You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

joanna weiss

During Screen-Free Week, a call to turn off digital devices

Back on my first newspaper reporting job, covering a small local government in the mid-1990s, I was given my first symbol of work responsibility: a beeper. Theoretically, it would go off in the event of some critical breaking news. In reality, it usually beeped around dinnertime, when a copy editor had a minor question about a story. Nonetheless, attaching it to my belt made me feel important. I needed to be reached.

Now, I am reachable via an array of much smarter electronic devices, and my perceived-importance-to-actual-importance ratio is about the same. At least 70 percent of my e-mail inbox is coupons, special offers, and LinkedIn invitations from people I’ve never met. But I still compulsively check my e-mail, whenever a screen is in reach, to see if someone wants to be in touch.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of