Energy healing for our world
Sanación energética para nuestro mundo

Why does the small screen rule our lives?

Charlie Holles

Thursday, December 03, 2015


Maybe I am a Luddite (or a boring old fart). Just recently I visited Iguazu in northern Argentina, on the border with Brazil and Paraguay. One of the main attractions there are the stunning waterfalls – the Cataratas de Iguazu. They rival Niagara and Victoria Falls in beauty and power. It is also beautiful rain forest country and even the modest town of Iguazu merges into the surrounding countryside. My hotel was on the edge of town with gorgeous views of the countryside; with a laid back ambiance that could hardly fail to slow you down.

I was on a break from several months of hard work in Córdoba and I chose not to take my laptop and log on to the internet for any reason at all. I’m sure there were visitors to Iguazu who had good reason to keep in touch online........but I do wonder. The photo shows a young couple sitting by the hotel pool; a serene setting – one on the phone and the other on a tablet! No communication between them; no awareness of their surroundings; locked into this unreal, virtual world. Uploading photos to Facebook?

Sure I can hear the comments about how judgmental I am being. Maybe they were doing something really important. Sadly they were not the only ones. Almost everyone (and that includes many of my sort of age) whipped out a screen as soon as they got out on their balcony; sat by the pool or in the dining room. It was exactly the same when I moved on to the lovely old (Spanish) colonial town of Salta. A young German couple there spent hours online, several mornings. And they were not alone.

We all choose to live how we wish to. What I do is right for me – no more. Yet if we are not aware of our surroundings; truly present where we are; then we are hardly living. I remember reading an article by someone who was spectating at and hoping to get good photos of the Tour de France cycle race. He was positioned at a spot that would yield especially spectacular photos. Just about to take out his camera, he suddenly thought ‘Hey if am so busy trying to capture this, then I will miss the raw energy and excitement of seeing these supreme athletes at work.’ He put his camera away.

‘It wasn’t like this in my younger days.’ That is a sure sign of getting old and boring and in fact it is not strictly true. The small screen wasn’t around then but it is just another thing into which a certain human pathology feeds. For some years in the 1950’s my father took a daily commuter train to London. Most days he boarded a carriage with the same people, travelling through lovely (as yet) un-built up countryside. Most of his fellow travelers whipped out a newspaper (remember those?) the instant they got on board and buried themselves in it, so cutting off communication with their companions and totally missing the beauty passing by outside the windows.

Still the ubiquitous small screen seems to be taking us further away from one another and the beauty around us. The smart phone in particular is especially insidious, because people have them permanently switched on and they are too easy to use everywhere. How often do you see a bunch of folk at a table in a cafe and one or more is busy on the phone, ignoring their friends? Perhaps I am not keeping up with a changing world.

My phone is often switched off. It has a clever thing called voicemail!! But I seriously believe that the advantages of our modern communication technology are hyped up and are outweighed by the disadvantages. Many of those down-sides are of our choice. People become stressed because they are constantly on call with emails from work or never away from text messages from friends. They refuse to stand up to the pressure but peer group pressure is not easy to withstand.

For ten days I viewed no email and I long since removed myself from social media. I missed nothing and I returned refreshed and renewed.