Computer Joys and Woes : I love my laptop. It is so convenient, easy to navigate, and a delight to use. I haul it here and there and everywhere, and with daily writing it has become an essential part of my life. I need it! I want it! I gotta have it! I like the Internet, too, and have become very dependent upon it. While it is not stuck in my mind 24/7 as I search, chat, and check, I do refer to it ten or twenty or maybe fifty times per day. I do not want to think that I am addicted to my laptop or to my Internet service, but I suppose, I must in all reality admit I am a wee bit attached. And the more attached that I have become, the greater are my expectations.
I expect fast, immediate, complete service within seconds. While there was a time that I could patiently wait a minute or two as the computer booted and the site I needed appeared, but those days are distant glimmers. Once I became used to instantaneous connections, I also began to expect them. Any time longer than 10 seconds lags on like an eternity and just about drives me crazy. I like one quick click and then I am on the scene. It’s wonderful.
But when those nasty times arise that I cannot jump online and right into search or service, angst tingles my toes as it racks my brain and tries my patience. I just can’t understand why my life must be put on pause at the whim of a computer, router, or other technological item. It just doesn’t seem right.
As you are reading along I bet you have already guessed that this writing moment is one in which I am unable to hook up with Internet service. I have tried every approach in my limited arsenal as the green dots assure me that I am connected. The airport WiFi has accepted me, my computer says carry on, but still, I am at a loss as I hit button after button and explore familiar and unknown areas to try to enter the Internet realm. A deadline is near, I have responsibilities, my mind is asunder, and regardless of my frowns or pleas or wild tapping, beach balls whirl, lines flash, and still I remain Internetless, foiled yet again. This may sound silly and inconsequential to you, but it is just about to drive me nuts.
My son-in-law assures me that the computer and the Internet are inanimate objects. They are metal and circuits and plastic and other materials and they contain no shred of humanity. They may wink and blink and bring me great satisfaction, but he insists that they are things, not people. They do not feel or care or want to interfere. They simply exist. This man is bright and I give him all credit for his intelligent conclusion, but I still question his thinking. If my computer is just hunks of stuff with no brain, how come it knows so much? Why does it help me and guide me and then sometimes lead me into tricks. Why does the Internet bring me joy and happiness and even success and then want to drag me down with non-connectivity? While I do not hear its heartbeat, I do hear its whir and sense its beat. It may be lifeless and inert but I believe it is truly alive.