I was having a bad day. It started yesterday. All I wanted to do was write. I sat down at my computer, opened up Medium and found a story to read first. Then, when I tried to use my mouse to clap, I received a warning that my battery needed changing. And then with no further warning, my mouse disconnected. Bam! Just like that! Like someone shut off the lights.
Like I always do, I changed the batteries. No connection. So I changed them again and then again. Still no connection. My mouse must have died. I was cut off. Alright, in the spirit of full disclsure, I had my iPhone, so I still had Facebook and email and texts, but I couldn’t write! I always write, almost every day, and to not have my computer was like losing my voice. I couldn’t speak, and I had something I wanted to say.
So today I went to the Apple store and bought a new mouse that I was told would be compatible with my computer. Yeah, right. And they don’t just promise a simple fix that doesn’t actually work. No, it gets worse. When you call for a little tech support you get an AI interface who has a smug, self-satisfied voice that makes you want to hit him with a brick, and then when you do nothing more than swear at his digital ass, he hangs up! Trust me, I know.
Several hours later after talking to some flesh and blood tech support, I learned that my computer was incompatible with this mouse unless I upgraded my operating system. Easier said than done, but eventually it was done, and by that time I couldn’t even remember what I wanted to write about.
Do you become restless and irritable — even depressed — when you don’t have access to the internet? I apparently do. Does that mean I have a problem? The first step in dealing with a problem is admitting you have a problem, right? I think I have a problem. I might have a cyber-addiction. Is there a twelve-step program for that? If there is, I think one of those steps is accepting that there is a Higher Power guiding my path. I guess that would be Apple.
Seriously, so many of us have changed the way we connect with others, putting a screen and the Internet between me and my “friend,” possibly a person I’ve never met and never will. We sit at our desks and interact with others, share our thoughts, read theirs, tell jokes, worry about the state of the world, play games. I almost never go to the mall or to the market anymore. I can get it all online. I love staying home, comfortable and relaxed, and I love going online. But I didn’t know until I couldn’t how much I need it. Without it, I was at loose ends, at sixes and sevens, whatever the hell that means.
Yesterday I was deaf, dumb, and mute, suffering from sensory deprivation without my Internet interface. Then, today, I was inundated with cyber-demons in the form of incompatible hardware, outdated software, and technical support from hell. It was a really bad day and just went from bad to worse, until…
It was a really bad day until… I stopped trying to fix it. The system update was going to take hours, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to work anyway, but when I was sitting there fuming, watching the little blue line get imperceptibly longer as the new system was installed, something happened. My boyfriend suggested that we just walk away and go out for a glass of wine. We did, and got a big, fat, juicy cheeseburger, as well. When we returned home, the new operating system was installed, the new mouse worked, and I was able to write.
Life is good again.