The “Boomtown Rats” were a singing group from the early eighties. Their most popular song was “I don’t like Mondays” which is a theme echoed by people whose work-week begins on this maligned day. Mondays have never been a problem for me until last week when my computer chose this day to die; a day known to me as disconnected Monday.
No sane person likes a breakdown in any equipment however computer problems are particularly frustrating in that I can’t see what is wrong and the repair cannot be made with a hammer. I like simple and computer repair is far from simple and requires a different skill-set than what I possess. It is a hopeless and powerless sensation to be at the mercy of computer geeks.
Life minus computer access was strange to me. I like the connection the internet provides in that I can look at what I wish to purchase without a salesman whispering sweet nothings into my ear. I do not like interactive sites in that the comfort of the internet is that it is a one-way experience; kind of like being on the good side of a one-way mirror. Without my computer I had no internet; without the internet I lost that connection.
You might have noticed that we also lost touch last week as I could not write my column without my computer. I think this was kind of a good thing as it made me appreciate how nice it is to write something that people care enough to read. I guess parting does truly make the heart grow fonder.
My shoulder quit hurting this week. I spend enough time manipulating my computer mouse that I get a little shoulder and neck pain. I also found myself to be calmer without the bright, pixilated glow from the computer screen firing messages to my brain. Perhaps computer down-time was exactly what I needed.
I thought without a computer that my world would grind to a halt. I had emails to answer, a column to write, a radio program to produce, several blogs upon which to post and some very important research. Amazingly, all that research lost its importance when I lacked a computer. I checked my email very infrequently and missed little; there were a few forwarded jokes and email offers but no personal messages.
I think the lesson I can learn from this is that the real world is much better than the virtual world. Also, that while a computer and internet connection is a wonderful tool, it is only a tool and not completely necessary.
Our computer is now back at its station and working. I am replacing some of the old programs with new ones and replenishing the links that were once there. Lisa and I both like to read the obituaries and some news so those were the first I added; I think I’ll leave it at that for now. I may add more programs sometime but I don’t want to depend on my computer as much just in case I start another week with a computer breakdown; I want to like my Mondays.