L is for Laptops

As I am writing this, my laptop is giving me insane amounts of grief so I have decided to vent my feelings about the unreliability of technology and, more specifically, laptops.

It is ridiculous how dependent the human race is upon the technological industry. Almost everyone has phones, laptops, iPods, televisions—at least, one appliance of some kind. They are designed to make life easier. Sometimes, they do—but when a piece of technology decides not to work, it causes so much havoc that it makes me question the point of having that piece of equipment in the first place.

I am notoriously clumsy. So much so, that my best friend has banned me from holding her phone which is very wise. I drop everything; nothing is safe in my hands—especially the appliances that are primarily screen and nothing else. Having had my current phone for about a year and a half, I have dropped it a million and one times. Luckily, most times I have dropped it, I was close to the ground, standing on carpet, or my case actually worked and protected it from being destroyed. Twice, I have not been so lucky, requiring me to send my phone away from repair—this meant that I got a dodgy replacement which only made me miss my phone more.

My troubles with my laptop, today, are not so much due to my dropping it or damaging it in any way, it’s more that it is just getting old. I’ve had it for coming up to five years, so I should probably be expecting it to be coming to the end of its tether in the near future—these things don’t last forever. But that doesn’t mean that I have the ability to just replace it because it’s deciding that it’s going to quit its job.

I use my laptop every day. I am either writing or researching, or writing or emailing or writing. But to continue to do what I love, I need a laptop—there is no question. Lately, I have found that malfunctioning a laptop, whose plastic casing is cracked in places and won’t take charge when the chord is at most angles, is not condusive to optimal work. I spend more time worrying whether the thing is going to explode than actually engaging in work.

For all the grief I have with technology and the fact that I tend to break everything I touch, I really do love the convenience of it all. I love the fact that you can access a world of internet and information by tapping a small screen a couple of times. I love that “there’s an app for that”. But, if I’m honest, it’s probably best if I either don’t own any of these things or I own the most industrial and break-proof things on the market to reduce the chances of me being able to annihilate it. Unfortunately, technology seems to be getting smaller, making them more and more flimsy.

In a way, technology runs the western world. To retain a job, you need to have a phone or computer or both. The world gets smaller with the increasing amount of technological connections we create—Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email, Skype, (of course) WordPress and many more—and we need these devices to access all of these platforms.

Though I use most, if not all, of these platforms, I agree with the statement that all this social-networking we do on the Internet causes us to ignore the social-networking that we are supposed to do in person. So some days socialising is only in the form of pressing a few buttons on an illuminated screen, waiting for a reply that we aren’t sure will come.

Through the Eyes of a Screen

Tap, tap, tap, click, click, click; LOL’s, haha’s and LMFAO’s in abundance. We type with straight faces, yet profess to be laughing uncontrollably to messages appearing on a backlit screen.

So many times, I see a pair sitting in a cafe, meeting to catch up on their time apart. But instead, they bury their noses in an unloving and stoic screen waiting for absent friends to read and reply.

“I’ll be with you in a minute”, “I’m sorry I just have to do this …”, “I just have to take this”—no, you don’t.

Raise your chins, lift your eyes. There is company right before you if you choose to indulge.

I fall into the trap. I am half of that pair. There is a world behind that screen, and it is too distracting to pass up.

When I do actually lift my chin, I am surprised—not to find a person there, I know that they are. Conversing in person, for me, provides more comfort than words that lie empty from an electronic world. Though harder, it is more rewarding—you can say congratulations for uttering a word to that person on that day; HURRAH TO YOU, FRIEND, HURRAH.

Though, through ease, comfort and novelty we see the world through the eyes of a web browser, the real and natural world continues to exist outside a rectangular screen. Perhaps if we put down the appliance, save some battery and power and chose to conference with a being that costs nothing to interface with and has no battery, we may be happier, more rewarded and less stressed. A funneled outlook on the world around you may not be as enticing and wonderous as the manufacturer makes it out to be.

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