whether it’s the spinning circle or blue screen or oh-too-familiar white screen of death, we’ve all been there. we’ve been working on a project, post, photo, or just trying to listen to napster (anyone? bueller? i’m not that old), and our craptop gives out. it might give warning by making noises or moving slower or starting to smoke, but sometimes it doesn’t even have the courtesy to leave a note before turning off, checking out, or saying buh-bye.
in a moment of panic we try restarting. we hold down the power button. we press shift with seventeen other keys hoping to kick in some magical “please work” mode. we leave the room so it can have some time alone. we curse. then, we use our robot phones to google every solution on the planet without having to run off to the mac genius bar or call that one guy to come over and try to figure things out. then we pray. we fantasize about the scene in office space with the copy machine, a beautiful meadow, and a baseball bat while quietly humming “damn it feels good to be a gangster.” then we pray again. in weakness during finals week before turning in my senior portfolio, or late at night headed towards the deadline of a freelance project, i’ll admit i’ve even cried.
last night i took photos of my brother’s band and was hoping to upload/edit so they can use them for PR asap. i need to work on my summit for someone sponsor letter, merch set-up, and outreach. i have two practically full memory cards from my dslr that need to be uploaded, including photos from the most beautiful fall day in aspen, colorado. look, i have shit to do. but today, i had the pleasure of seeing the white screen of death. twice.
so instead of spending my morning on the couch with posture that you’d think i learned from the hunchback of notre dame while slowly feeding to my inevitable carpal tunnel syndrome, i cleaned my apartment (my entire apartment). instead of eating breakfast with john stewart, i leafed through a real life feel-the-pages magazine. instead of streaming the lumineers pandora station for the umpteenth time, i listened to abbey road. on. vinyl.
i’m no stranger to the despair that comes with a crashing computer. it’s caused me more heartbreak than a boy ever has. it always feels personal, this inanimate object that we use to communicate with the world, every day, 43 times a day, suddenly giving out, dying. but for me, at least today, i realized how much i needed the break. i was able to accomplish so many everyday activities that some how get passed up because i’m too busy checking facebook or watching babies laugh on youtube or re-reading articles on thought catalog. it’s a sickness, really.
so i’m taking it as a sign and i’m taking a hiatus. it may not be a long one (actually it won’t be, i have shit to do), but in the heart of a season that’s about relationships, love, new beginnings, and giving thanks, i’m going to take it all too seriously and leave the laptop behind. no facebook, twitter, instagram, or blogosphere until 2013. (disclaimer: i have to be in the office this week, so email is a must. i’ll also be texting and skyping with my australian sister on christmas. what? nobody’s perfect.)
for someone who actively prefers hand-written letters over email, books over tablets, and vinyl over mp3s, i don’t think it will be hard. i genuinely dream of living in a small town without wifi. there, i said it. i’d live in a treehouse if i could. i could camp, wash my clothes in a river, and walk to all of my destinations without much complaint if it was socially acceptable (if you know of a non-cult commune looking for a seamstress/gardener/broncos fan, let me know. also, we’ll have to convince my mom.) but, like anyone of my generation, it’s easy to get sucked in. it’s easy to listen to pandora over a record because it’s exactly that, easy.
as it turns out, i did leave my laptop in the other room so it could have some alone time. it rebooted on it’s own after the apartment was clean.
so, here’s to making life a little harder than usual. here’s to clarity, refreshment, calm, simplicity, slowness. here’s to a good, old fashioned reboot.