For a humanities-and-history-major-type, I have become pretty computer-savvy over the last few years — learning the ins and outs of blogging and website development, and even a little bit of coding!
But I can still be brought to my knees by a malfunctioning mac.
The other night, as I was working on my online course offerings, my computer started crashing.
Well, not really crashing, but every time I tried to access my sites, my browser shut down. It didn’t matter which browser — Chrome, Safari, Firefox, OH MY! They all crashed.
And then my computer started randomly shutting down. Right in the middle of the THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL THE WORK.
Oh, sure, my computer had been giving me little signs in the last few weeks, spinning beach balls and intermittent glitches, but I DIDN’T THINK HE REALLY MEANT IT.
Until the other night, when my brain went all 404 FILE NOT FOUND as I pondered how to rescue my computer and be able to DO MY FREAKING JOB which now depends tremendously on EVERYTHING ON MY COMPUTER.
Luckily, after a lot of hair-pulling and crowdsourcing on Facebook, and a sleepless night planning for a new computer purchase (maybe one of those pretty gold macbooks, because I am quite certain A COMPUTER MADE OF GOLD WOULD LAST FOREVER), my computer was restored to health and THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING.
In my mindfulness classes, when we talk about multi-tasking, I always tell my participants they are NOT computers. They cannot process ALL THE THINGS at once like their computer can. But this little 24-hour computer bug taught me that in many ways, you are JUST LIKE A COMPUTER.
10 Ways You Are Exactly Like Your Computer*
*Please be advised that nothing in this list is intended to be actual computer advice. I am a history major. As evidence of the extent of my computer knowledge, I’m pretty sure that the part that was failing on my computer was the flux capacitor.
1. You function better when you are less cluttered.
People with uncluttered desks are more productive and persistent, and clutter actually sets off a whole bunch of threat detection systems in your brain that interfere with focus and concentration.
Clean up your computer, get rid of old files and pictures, and free up disk space. Those old photos and term papers do not SPARK JOY in your hard drive. In fact, you don’t want ANY sparks in your hard drive.
Straighten up your desk, get rid of old stuff, and enjoy the space. You could even light a candle. Just not next to your hard drive.
2. You have internal systems that warn you of malfunctions.
They’re not quite as obvious or persistent as pop-up windows, but our bodies are constantly providing us with information and asking us for stuff. The little twinge of pain in your knee, the tension in your shoulders, the pit in your stomach…. these are all part of your internal system that monitors your status and alerts you when your attention and action are needed.
Don’t ignore them. You might just shut down.
3. You probably have too many windows open.
You and your computer have a limited amount of working memory. Don’t overtax it. Close some windows.
4. You need a firewall.
Honestly, I don’t even know what a computer firewall is, but I envision it’s like a really big wall that keeps bad stuff (like fires) out of your computer. But my laptop is very small, so I’m pretty sure it’s a METAPHORICAL WALL.
So don’t LITERALLY build a wall, but protect yourself. There’s bad stuff in the world, but you don’t have to be consumed by it. There’s goodness, too. Take in the good. Surround yourself with the people who love you and support you. You don’t need to engage in the vitriol on Facebook or read the reviews when you write your book. (But you probably should read reviews if you need to buy a computer….)
5. You need regularly scheduled updates.
You know you SHOULD get more sleep, and you SHOULD exercise more, and you SHOULD go in for that physical, but OMG, Game of Thrones! I’ll do it tomorrow….. or in May.
I kept saying I’d update my computer sometime later…. and then completely lost my shit when I thought it was too late. And that’s because….
6. Crises usually happen when you can least afford them.
Your computer will crash when you have a big project to complete, and you will get sick right before you leave for vacation. Get some antivirus protection, get your flu shot, run your diagnostics, and take your vitamins.
7. You should completely shut down once in a while.
I know, it’s so much easier to just close the laptop without actually shutting down because WHAT IF I NEED TO GOOGLE SOMETHING AND DON’T WANT TO WAIT 38 SECONDS TO START IT UP AGAIN?
But one thing I DID learn from my near-disaster was that a COMPLETE SHUTDOWN is different from a RESTART. Once I shut everything down and let the computer have a day of rest, updates installed. Crashes resolved. AND IT WAS GOOD.
So take some time once in a while and COMPLETELY SHUTDOWN. No phone, no TV, just you. AND IT WILL BE GOOD.
8. You can’t trust everything on the Internet.
There’s lots of bad viruses and malware out there. And lots of bad information about vaccines and politicians and celebrities, and shady but sort-of-nice-sounding wealthy overseas moguls who want to give you money. Trust in humanity, but run your virus checker/bullshit detector.
9. You are vulnerable.
Someday you’re gonna get a virus and crash, or get shut out of ALL THE COOL KIDS’ BROWSERS. (Aw, snap!) But you’ll be okay. You stepped into the
Apple Store arena, and that’s what matters. Every day is a chance to ⌘ [option] [escape] (control-alt-delete for my PC peeps) and restart.
10. You are incredibly powerful.
And lest you think this list is all about dangers, let’s acknowledge that you and your little computing device are INCREDIBLY POWERFUL. You both contain worlds of knowledge and are capable of intense searching. Your computer can send someone to the moon and you are made of stardust.
So make sure you both are fully protected, updated, and nurtured.
Or it will come back to byte you.
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