-minute online meditation session, and so I dimmed the lights and joined in.


She said, ‘go to a special place’, so, feeling a bit teary to hear her again, I did. In fact I went to the stunning tropical parkland where we used to walk together once in a while, me and her. Within half a minute I was fully immersed in a virtual stroll around the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Rejuvenated to hear my friend’s beautiful and familiar hypnotic voice, I walked under the swaying palms and felt the sun on my back. It was so nice to hear her again. Karen was my first yoga teacher (no one else has tamed my inner yogi before), and each session would end with a sleepy little meditation, and I would always lie on my mat drifting off until her voice gently brought me back to the room. Good job too, otherwise I’d have ended up fast asleep on the floor of a locked function room after everyone else had gone home, so persuasive were her vocal powers.

Anyway, those five minutes of wonderful ‘Karen’ calm left me fully recharged, able to unhook the boy from the console and direct him towards bed, while I padded back to the desk and my computer, to post this up. I’m so glad I crept away to check on Facebook at that exact moment.

If only all our screen time could be a five-minute drift backwards in time to somewhere wonderful. Where do you go to escape? Answers on your favourite postcard, please.

PS she’s really very good at what she does, is Karen, and you can read about her here.