Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Eternity without Technology

The company I work for has challenged us to take a week off from TV and computers with the hope we will rediscover something new in our life. Well, I’ve been trying to discover something new and what I discovered is not what I expected.

Over the weekend I was outside spending time getting reacquainted with nature and started to hear yelling and screaming off in the distance. This yelling and screaming grew and grew so I peaked over the fence to see what was going on. I live on a hill so over the fence is the downside of a hill, then a road, then a canal, and then a running trail. Beyond the running trail you can find a narrow field and then an apartment complex and yard that lines up with the college. I could see way in the distance a man and a woman near their apartment complex, face to face, screaming at each other with their arms actively flailing, a dog barking in attack mode, and a girl about the age of 10 cowered not far in the distance. The screaming and yelling grew and grew so I could now even start to understand some of the words they were yelling, even though this taking place what would be like a good city block away from where I live.

This woman could easily have gotten plummeled or even killed by this angry man who was trying to get his dog to attack her. Then there was this little girl in the background who I’m sure was filled with paralyzing fear.

I called the cops.

I guess it was good to be in this moment of technical withdrawal so I would be outside and become aware of a distant neighbor who may have a problem with rage. I now know to be on the look out for domestic violence because we all need to advocate protection and boundaries about what the type of behavior we see as acceptable. It is a part of trying to be in more control of the world we want to live in.

But I also learned even more during this time of technology withdrawal. I learned about how I can no longer write by long hand.

Writing by hand is not only tiresome, it is also expensive. After ripping up sheet after sheet of writing paper and wadding it up in a big steep pile of garbage, I started to feel I was becoming a failure at writing. When you write on a keyboard, you can edit and re-edit away a gazillion times and you don't even know it. But writing the old fashion way, editing often means yanking out the paper from the pad, crunching it up, and throwing the wad over your shoulder.

After going through several notepads, I decided I needed a new approach. I got out that stinky goopy white-out stuff you paint over words you want to hide and disappear. I soon learned there is not enough white out in the world for all the editing I had to do. This made me VERY discouraged.

I was able to sum up my entire technical abstinence learning activities in two sentences:
  1. I live in a violent world
  2. I hate editing
Then I saw the light!!

Lazybuddhist asked me how the challenge was going and I shared how I was very discouraged. I told her about becoming aware of the violence in my neighborhood and my inability to share my FEELINGS and experiences on my blog.

Lazybuddhist commented that the cyberworld was really missing me and I was needed!

"I am NEEEEEEDED?? " I asked.

Immediately my mind started to see a desolate world, all because of a stupid company challenge that was probably created by someone who doesn't even own a computer or was angry they were being forced to use one now at work!

I HAD to give up this quest of what felt like I was now living in the land of the Amish. The good of the world was at stake. So I decided to screw this stupid technology abstinence thing and I whipped out my laptop. After all, I was NEEDED!

"So, I'm baaaack, baby!"

And may I say, just in time!


Amander said...

Too bad about the neighbors.

I couldn't not use technology for a week. I wish I was strong enough - sadly, I am not.

AnotherQ said...

I agree.
It almost felt like not being able to breathe. It was almost as if the computer has become the way I have learned to not only gather information, but to process it.
It was interesting to go without, but I found I felt very constrained and limited, almost like I had an arm cut off. This surprised me.

Kathy G said...

And we're glad to have you back!

AnotherQ said...

Thanks, Kathy G! It is good to be back. :-)

ack said...

Glad to have you back, but I have a question. In the third paragraph you say "plummeted" but that's just not making sense to me. Did you mean pummeled perhaps instead?

My own experience with switching back recently to old forms has been some writing workshops through a one stop job center. I've been writing so much online that it's hard to go back. The only thing that's help has been that i've been taking notes at hockey games in case I wanted to write something about the game later. I have a couple of little notebooks I bring with me for that. But, what I can suggest is pencil & eraser. It's nowhere near as bad as white-out. :-)

AnotherQ said...

Thanks Ack for helping with the editing. It is something I hate and appreciate your advice. You are right on pummeled. Maybe you're right on using pencil and an eraser, too?! :-)