Thursday, February 9, 2012

On Being Without a Computer

Remember that computer virus I was complaining about last week?  Well, cleaning the computer has turned out to be a long and painful process.  Not because there are lots of steps (which there are), but because some of the scans can take hours, locking up my computer entirely.  And others have temporary side effects, like the twenty four hours where the mouse and the keyboard weren’t functional.  I had to attach a separate keyboard and mouse through USB drives.  I’ll let you envision me in my recliner, computer on my knees, keyboard on my lap, mouse precariously balanced on a notebook on the arm of the chair.

So I’ve basically had limited computer use for a whole week.  Tonight has been the worst - my computer is currently completely inoperational. I have to wait until tomorrow for the next step to fix it. (This post is brought to you by Work Computer, which I’m really not supposed to use for personal business. Oops).

This whole situation  is not conducive to focus.  I was supposed to be writing a post about focus, but it’ll have to wait until next week when I’m not in such an irritable mood.  Yes, appreciate the irony – I can’t focus on my focus post.

I use my computer for everything: watching TV (we don’t own an actual TV with screen), chatting with friends on the other side of the country, looking at hilarious captioned pictures of cats, listening to music, organizing photos. And, of course, writing.

Since we haven’t had a list yet in this post, here are the things I would save in a fire, in order of importance:
1)      My cat
2)      My computer
3)      Family heirlooms
4)      My IPod.
5)      My roommate

Just kidding, Louis! You would be at least third.

I suppose that a balanced, well-adjusted person would have something meditative to say about not being able to use their computer. Probably something about how our increasingly computer dependent society is, how we spend so much time chained to these impersonal machines, our eyes losing focus, our wrists cramping, pulled increasingly away from reality.

I’m not a well-adjusted person. I drink too much coffee in the morning, I watch too much TV when I’m depressed, and I’d rather scrub the shower with a toothbrush than attend a party with more than ten strangers. And I get flustered if I’m at home without computer use for more than twelve hours.

Worst of all, I’ve barely been able to write all week. As a person whose mood often depends on the success of my writing the night before, this has not been good for me. And I don’t care how much of a neurotic technology addict it makes me seem.

I just want my computer to work again.


  1. You should tell your roommate to hold on to the IPod...she'd survive for sure.

    I'm sorry to hear about your computer. I wish it a speedy recovery.

  2. I'm very computer dependent too. Luckily for me we have about four of them. So unless the power is out, I always have at least one working.

    Hope your computer gets better soon. :)

  3. I'm pretty attached to my computer, too - so much that my husband often threatens to take it away. And it's a Macbook, which no one else is allowed to touch. EVER.

    But sometimes I do need a break from the screen. Paper and pen can be therapeutic for me.... But given that all our coping strategies seem to be opposites, I'll guess it isn't so helpful for you? ;)

    Hope the computer gets well soon!!

  4. My computer's mouse seems to be having fits lately, but I'm afraid the fits are actually hard drive related. Every day I live in fear that I'm not going to lose my computer. I'm just as dependent as you. I imagine most writers are.

    Great post!

  5. I'd be lost without my laptop too. Lack of babysitters means I'm stuck in the house every evening so my computer is the main way I stay in touch with the outside world.
    At the moment my laptop will only last if plugged in to the mains. It's a nightmare. We have a love/hate relationship!

  6. I hope your computer gets better soon. It's amazing to think how integral it's become in all our lives in really a very short period of time. For a lot of my life I was just fine without a computer, and now I feel (literally) withdrawals if I can't hop on several times a day.


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