Seething at Technology

Yes, I know: I’ve been on this rant before.

Technology is becoming the bane of my existence. 

I acknowledge that I am more than a bit sleep deprived at the moment.  I further acknowledge that as a direct result of my mental health and my own choices, sleep deprivation is somewhat self-induced.  Finally, I acknowledge that technology is integrated into our modern lives so fully that we have become techno-addicts and I include myself among the junkies.

Here’s why I’m seething:

If you go back and read the last week or so of this blog you see a pattern.  I’ve been suffering a bit of writer’s block.  I’ve struggled to keep working, and finally I struck upon an idea that resonated with me.  I wrote a little – I liked it – I shared it with a fellow writer (who’s not a fellow, she’s a girl) – and I got good feedback.

The reason I mentioned the sleep deprivation is that one of the unfortunate side effects of stress for me is insomnia.  It’s not so much that I lie awake in bed, tossing and turning, it’s that I can’t go to bed at all.  That’s been going on for almost a week now, and  averaging about four hours of rest a night is beginning to catch up with me – but I digress.

Last night, okay early this morning, I felt the voice of this new character coming through.  I started working with the few pages I had begun earlier.  Then I found the flow – that writing experience where time becomes fluid and suspended around you and the writing seems like an extension of your breathing.  I worked until 3 a.m.  pausing long enough to read a draft of it to my oldest daughter.  She laughed in the right places, and she’s a good critique source – if she doesn’t like it, she has no trouble telling me what she doesn’t like.

I had a chapter and a half written, nearly 15 pages of work.  I haven’t been able to write 15 sentences for over a week now.  I felt strong, and excited, and tired.  I began reading through to see if I could carry the inspiration over until morning.

Now comes the part which brings on the rage: At about 3:15, my computer flashed a quick, almost subliminal message about a MicroSoft update.  It then shut down my work, logged out of my screen name, and rebooted.

When the screen came up again, all the work I had done was gone.  I tried opening the file 10 different ways – only the original few pages was there.  I tried restoring the computer to just before it logged off – nada. I called Geek Squad for help the next morning: Nope.  It’s just gone. 

I cried.

A lot.

I hate technology.

If the Mayans are right, and the world is going to come to an end on December 21, 2012, the loss of computers, cell phones, PDAs, and all the other electronic things upon which we have become so dependent may not be a terrible loss.

Today, I used a note pad and a pencil.

I’m beginning to feel better already.

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2 thoughts on “Seething at Technology

  1. Q says:

    By the end of your second paragraph, I was chuckling because of the medium you were using to express your rage and frustration, and I thought to myself, self, this gal needs a pencil and paper. That you persist at your keyboard shows you are not a sincere Luddite, you only embrace them when you cannot find a way to beat them. Perhaps it is part of a competitive nature you may have? Being a fellow victim (I am a boy) of technological hubris, I have found ways to beat the machine, and I would be glad to share the few gems I have learned to whip this thing into submission. I’ll be damned if any product of human hands can’t be torn apart by my hands. If you have friend who is fluent in PCs, we used to call them nerds, a plate of cookies will easily induce your friend to adjust your machine to behave better than your children. This will not free you from the tyranny of The Machine, but it will put hobbles and blinders on it. Nothing can prevent your cat from knocking over your tea onto the keyboard, and you have no control of Rocky Mountain Flash and Flicker rendering your screen black. A cat or power company, whatever their intent, can never ruin your pad of paper, and you can sharpen your pencil on the pavement, if you must. Like all gods, the computer gods have feet of clay, and we can mold them to our interest, despite their claims of omnipotence.

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