Always Connected

connectmeThanks to the unexpected and brutal death of my main computer, I find myself the proud owner of a spanking new laptop.  Don’t worry – I didn’t lose any files.  Back up, people!  Back up!  STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND BACK UP YOUR FILES NOW!

Erm, sorry.  Anyway, because I have a new computer for the first time in four years, I’ve been introduced to the wacky and wonderful world of Windows 8.  This post will not be about Windows 8, but let me just say that Windows 8 makes me nostalgic for Vista, and I didn’t think that was possible.

What I’ve found the most interesting about setting up a new computer is the bland assumption that everyone will be connected to the Internet at all times.  And, perhaps more importantly, the assumption that people WANT to be connected at all times.  The whole system, and most of the supporting software, is designed with one goal in mind – connectivity.

Based on my observations, this is a pretty fair assumption.  Most people of my acquaintance have smart phones or tablets and, according to research I’ve read, computer use is switching to mobile devices in a big way.   That, combined with the new cloud-based thingees out there means everyone can indeed be connected all the time.  You can have your music all the time.  You can play your games all the time.  You can access your files all the time.  You can be on your social media networks all the time.  You can text or actually make phone calls all the time.  You can reach out and touch somebody’s hand ALL THE TIME.

But….

There’s a price for everything and it seems to me that there’s a steep one for all of this connectivity.  Because we are always connected, we are expected to – and indeed required to – always face outwards.  We are always supposed to be available.  Always supposed to be ready for mental company.  Always ready to interact.

If people can always reach you, can you have a room in your own mind that’s just for you?  If’ we’re always connected to the hive, are we able to have our own private mental space as well?  Our own personal dance space?

And if we don’t have our own space, where is our freedom to just be ourselves?  If we’re always “on”, when do we have the time to think?  To be who we are?  To create?

Or is it the fact that we’re afraid to be who we are that makes all of this immediate connection so very tempting?  How often have you sat down at your computer to do something constructive only to find that the Internet has sucked away hours of your life without you even noticing?

I don’t know the answers.  I just know that I need to turn off my router if I want to get anything done.  And I’m kind of glad I don’t get cell phone coverage at the Palatial Horvath Estate.

And I hope I figure out Windows 8 soon because I’m getting some pretty big bald spots from yanking out all of my hair.

Guess it’s a good thing I don’t have Instagram.

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Comments

  1. Oh how I hate…..Windows 8. great blog

    • Betsy Horvath says:

      @Laryn: You know it’s fine if Microsoft wants to make a mobile operating system, but when I’m working, I want to (wait for it) WORK! Yeesh.

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