Comple(x)city. A screened life

The omniscient screen

Screen city.

These days, whenever I am on the road I see that if people are not driving, they are just hitched to some sort of screen. Mostly it's their smartphones. Sometimes, the tabs, sometimes the laptops...

But that is not surprising. We live in the multi-screen era. We would at least use three screens daily with our smartphones and laptops vying for the pride of place, followed by our television screens. But that aside, there are multiple other types of screens that we come across almost daily or at least, pretty frequently. Here is a quick list.
  • The car dashboard.
  • The LED screens at certain important points of the city.
  • The tabs. 
  • The display screens at the railway platforms.
  • The rear-view mirror in almost all the vehicles. 
  • The screens at shopping malls.
  • The movie screens.
  • The 3D movie screens. 
  • The display boards at public places. 
  • The display boards at airport.
I can just go on and on, but the point is, there is an avalanche of screens around us these days and it is drowning us. This is how.

Screens are not just for the visuals.
 Screens are meant to be modes of visual consumption. They might show a range of different  things. News, sports,  advertisements, and above all, the Internet. While some screens are meant for specialized viewing, there are a few that allow you to view everything on one single screen.  

The relatively benign screen
However, the eyes aside, screens are locking us down in other ways as well. Other parts of the body including hand, neck, finger, and waist are in bondage to the screens to through means like texting, messaging, reading, browsing, channel swiping...and so on. 

And I am not talking just about the smartphone zombies whose leg movements are somehow dependent on/dictated by what happens on their mobile screens... 

Finally, there are spaces that you can only enter into if certain screens allow you to. And if you are allowed, inside, you would be entering inside a virtual screen-space as you would be constantly watched over by screened inside those premise. Do airports ring a bell? 


Like a super efficient, barely noticeable, but all pervasive army, screens are controlling your urban lives. They control what you are going to see, how you are going to see, and then eventually, they see you. And willingly or unwillingly, you are getting surrounded by a screened reality. A reality of layers upon layers of visuals and images. A reality that is constantly alienating you from what is actually happening around you. And you don't complain. In fact, you want more of the scree-time. 

And that is the beauty of it. Its subtle addiction. 

And that is why, them, the screens, are probably the best guardians of the comple(x)city.

The screen that controls your life