Blogging may be a great reason for having a computer, but it’s not the only one.
The computer provides family connectivity. I love glimpsing the lives of three generations after me. At first, I thought it was necessary to jump in with comments, but I soon learned that I needn’t waste my time.
“Hi…this is your great aunt…no wait! This is your grand, great… Maybe I’m your great, great aunt. Oh hell! I’m your fabulous aunt. Deal with it and acknowledge my damned comment!”
When I’m not decoding the younger set, I’m using the computer for each aspect of my personal life; from stock trading to games that have improved my eyesight to cooking.
When I think about life 20 years ago, we epitomized patience. We waited for everything.
Remember when we dared to dream about one computer talking to another or looking after chores that would save us time? Today, thoughts of being without my electronic assistant cause an apoplexy akin to caffeine or cigarette withdrawal.
I had an appointment off-island recently and smugly thought, ‘Aha! This will be good. Let’s see what I observe without any electronic distraction.’
I walked out the door, proud of my disentanglement. Just as I keyed the door’s lock, a rush of dread gripped my chest. I flung the door open, grabbed my laptop sans electrical cord, shoved it into my briefcase and raced to the ferry. My trip to the appointment gave me 3/4 of an hour to scheme when and where I would find WiFi and how long my battery would last.
I am not surprised a man has invented a software package that allows the user to set the amount of time to be locked out of one’s computer. He’s touting it as a tool for children, but in a radio interview, he confessed that his self-discipline is so bad that he also needs this capability. This man who could feasibly end up with a fortune may never have time to use his own software!
Over the past year, I’ve deliberately watched how much time I spend on my computer. It’s lots! I made a promise to take better care of myself.
Then, a lightning bolt struck. An astute young CBC interviewer, Strombo, talked to some folks from Reporters Without Borders. They presented findings that made me re-think my whingeing and whining about self-discipline.
Imagine living in a country where people are locked out by their government. Imagine my surprise at these data from The 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index*: (Click on the photo to enlarge)
I’m off to do something else that I love – spend time with real, live people. I’m going to wallow in their laughter and share the passing world while watching their faces. I’ll hug a few of them and revel in delicate scents of their soaps and lotions. I’ll feel their arms around me and know that I am still a part of a vibrant community of caring people.
While I’m doing that, I’m going to remember that I can come back home and choose whether or not to turn the computer on. My heart will be with those who have no choice.
Let’s plan a day when this map is all one color – one that allows all of us to discipline ourselves, as and when we wish.
*Map Source: Strombo:
” The rankings are based on a questionnaire that is sent to partners and correspondents of Reporters Without Borders in every country considered. The “Press Freedom Barometer” is determined by statistics that show the number of journalists and media assistants killed or imprisoned in the country in the last year, and the number of netizens – bloggers, internet activists and social media organizers – sent to jail.”