If you were breezing past this headline really quickly, you may have thought it said screenname. But no, it says screenome. That’s a term social scientists came up with to explain the way you use your screens and how it affects your health.
In the same way that “you are what you eat,” you are also how you spend your time on your screens, whether you’re reading the news, checking out social media, playing games, working, etc. That’s what a screenome is, not the time you spend online but the quality of your time on screens. What does your screenome say about you?
Andrew figures the social scientists could probably tell us more about him than he could, as for him “it’s more of a subconscious process” that he really doesn’t pay much attention to. He knows he has habits but isn’t sure he can accurately describe them or the effect on him. He does know he’s a huge multitasker and probably “jumps between screens, apps, and tasks quite a bit.” He’s not sure if needing to be more productive is his screenome or “just bad time management.”
Sayak notes he would have volunteered for this research. That said, he doesn’t think his screen activity is easy to define, “as is often the case with nerds and multitaskers.” He knows his thoughts change mid-sentence very quickly and often, and he needs many articles to stimulate his mind. While writing an article, he’s on Make Tech Easier, Medium, Reddit, YouTube, Twitter, Slate, and a few other tech blogs. He’s also solving a Sudoku puzzle and using Skype chat and Slack, and that could give way to loud music, Torrent downloads, and maybe something on Vision. He’s amazed at how it all works.
Phil says for him it’s difficult to consume this information as they felt the need to “give it a catchy nickname.” He thinks it comes down to excessive screentime being bad for you, which to him is too obvious. He’s also sure there’s a big impact on health and that what we do with machines affects us both now and later on. Kids now genetically know more about computers than we do or did. That comes down to Epigenetics, and he feels the mental and physical ramifications are alarming.
Alex would be interested to see if health conditions correlate with screenomes, but for now he sees it as just an “interesting and viable idea without much evidence supporting it.” He wouldn’t be surprised to learn social media can lead to depression or that depressed users spend more time on social media than users who aren’t depressed. He knows when he himself is depressed, he’s privy to “mindlessly scrolling.”
I know one thing of what my screenome would determine, and it wouldn’t necessarily be correct. It would be determined that I work around the clock, which is in no way healthy. But it’s not the whole truth. I work throughout the day and night, yes, but I get small naps in throughout the day. Not that it’s enough sleep, though, and it’s certainly not quality sleep. But I am sure my screenome would show something along those lines.”
Would your screenome show you to be healthy? Are you a multitasker? What does your screenome say about you? Let us know in the comments below.