I’m starting a new series called Thoughtful Thursdays. Basically, I’m giving myself a reason/excuse to do some more extensive writing. I am constantly trying to run from writing — my truest gift — because it’s hard or it’s not well received or it’s not cool. But the truth is, I need writing. And I am fortunate enough to live in an era where I can share my writing with the world very easily. Whether the world reads it or not isn’t the point. As I mentioned in the ‘sad’ post the other day, there’s something very powerful about releasing my thoughts and words to the world. It’s nice to have an outlet in this blog but also to have the freedom to post whatever I really want. This is a lifestyle blog, after all. Just want these post So, without further adieu:
I have more bad news: my MacBook crashed on Tuesday. Basically, it froze while I had a bunch of windows open, so I forced shut down. Happened before. But this time, when I tried to turn it back on, I got to the grey start up screen with the apple in the middle and the spinning gear, but nothing happened. The gear just kept spinning. It was very frightening, and I immediately jumped online on my iPad and looked for some answers. I tried a few at home remedies to no avail, and decided to take it in to the Mac repair specialist in town. From my research, it sounds like my hard drive might be fried — my hard drive filled with writing and music and photos. There are two potential positives of the situation: 1. I had my apartment broken into in the summer of 2009, with my laptop and very expensive digital camera stolen right before Matt and I were supposed to depart on a road trip. I had no back up, and it was pretty devastating at the time (though I so giddy about our road trip and young love that it didn’t sting as badly as it could have). I lost everything — thousands of pictures, days and days of music and worst of all, almost all of my creative writing. Luckily my parents had homeowners insurance and my possessions were covered under their policy and I was able to get a new computer and camera. I also got an external hard drive so if something like that ever happened again, I wouldn’t lose everything. I backed up last in the spring, so I’ll have most of my stuff this time if, god forbid, I lose everything again. Since MacBooks had come down in price since I got my first one in the beginning of college, I was able to soupe up my replacement with a huge hard drive and lots of memory without spending any more money. I was also able to get an AppleCare plan. Which leads me to … 2. I have AppleCare, which covers anything defective on Apple’s part. Fingers crossed, this current issue is covered under that plan and I won’t have to pay for anything. With technology these days, there’s a decent chance that they’ll be able to recover my hard drive too, but no promises.
So now I’m typing on my iPad and waiting to hear from the technician. They said it could be a week before they know anything. And silly me, all I can think about is how much it sucks to not have my computer. It is seriously my prized possession. I spend and extraordinary amount of time on the internet — more than I’d care to enumerate but know that it’s a lot. I love taking pictures and altering them in photoshop. I really love my computer and I feel totally lost without it.
Its absence has me thinking about my pseudo addiction my computer and the internet. Part of me feels pretty ridiculous to have such strong feelings about a mechanical device. I love being outdoors and going on adventures and being physically active. Conventional wisdom says that those things are a direct antithesis of spending hours in front of a computer screen. I think that face to face human interaction is also important, and the computer doesn’t really supply that either.
I feel something of an unhealthy guilt for spending so much time on my computer. That guilt is potentially more harmful than the actual computing. Society has ideas about what is acceptable technology use and by those standards I am an abuser. (Apparently, though, watching TV all night is acceptable).
But I am constantly learning. I am constantly stimulating my brain. I am never bored.
Beyond my actual usage, I’ve also induced guilt for the incredible value I feel that I put on a material object. I’ve always been a person that values human emotion and experience over physical things. And yet … Am I becoming the type of person I despise? It seem like a computer I’d a media for expression that we as a society hasn’t totally accepted. Yes, everything is computer based these days, but for those not actively pushing the limits of their computer — and the Internet, oh how powerful is the world wide web — it’s difficult to accept the potential for positive achievement at technology represents. Too often, society cannot process something — especially something new and revolutionary — without putting it in terms of black and white, good and bad. Really though, it’s all about balance. I don’t need the newest, hottest technology, but believe me, I appreciate the things that I have. Isn’t it the appreciation that matters?
I think it’s a good thing to get some distance for my computer … As I sit here typing madly on my iPad (foot in mouth). It’s good to get a little perspective and remember the things that matter. Learning matters to me. Creation matters to me. Inspiration and stimulation matters to me. That perspective tells me those things are okay — they make me me, not the computer. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate technology for the portals it opens. I’ve also had time to think about materials in general — something that I am constantly thinking about. I value things, yes, and some of those things are important to who I am. But I don’t consider myself a materialistic person. Can that make sense? Seems I too have to remind myself that it’s all about balance. I can have things and like things without being defined by them. They don’t make me who I am; it’s how I choose to use them.
And in the meantime, I just got a call from the Mac technician. My hard drive is failing, but AppleCare will cover the repairs. And he might be able to restore the contents of the drive. Fingers crossed. But either way, I’m just happy to have it.