Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Day Without a Computer...I Survived

At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without it by my side. But as it turns out, going an entire day without turning on my computer didn’t kill me. I did survive.

The date was November 7, 2015. It was a Saturday just like any other Saturday in Chandler, Arizona—sunny skies; highs in the 70s; birds chirping; scorpions scurrying. It was all very ordinary, except for one thing—at no point that day did I turn on my computer. I didn’t flip open my laptop. Didn’t press the power button. Didn’t enter my password. And most importantly, I didn’t surf the internet. No checking my email. No scrolling through my Facebook feed. No tweeting or retweeting. No randomly searching Wikipedia or the IMDb. Just digital silence.

And for those of you thinking, “Big deal! Who needs to turn on their computer to do any of that stuff anyway? You just use your phone for all that,” I should let you know that I never use my phone for any of that. Yes, I’m about a decade behind when it comes to electronic technologies. My iPhone is certainly capable of doing any of those things, but I don’t use it in that way. Mostly I use it as a phone, a camera, or a paperweight.

And so it was that I spent an entire day without looking at my computer screen. More than a day, really, since I went from about 11:00 pm on Friday, the 6th until about 8:30 am on Sunday, the 8th without booting up. That’s 33.5 hours for those of you doing the math at home.

When I finally turned on my computer on Sunday morning, I wondered what kind of world would await me. Would cats have evolved to be winged-creatures? Would purple now be the new black? Would the Donald Trump presidential run all have been an elaborate prank that culminated with his appearance on SNL? (One can dream, anyway.)

As it turns out, nothing particularly earth-shattering seems to have occurred during my computer hiatus. I had 45 new emails in my inbox, of which I deleted 34 without opening. Of the eleven emails I did look at, the most important one informed me that my brother Mark’s 91st favorite album of all time is Venus and Mars by Paul McCartney and Wings. Again, nothing earth-shattering. (Had it been 90th instead of 91st that would have been earth-shattering.)

On Facebook, I missed the birthday of three friends. But unless any of them keeps an Excel spreadsheet of their birthday greetings, I doubt they would have noticed that I didn’t post amongst their hundreds of well-wishers. But just to be safe, happy birthday to Michele, Kevin and Joanna!

And as for Twitter, I gained one follower in my absence—someone I never heard of named Ali Spagnola. I’m guessing she’s someone famous because she has one of those blue “verified account” symbols next to her name. Why she decided to follow me, I have no idea, but given that she follows 1.78 million people, I’m not going to take it to mean that we’re going steady.

So what did I learn from this grand experiment? Was it worth it to not be tapped in to our cyber society for an entire day? And will little Billy be rescued from the well? This and all more on the next exciting episode of As the Days of Our Lives Turns into the Shadow Knows