It was just an ordinary Wednesday afternoon. Birds were chirping, cats were meowing, worms were doing whatever worms do and I was perusing the Guardian’s English2English blog when my laptop’s battery icon started flashing at me screaming “Attention, attention, only 10%, wait no, only 5%! Do something about this, you ninny!” but no matter how much jiggling of the wires I did, the laptop still wouldn’t suck up any battery and off it popped to that great electronic graveyard in the sky.
My laptop had been giving me signs that it was on its last legs for a while. The most obvious sign was the fact that it wouldn’t hold any battery. Even unplugging it for a quick, 2 minute dash to the printer was a way too ambitious task. It was a laptop with an inferiority complex – it so badly wanted to be a desktop PC that it needed to be plugged in at all times. But I’m a dangerous mix of a sentimental old fool who doesn’t like change and someone who finds it unbelievably hard to spend big amounts of money, so I stuck with my laptop even though I knew we were nearing the end. I just kept thinking that it would maybe perk up a bit, because technology that’s so old it was purchased when Bush was still the President often improves with age like a fine wine.
Now I’m someone who can form an attachment to anything that’s in my possession for longer than a week but I think that everyone gets pretty attached to laptops and other electronic devices – there’s just so much of us and our lives on them. My laptop was full of information: stories, ideas, bookmarks for useful websites, university essays and lots of selfies (which, in my defence were taken after a particularly short haircut so that I could monitor how quickly my hair was growing. We’ve all been there, right?) There’s that huge feeling of panic when you realise your computer is about to die and there’s nothing you can do but hope that there’s nothing left on it that you’re going to lose forever. Because, yes, all of these things are ones that can be backed up, but even if you do back them up, it’s still not the same, you can never look at them again on your laptop.
Because although this new shiny laptop that I’m writing on is probably a million times better than that old heap of junk I previously had (and that I’m still so attached to, I’ve kept it in the bottom of my wardrobe) I just don’t feel like we’re getting on. I am trying to make it work. I know that the difference in technology between the two laptops is probably like the difference between jumping to the shops via pogo stick and driving there by car, but I still long for the days of Microsoft Word 2003 where I didn’t have to be signed into an e-mail account to write some words down. The good old days back when I could actually get the mousepad to do what I wanted and when everything wasn’t so swooshy.
Or, in other words, I’m an old fart who doesn’t like change. Are you guys like this? Do you keep hold of old technology because it feels familiar to you? Or do you embrace new technology with open arms?
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