Anyway, I’ve since replaced my old Macbook with a brand new one (it’s so shiny and pretty and huggable. Oh, how I missed having one so close to me!) and am now I’m totally good to go!
However, the few weeks I spent without my laptop were not easy, to say the least. In fact, I have to admit that the first few days I spent suffering with computer withdrawal symptoms (from here on referred to as CWS) were completely and utterly torturous but with my inner strength and determination, along with a painful process of self analysis, I made it through to the other side and am now a more enlightened, stronger and better person for it (what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and all that).
As a result of successfully making it through that dark period of CWS, I felt it only right that I share my experiences in the hope of reaching out to others, specifically those that may or may not be aware of the fact that they are actually an addict of the most underrated kind…
I am of course referring to the fairly new phenomenon that is: the computer addict.
Whilst without my laptop, I experienced a weird range of emotions in differing stages, stages that I have since discovered are quite common amongst computer addicts when their computer or laptop also breaks down.
Below I have outlined these stages and believe it vital to have done so in order to educate others, all for the greater good of mankind.
Remember: knowledge is power, my friends…
FearThis stage came within a few short seconds of realising that I no longer had the use of my MacBook. It is a very scary stage which initially involves one having an immense feeling of fear that they will be unable to cope … or go on with life as a whole.At this stage one may not realise they are an addict as they are genuinely too busy fretting about how their life can continue without the use of a computer and internet access.Of course, this type of thinking is absurd. But this initial stage of anxiety that computer addicts have (obvious signs include increasing perspiration whilst hastily stabbing multiple keys on the keyboard in the vain hope of getting the computer to work again) is akin to all types of junkies and is no laughing matter at all, as funny as it may appear to others that are far less reliant on their computers.The sweaty palms. The heart palpitations. The sick feeling welling up in the pit of your stomach at the realisation that you forgot to back up your work…Seriously, it’s not funny.
WithdrawalAfter all attempts to revive my laptop had failed, I attempted to continue on via my phone but such a tiny screen made it virtually impossible to do any major work. I then tried to get my eldest to share their iPad with me but the battle that ensued just left me drained.Trying to convince a stroppy teenager that life exists beyond any of the Instagram, Facebook or YouTube videos they find so fascinating is actually a pointless endeavor.
It was around this time that I remembered that my eldest also possessed a PC that was not even a year old but, through lack of use, had recently been relinquished to the attic. Exhilarated at the thought that I would soon be back in front of a computer, I retrieved it only for that feeling of despair to return upon realising that, having not owned a Windows computer for over ten years had rendered me incapable of doing the most simplest of functions on it.It was at this point that I just curled up n a corner and started rocking, humming ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ as I remembered happier times with my darling MacBook.Her name was Maceesha.
This is the withdrawal stage.When that initial glimmer of hope has been dashed, and you suddenly feel abandoned in a wilderness of complete and utter loss and uselessness because you use your computer for everything.To illustrate my point, a few hours later I tried to ease my pain with some online retail therapy but remembered that I was unable to do so without my darling Maceesha.I then sat on the sofa and decided to go through some clothing and electrical goods catalogues that were on the coffee table in front of me, only to find how overwhelming it was to do so.Without Google (how did life exist, please?), the whole rigmarole of going to the back of the catalogue to the index page in order to find a specific item all proved too much for my brain (that I realised at this point must have shrunk to the size of a peanut if I was now so incapable of going through a flipping catalogue!) to handle.
Having to go to the index page at the back, to then have to find the relevant pages, only to then have to physically scan through the numerous different items on the numerous different pages, only to end up with a paper cut in the process… really?
After a few minutes, I gave up and threw the catalogues in the bin. It is at this moment that it dawned on me.
DawnThis is when it hits home. When there is no escaping the fact that one is a complete and utter computer addict.This is also the point where you will determine how you choose to go on. Do you accept that you have a problem or do you continue in denial, having convinced yourself that the only problem you have is having no computer…?If you choose the former, then congratulations as you are well and truly ready for the final stage:
EnlightenmentIt is at this stage that after self admittance, shame and disgust (that even if you don’t spend twenty three hours a day playing World of Warcraft – or whatever it is that is in vogue for computer geeks – the way you were going, you might has well have been) comes the determination to do something about it.I retrieved my copy of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Return of the Native’ that I have had for decades and read for the first time within a matter of days, at once remembering with pure nostalgia how much I loved books.With this new found hunger and desire to experience a life beyond the computer, I took to doing other things I had long since forgotten or stopped doing like going for walks in the beautiful morning on a wonderful clear day, painting, playing parlour games after dinner with the children…Okay, that last one never happened (I had attempted to do that, but my eldest just took one look up at me from their iPad, before rolling their eyes and telling me that I was being ridiculous and that there was no way in the world that I could get them to “do anything as gay as play parlour games, and besides, who uses the word ‘parlour’ these days…”), but you get my point.This time of enlightenment is when not only does one hunger to become re-acquainted with the things once loved but have long since neglected, but also a time to discover new things to enjoy.Of course whilst waiting for the computer to be fixed or replaced.
It is also an opportunity to think of simpler times and realise that the very gadgets that many feel they can do without, have only been existing a very short while.
All jokes aside, I guess what I’m getting at is that of course advancement shouldn’t cease. Mankind must improve in order to evolve. However, mankind should be wary of basing their advancement on technology and take the time to recall how beautiful they are (sans selfies and picture editing!) and the world around them is.
And always has been.
A picture of the sunset or the sky at night on one’s screen saver will always pale into significance in comparison to the real thing.
So, switch off the computer for a day or two and take the time to appreciate being human again.
Look up at the sky.
Read a REAL book (not a gadget but a book with paper pages that you can smell, touch and have to manually turn… and even if you do end up with a paper cut or two, embrace this like a man!)
Go for a long walk. In the park. With a map.
But remember to charge your mobile phone fully and take it with you… just in case you get lost and have no idea how to use said map!
Stay beautiful… x
(RIP Maceesha. At least until your electronic ‘autopsy’ to retrieve the two weeks worth of iTunes music you still have stored inside of you that I WILL be getting back. xxx)