I don't think I realized how reliant I was on my laptop until it decided to quit working last Monday night. One minute I was blissfully watching Twin Peaks and the next it was giving me error alerts and restarting every five seconds. Not usually a good sign I'd say. It's funny how a piece of technology can become your whole life. On my days off I am on my computer for probably 70% of the day, whether it's watching Netflix, watching YouTube, filming videos, editing, listening to music, writing a blog post, or just checking up on Facebook.
When it happened my first thoughts were, "shit, what do I do now? How soon can I get a new laptop? How can I afford another Macbook? How can I live my life without a computer?" As silly as it sounds, I thought it would be impossible to live without my own computer. I felt a big ball of stress form in my chest and a sense of loss for this object that represented so much of me. I guess I've always become easily attached to objects in my life. In school I was always hated lending out my pens and pencils because they felt too important. If someone forgot (or didn't really forget) to return a pen I would feel sad and occasionally a little angry.
I know now that these feelings are a waste of time and that writing utensils are not actually an extension of my own hand. My laptop is not a physical representation of my personality or sense of self for the last four and a half years, but sometimes it still feels that way. Remember that episode of Boy Meets World when Shawn finds Angela's purse and falls in love with the woman he believes she is by the items he finds inside? Well I've always considered my computer like Angela's purse; holding my private thoughts, my favorite books, music that I love, pictures of my family and friends. The internet may be an open pathway to the rest of the world but I know plenty of people who guard they're computers like a woman would her purse.
Honestly, I feel like this has forced me to really reevaluate my relationship with my Macbook and how dependent I am upon this technology. There are plenty of chores and activities to be done without a computer. In fact most of what I was doing, with the exception of filming/editing my YouTube videos, can be done without one. Once I got past the original feelings of frustration and the "I have nothing to do" thoughts, my mind felt much more free. I could read a book without being sidetracked by an email or blog post. I could concentrate on watching TV or Netflix without browsing the internet at the same time.
Being without my computer has allowed me to be more deliberate with my actions. I have gotten more done around the house in the last week then I have in the last month. I can't just waste hours of my life on the internet. I've had to adjust my daily schedule, especially my morning and night time routine. Now when I head to bed at 11:30 I spend a few minutes reading before falling asleep instead of spending two hours on my laptop.
I'm currently using my parents' Windows desktop. It's been years since I sat in the spare bedroom typing away on this faulty keyboard but it feels nice here. The more days that pass, the more I'm loving the freedom of living a laptop free life. Yes I have my phone, and I get frustrated when I know something would be that much easier on my own computer. I'm still looking to get a new Macbook as soon as possible, but the necessity and urgency I felt has worn off. It's easy to live in denial until you're forced to be without the thing you're addicted to.
P.S. Don't worry this will still be me the minute I get a new computer.