I Can’t Remember What Happened During All That Screen Time

James Walpole/ April 6, 2020

It feels productive in the moment – sending messages, watching instructional videos, checking emails, setting up new apps and accounts,

The problem is, I can’t seem to remember it well.

These days I’ve been turning to my journal to write out the events of the day. I remember using the weedeater to mow around the trees. I remember taking the boat out at sunset. I remember photographing those birds down by the river.

I don’t remember well anything particular I did on the computer – or at least, I don’t have an interesting way of putting it to my journal. If I was telling the story of my day to a friend, I wouldn’t have much to say about all of that computer time, even if it felt or WAS productive in the moment. It just all blends together. In the end, it’s just me taking in or entering in information onto a screen.

There’s nothing wrong with that. But there is something wrong with not living each day memorably. The habit of journalling has shown me how unmemorable much computer time is. I’ll try to keep my day staffed with the memorable stuff, too.

P.S. If you enjoy my work, please consider helping out with the medical response to the coronavirus pandemic. You can help get masks and other protective gear to medical workers by giving to YC startup Flexport’s Frontline Responders Fund (recommended by Paul Graham, Tim Ferriss, and others).

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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