Well my whole writing life has changed significantly since the last time I was typing here. Yes, I know that was just the day before yesterday – or should I say “ere-yester”. But more details in a while. I strongly require a cup of tea and my phone needs charging. Because my computer is my phone now. Because I’m stupid and I broke my computer. By spilling a bottle of water on it. Because I’m stupid.

Oh sorry. I guess I’m repeating myself now.

And I guess it didn’t take so very long to tell that tale now, did it?

I’m back with tea and self-sympathy…

Anyway, I decided to not replace my computer for a few different reasons. Here they are:

  • Financial. My preference for computers has been firmly set in the apple camp for more than ten years and I know I’d just be frustrated if I were to replace my computer with a different operating system. So, those are pretty expensive to replace – the cheapest model was sneaking up on 1200 euro-dollars. This in a month when we bought a new car and committed to architectural costs in the over 10k range. We’d literally just had a conversation that morning about tightening our belts and not squandering money, and here I was. Squandering in the most accidental stupid squandery of ways.
  • I felt like I’d lost a limb. Even in the few hours of yesterday evening when I was without a computer, kicking myself about the cost, but realizing I could replace it all with the judicious application of time and money, even then I felt sick. I felt adrift and mildly panicked for the whole evening, feeling like part of me was missing. After a couple of hours of feeling like this I got kinda cross. Not even cross with myself but sort of cross with the situation. Why did I feel like this? Why was it so uncomfortable? Was I just going to ride the discomfort out for an evening and then forget all about that feeling the next day when I bought a new machine?
    I decided “no”. To be honest my initial reaction was one of feeling that I needed to go out and replace the laptop that very afternoon. I was all set to pick the boys up from the Childminder and head straight into the nearest Apple reseller and fill that panicked gap straight away.
    Huge red flags.
  • I can actually (probably?) do my work with the technology we have in the house.
    I have an iPhone, an Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPad and a dead MacBook Air. In fact I have a not-quite-dead MacBook Pro from 8 years ago that I passed on to G. When I was pregnant and found it too heavy and awkward to use. I have more computing power than needed to send three specimens of American masculinity to the moon and back several times over. It’s just that the format was not the most appealing to me.
    But this brings me back to the panic of the unfamiliar – and it’s not even that unfamiliar! What do I even use my computer for?
    Reading, watching shows, writing, photo-editing, email and creating school-related documents.
    The biggest things here are the ability to type quickly. Bluetooth keyboard and away we go. I’m actually hugely surprised how easy it is to use my phone as the screen resting on a Bluetooth keyboard for updating the blog this afternoon. I’m a little unsure how well it’s going to work for creating work documents, but that brings me round to the last reason I have for not replacing …
  • I want to try using the Chromebooks from school and make sure I know what functionality they can handle “out of the box” and what I’ll need to learn techniques (which I can then teach to next year’s CS class) in order to accomplish.

So there we go. I’m feeling a good deal less panicked. I’m also wondering if this change might help to break my Internet addiction slightly. Using my phone feels a good deal less immersive than being on my laptop. Phones aren’t true multi-tasking computers and whatever you’re working on is kind of front and center, whereas on the laptop I would be “simultaneously” reading on the kindle app, checking Facebook, popping onto Twitter, reading an article, obsessively checking for updates on my favourite blogs, getting distracted by email and maybe reading email as well. I noticed last night that I was feeling less pulled into the comforting oblivion of the internet.

Maybe. Maybe this will be my excuse to break the habits I’ve been moaning about for so long. Or maybe I’ll adapt and be worse than ever before as my “sanctuary” becomes mobile.

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