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A Tortoise File

Year of the Screen

From Zoom calls to gaming sessions, from Netflix binges to smartphone-led protests, this is how 2020 panned out

First published
Monday 7 December 2020

Last updated
Monday 15 February 2021

Why this story?

Some publications identify their Person of the Year. But here at Tortoise, when it came to marking 2020, we couldn’t look much further than the ends of our own noses – or, more specifically, than the screens we’ve spent so much time with this year. As soon as the lockdown was announced, our relationships with those screens changed. They suddenly became, more than ever before, our way of communicating with loved ones and colleagues, of enlivening our free time, and of following the news, or even protesting against it.

Which is why we’re calling 2020 the Year of the Screen. And why we’re embarking on a File to explore what so much screen time has done to us and to the world. Zoom, it turns out, can be a force for extreme good. Games can bring us together. And there’s so much to watch on Netflix that, sadly, cinemas may struggle to recover. Do not adjust your set. Peter Hoskin, editor