Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Laptop Fast

Last Saturday evening, I opened my laptop and the screen was blank. I restarted it and it was running v-e-r-y, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y . . . slow enough to make me want to throw it against the wall. My husband, being much more rational about such things, took the device in hand Sunday afternoon and began the long, drawn-out process of fixing it. Long story short -- I didn't actually have my laptop back in earnest until this morning. But Kudos to my husband! If I didn't live with someone with his kind of computer knowledge, I would be SO up a creek.

Anyway, the last three days without a laptop have been enlightening. I wasn't totally cut off from the cyberworld -- the girls have a little Netbook, and we have the big computer downstairs in the basement, all of which hook up to the internet. But all my documents and my bookmarks and my life were on my laptop.

I am a woman obsessed. I can't tell you how many times I found myself standing in my family room or kitchen in the last three days, completely lost and unnerved because I couldn't get on my laptop. Okay, "completely lost and unnerved" may be a bit of an exaggeration. But I was certainly at a loss for what to do with myself.

I didn't realize how often I habitually open that laptop and mindlessly click on my emails . . check Facebook . . . play a quick game of Spider Solitaire . . . it's like, after every short interval of real-life activity, I have to recuperate with several minutes of screen time. Ab-so-lute-ly pathetic.

This is a habit I have to break now. It's not like I'm a high-level executive who needs to be connected with a myriad of people at all times or risk financial ruin and professional demise. I'm a middle-aged stay-at-home mom. Yeesh.

So, I'm trying to figure out just how often I REALLY need to check my emails. I'm thinking, three times a day -- morning, lunch, and late afternoon. And how often I REALLY need to check in with Facebook. Well, that's harder, cuz I don't truly need to ever be there. But I'm going to try once in the morning and once in late afternoon.

As I said, I lost all my bookmarks -- blogs I used to frequent, online games I used to play. I decided not to replace them. Maybe if it isn't as easy to click myself there, I won't waste so much time online doing those things. If I find I'm truly missing one of them in my life, I can always find it again and bookmark it. (Already did that for Andree Seu's blog.) But if I can do without, I'll do without.

I feel cleansed. Like I've been through rehab. I'd recommend a three-day computer fast to all of you -- does wonders for getting you back in line with reality.

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