The Screen

I dented my Macbook screen. My loved window to the world. My canvas. My beautiful, expensive retina screen with the perfect colours and great viewing angles. An investment I planned to cherish for years to come.

I like my laptop to have battle scars. But not the screen.
I went through a few breif stages of grief.

Then I thought – maybe this is good. Suddenly, it’s not a window to a magical universe: it’s an imperfect layer in front of it. Instead of being invisible, it’s suddenly there, real – and ephermeral. It makes me think about how much there is between me and what I’m trying to see. How abstract what I’m trying to do is. How I’m plugged in. So many machines, so many people that create the working digital universe. So so much cogs, turning and grinding, unseen, between me and my work.

Maybe it’s a good reminder: that the digital world is not the real world; that computers are just tools for jobs. Something normal people, whose hearts aren’t made of ones and zeroes, don’t need to be reminded of. People matter, so so much more than computers. Places matter, even though they’re boring to our digitally trained eyes.

Our largest problems have human fixes – solutions dormant within the human heart. We’ll do what we need to do with or without computers. Faster with them, perhaps, but at some cost. Where are we? Where am I? Am I lost in a digital world? What’s wrong with this one? Am I building anything worthwhile – that will increase the happiness of the world? Am I losing more to bits and bytes than I’m gaining? Is there a robotic heart in me growing over the organic one, strangling it perhaps?

It’s a magical thing – the computer. As much as I owe to it – the best things in my life have happened without them.

Really, there are screens all over my life. Thinking about myself as a designer, rather than a human – is another kind of screen. It also needs a crack or two.

Here’s to new perspective, and more time with feet on the earth.

Posted on September 12, 2014, modified September 17, 2014.