The seduction of the screen

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THOUGHT A

I’ve just realised it is dark outside. I’ve been typing a blog post for 20 mins. A timer has gone off on my phone to remind me to take a break. I stand up from my chair and my legs feel a bit funny. I blame the chair. It’s not very comfortable. I go to the kitchen and get some Ribena.

But earlier when I was sitting in front of my computer, I forgot I’d put a timer on. I didn’t notice that my legs felt funny. I didn’t notice that I’m thirsty. For the last 20 minutes I have given my entire attention to the screen; I outsourced my body to a convenient chair. This is why I have a timer.

My landlady next door is watching the TV with the dogs.

THOUGHT B

I forget my body at a screen.

I don’t need to sweat to move anything along.

I don’t want to be romantic about this. Books are the same. Once I’m in the zone.

THOUGHT C

Jean Baudrillard quotes Querzola in the chapter “The Ludic and the Cold Seduction” in his book ‘Seduction‘;

Electronic narcosis: it is the ultimate risk of digital stimulation… At the end of the self-management of our bodies and pleasures there would be a slow narcissistic narcosis. (Baudrillard 1979; 157)

I am reading (on my iPad, next to my computer) that this act of computing I am taking part in now is in fact a kind of game. I am at play. Re-ordering ‘my networks’ (Baudrillard 1979; 159) to discover a state of optimal functioning. I am narcissistically gripped by the playable world of my screen, because it gives me an endless cycle of gazing into the mirror of myself – which I have the constant opportunity to re-order.

The internet, then, is a pond into which I am gazing at myself and in turn rewarding me with my being-in-the-world as the constant editor of myself and the simulation of myself.

THOUGHT C

A computer screen is such a private thing. Two or more people come together gather around a screen they get confused, and their private behaviours are disrupted. What does a social computer look like?

THOUGHT D

The screen itself, like any object, is a device in the environment of our lives, a tool, a piece of furniture or a costume. But, when in use, we’re asked to not notice it. It’s form is a little bit dirty when it isn’t glowing with light.

Like a magician’s hands, the trickery is only noticeable when something slips. Or at the beginning and the end of the magic.

THOUGHT E

When will a screen become an old fashioned thing?

THOUGHT F

A screen is a small and safe source of light that indicates levels of security and regulates our wellbeing. It’s a private access to the confirmation of our territory as social beings in the world. Like meerkats, we are ready to pick up on the signals, propelled by a little dopamine rush. We are secure in our pack – the light says so.

THOUGHT G

The screen is the skin of the ungraspable elsewhere of data.

 

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