Elizabeth Berg is a brilliant writer. I follow her on Facebook as well as enjoying her books and I found yesterday’s post both relatable and humorous. Even though I have a very full, happy life it does occasionally occur to me “what if” we just didn’t have all this technology?
I hope you enjoy this and by all means, if you are an avid reader and don’t know Elizabeth Berg’s writing – check her out.
3/25/15 (courtesy of her Facebook page)
“I am aware of the irony of using the internet to complain about the internet. But here I go. My gripe du jour is that I learn something, or download something, and then it changes. And then I have to download something else and I try to, and it doesn’t work. And soon I have all these little downloads having babies, you know, the XXX.1, XXX.2, XXX.3, but nothing works.
I feel sometimes like I’m being bullied by people I can’t see who make arbitrary decisions about things that I don’t necessarily agree with, and that changes are being made for change’s sake. I feel that I’m being pushed into using a new version of blah blah blah and I don’t know why. And I don’t know where to go to get help. To the Apple store? To a consulting service, where I will have to admit that I’m not so very sure that I know what “browser” REALLY means, that to me it sounds like a modification of a pretty good dog name and nothing else?
I get overwhelmed with all this stuff. And just now, after trying to download a new version of Adobe (and there you go, why is it called ADOBE????? That’s like calling mocha chocolate cake, wallaby syllable wrench) I had to give up and go and lie down on the sofa and look out the window. And I imagined a little house like the kind that children draw, with flowers in a window box and fat puffs of smoke coming out of a chimney and green grass standing up straight and neat as a crewcut. And I wanted to open the paper door and go into the paper house and live there because I imagined that even though it was pretend, everything in it would be real. Virtual is not welcome in my life anymore. Same with multi-tasking. Same with sound bites, and twitter. Here is what is welcome in my life: Depth. Reflection. The ability to pay attention to one thing at a time so as to see it wholly.
Kindness. Connection. Chicken pot pie.
I lay on the sofa and wondered if it would be possible to live a life without a computer. I think it would be very hard, if not impossible. But it might be worth it. I thought, maybe I’ll write a book called “OFFLINE” and it would be about how one does that. What would life be like without a computer? And then I realized it would be nearly impossible to submit a book without a computer unless you’re John Updike, who is dead.
Please excuse this rant. See it as Maureen O’Hara weeping as she pounds on John Wayne’s chest. Or, I don’t know, Jennifer Lawrence as she pounds on Bradley Cooper’s chest. There. I guess I just updated something after all.
Now I am going back downstairs to lie on the sofa and read. One page at a time. Under yellow lamplight. The only sound the turning of the pages and the whining of the dogs in their sleep.
I miss my mom today. She hated computers, too. She never would learn how to do anything on them. It used to make me mad. Now I think she was a genius.”