A public holiday on a Monday and 6 days without access to a computer have played havoc with my life! Still counting the losses on email addresses, passwords and usernames, but my motto is better late than never. Does your life also feel like it is falling apart when you are without a computer or a cell phone? Mine did.
So let’s go back to the weekend before. I attended a reunion to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of our MBA year. Attendance was 29 out of 63 – not bad, considering 3 have already died. Yes, I am reaching that age! It was great to see who has aged gracefully, and hear what people are doing now!
I was given the role of playing the video clips from absent friends and reading out the messages. My very tired 6-year-old laptop decided it was all too much and the screen broke! I had survived a hard drive crash around Christmas time, so was certainly not feeling ready for a repeat performance. This time I was able to transfer the data onto the new machine, but somehow it takes an inordinate amount of time to re-order everything. And then the keyboard on the new notebook is so different from my old one that I am struggling to adjust. The worst time-waster, however, was the 2,700 emails that came from my server when I connected, most of which I had deleted previously, but had to sift through again to find the ones I need to keep.
This got me thinking that it is quite scary how these little machines have come to dominate our lives. Yes, I know I still had connections to the internet via my smartphone, but I do NOT enjoy working on that tiny screen. I have not connected all my email addresses to the phone – no need to connect all 3 email addresses there, so for two, I had to connect via webmail, punching in passwords and usernames each time! I came to realise that my laptop is the way in which I connect with the world out there, it is the centre of my work life because I work online. Recently I installed fibre at home and cut back on my DSTV package, so my laptop now also provides me with TV and enables the reading of Kindle books! It seems to penetrate all spheres of my life.
The reluctance and difficulty in adjusting to the new keyboard, as well as the flat refusal to let my smartphone substitute is probably in large part due to the inflexibility that comes with ageing. Some people advised that I should relax into the state of being out of communication, but it was difficult because I was anxious about what I was missing in the way of work. I also landed a research project during the week which I couldn’t start till Sunday when I was finally up and running on the internet. I was also anxious to follow up on a work proposal I had discussed with one of my classmates over the weekend.
I knew I was stressed without the laptop, but it is only now that I am back online that I have come to realise quite HOW stressed I was. Do you also feel that sometimes your life is controlled or dominated by a little black box that calls itself a computer or a smartphone?