Okay, that title is a little dramatic, but I did draft this post using a paper and pencil because my computer bit the dust for a week. As a novelist, blogger, teaching, and lover of music the loss of my computer made me realize how much of my day I spend interacting with electronic content. But wait, don’t get the wrong impression. A good number of those hours that interaction is nothing more than listening to music while I do things like clean. I also average about 7 hours a day out of my house hanging out with people or working in my site.
Dependence on electronics is not a new topic of discussion. But, I am a Peace Corps volunteer and I have hours upon hours alone in my house no matter how hard I work. My computer is a trusty companion in my solitude and a connection to everything that isn’t Paraguay. Some people might think that calling a computer a companion is unhealthy. I invite them to join the Peace Corps and then decide.
Living without my computer for a week reminded me of my limits, humanity, and imperfections. It was a good reality check. As my sister said when I explained the situation, “Go back to the basics.” I felt connected to the people that lived generations ago. What did they do with themselves? I can tell you now from experience that it involved exercise, visiting people, the radio, and reading.
If I exercised as much as I did when I didn’t have my computer, I’d be ripped. If I visited people as much as I did when I didn’t have my computer, I’d be exhausted all the time. If I listened to the radio like I did when I didn’t have my computer, I’d only know fifty songs. If I read as much as I did when I didn’t have a computer, I’d be a genius.