As I sit down at my computer to write, I’m filled with trepidation. And it’s not writer’s block. Today’s bugaboo is technophobia.
A few weeks ago, after ten years and two failed hard drives (restored at $300 each), I finally gave my computer the heave ho. It wasn’t even broken; we ditched it because the software company stopped supporting the operating system, and my machine wouldn’t accommodate the upgrade. I coasted along for a few months, relying on anti-virus programs to keep me safe, but the warnings were becoming increasingly dire. My computer was vulnerable to viruses and attack, and visions of data breaches, identity theft and financial ruin started keeping me up at night. It was time.
One reason I delayed buying a new computer was my family’s desire to switch platforms. My husband and kids wanted to move to a different operating system that integrated more seamlessly with our music libraries and offered more creative photo, video and music software. I’d been watching the commercials for years between the two factions in the PC wars, blissfully at a remove because I felt like I had no dog in the fight. I wasn’t a photographer or an accountant, and I was getting by just fine.
Indeed, contemplating this switch forced me to examine my relationship with technology as a whole, and personal computers in particular. I operate under what I like to call “efficient utilitarianism,” which is a nice way of saying that while I use computers all the time, I’m too impatient and/or lazy to learn how said computers actually work. Instead, I just want the shortcuts I need to get in, do what I need to do, and get out. I know…it’s lame. (more…)