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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Look at the pretty flowers

Scott Jagow Mar 27, 2009

This week I was thinking — man, I spend a lot of time in front of screens. Then today, I see this on my computer screen: A new study says Americans spend more than 8 hours a day in front of screens. TV’s, computer monitors, cellphones, Blackberries, Ipods, portable DVD’s… Here are my seven warning signs that you’re spending too much time in front of a screen:

  1. You’re having a romantic candlelight dinner, and you ask the other person if they wouldn’t mind changing their resolution, “just so I can see you better, dear.”
  2. Someone pops up out of nowhere on the street. You try to click them away.
  3. You’re jogging through the forest, and you swear the squirrels are Twittering about you.
  4. Your mother-in-law starts rambling, and you push an imaginary Tivo button to try and skip past it.
  5. You scroll down the menu and ask the waiter, “but what comes after the jump?”
  6. You use GPS to get from the bathroom to the kitchen.
  7. You open up your laptop and there’s only a black screen that reads: “I’m sorry, but I’ve gone blind from you staring at me.”

On that note, I say it’s time to go to the park and look at the pretty flowers.

But before I do that, a note about the Marketplace After the Bell podcast. Minimal screen time! Once you download it, all you have to do is listen. In about 15 minutes, I tell you the story of the week in business and the economy. You can get this week’s story right here.

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