All screens-- all the time!
As you know, I've been advocating for the reduction of screen time for about a decade, especially for children... and there was an inkling of hope just before this whole Covid business. Mainstream conversations around the problems of screen-based digital technology were growing. For instance:
I wrote about the issues of technology in education in this comic. And this 2019 film from Iceland kept me inspired.
In fact, just before lockdown, I discovered this small chain of UK bars called Samuel Smith pubs. There are only a couple hundred or so throughout the UK and my neighbourhood in Middlesbrough has (had) two (in these beautiful old Victorian buildings). Anyways, according to their website:
George Orwell described his perfect pub in a 1945 essay entitled “The Moon under Water” – Samuel Smith pub's accord with his ideal in several ways:
These places were so cool! They had "Digital Detox Zone" posters and staff wore the imprint on their T-Shirts.
I found another Samuel Smith pub down the road in another town called Stockton (where the friction match was invented in 1826). Kim, our friend Will, and I were there last year (just before lockdown) drinking pints (organic draught lager!). Will turns on his phone to text his gal, and wouldn't you know it: a barmaid asks him to put the phone away. It isn't permitted! I loved and laughed at that moment.
I'm bored of YouTube and Netflix now, so I caved and got the free Amazon Prime for a month. What's worth watching? So far, these:
Julian Lawrence (Senior Lecturer Comics & Graphic Novels, Teesside University) is an award-winning cartoonist and educator specializing in comic books. Born in England and raised bilingual English-French in Québec, his work has been published and displayed internationally by Fantagraphics Books, Les Editions des Plaines, Conundrum Press, National Film Board of Canada, Penguin Books, Cartoon Network and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.