Rush the Rabbit running with the sun in the background

Screen Scenes: What’s in Your Background?

What do you have as your desktop wallpaper?

I devote entirely too much time searching for and agonizing over electronic wallpaper. Be it my desktop wallpaper at work or home, or the home/lock screen images on my phone. I recognize that this may be an idiosyncrasy of mine that few of you will relate to, but I must believe that out there in the ether of the internet there must be some others of you who invest time and energy into choosing the image worthy of being looked at for hours a day, if only peripherally.

While I find myself more on the artistic side of the spectrum, I’ve never been particularly drawn to the study or expression of drawing, painting, or photography (unless Instagram counts, and I believe it does not). However, I find myself occasionally lingering on artistic images more than I would expect an inventory analysis might be inclined to do. I enjoy seeing ordinary things or places made more brilliant through the lens of someone who takes time and effort to see them and present them differently. Which is a flowery way to say I like to look at ordinary things in a beautiful images. That said, one of the most artistic friends I have (he actually co-owns and solely designs his own clothing line), assures me he has spent almost no time at all choosing his desktop background and hasn’t changed it in months if not years.

What I find particularly intriguing about visual art is its ability to bring about certain moods or feelings. Thus, it is often on days that I am particularly “feely” that I find myself searching for a new background image. Generally I am shooting for one of the following:

  1. To entertain or support a current interest. For instance, I have had a number of Doctor Who themed backgrounds at work, simply because I was caught up in the series and excited about the thing in general. I’ve recently had Harry Potter and Spider-man wallpapers as well.
  2. To capture a current mood. It is often the case, as autumn approaches, I will choose a scenic scape full of closed paths with warm colored trees and a perhaps a bench. On one particularly cold day this winter I chose a close-up image of burning logs for my work monitors in an attempt to capture some coziness and the better sides of winter.
  3. To inspire behavior or emotion. At times I will choose a wallpaper that will remind me to think about a certain thing or feel a certain way. For a time I had an image of Nelson Mandela on my laptop to remind myself of his courage and idealism. The lock screen on my phone right now is a multicolor list of various two-word phrases such as “Think Positively”, “Exercise Daily”, “Read More”, “Volunteer Freely”, and “Love Always”. Granted, reading a handful of platitudes is not life-changing, but now and then I find that I read one or two of them and spend a few seconds considering that “call to action&”. And I’m not certain that my lock screen is causing me to read more or love better, but I also see no harm in choosing to expose myself to a thought that I might not have had otherwise.

Do you spend any time at all on desktop wallpapers or telephone screens? What is/are the primary factor(s) in choosing your electronic backgrounds? Is there a particular site you find yourself frequenting for desktop wallpapers?

If after reading this you find yourself inspired to change your own wallpaper, you can download the Rush wallpaper here.

About the author

Dan Kidd
Business Intelligence Developer
I have been working in the textbook business for over a decade now, and currently work as a business intelligence developer. I am certified in Tableau (Fundamentals/Advanced from InterWorks). I live in Columbus, OH with my wife, Sarah and our rabbit named Puppy. I was educated in English Lit at East Tennessee State University and recently received my MDiv from Ashland Theological Seminary. I love a great story; which leads me to be an avid reader and devoted film junkie.