Our screens are laser pointers

For the first time in my life, tonight, I used a laser pointer to “play” with a cat. You see, a neighbor left a few days ago and I’m visiting her cat twice a day to feed and play with him. I’ve been trying for days to get him excited about a feather thing on a string stick. Today I saw the laser pointer on the table and decided to try it with the cat. He WENT NUTS. After a few minutes of watching him frantically try to get his paws on the little red light dot, I realized I had an analogy for our screen-addicted culture.

Whenever you ignore the book or toy next to you in favor of the virtual entertainment that your smart phone, laptop, iPad or TV represents, you are basically chasing a laser pointer.

I told the cat, “laser pointers are for suckers! You can’t even sink your teeth into it or touch it with your actual paws!” He had no reply.

If only I could admit that I am more enlightened than a laser-pointer-loving cat. But I can’t. I’m here now looking at my computer screen, my phone at my side. When I am done posting this I will check the phone and ignore the knitting, the books, the sketchbook. Tomorrow while I am waiting for the car at the shop, I will attempt to resist the urge to play with games on the phone, to focus on the knitting, the book, and the sketchbook. I will succeed for a few moments here and there.

If I were to spend more time in the “real” world, I would make more hats, scarfs, mittens, paintings and stories. Would that help the world more? Or are these just useless artifacts that I hope to generate in a vain attempt to “live on through my creative works after I die”?

I have no answer. What about you?