My love/hate relationship with technology is stormier than any celebrity relationship gracing tabloid covers. When things are good, they’re really good, but when they go south, well, it gets ugly.
My most recent spat with technology began last weekend when I got the brilliant idea to reformat a tower computer that’s been sitting under my desk unused for nearly two years. Back then, I had grand plans to make it the kids’ computer after I cleared the hard drive of every bit of personal information that someone could steal away. (I guess ‘someone’ is the same person that would wait outside to dig through my trash if I didn’t shred all of my mail).
I suspected the task would be difficult because people that knew a thing or two about computers told me so. Last Sunday, I felt brave and ready to conquer the task. I managed to download the boot disk files onto a floppy and CD, just in case one didn’t work. It was going so smoothly, I decided those people who told me it was a pain didn’t know what they were talking about.
My progress came to a screeching halt when I discovered that the BIOS screen didn’t display on my computer. (No BIOS screen = no reformat). I shut down the PC and restarted it three times to make sure I didn’t blink and miss it. Nope. I realized the people who foretold this misery were right. I consulted with the ‘experts’ on what to do next. When I mentioned I just wanted to get all my information off the hard drive, the immediate suggestion was physical destruction of the hard drive. Really? That seemed so brutal; I wasn’t sure if I could do it.
Also on Sunday, I accidentally introduced my cellphone to my washing machine. (Not a great day for me, can you tell?) Even sitting in a baggie full of rice for a few days couldn’t resuscitate it. I’d grown attached to it after five years together, but because of my co-dependent relationship with my cell phone, I had to get over my grief quickly. I couldn’t manage my daily life without it, so I purchased another phone on the rebound. I chose a flashy red phone with a QWERTY keyboard that I’ll never use since I’m old fashioned and only use the phone for talking.
Not wanting to be left out of the conspiracy to destroy me, the email account that I send queries from is misbehaving. I discovered extra line breaks and mid-paragraph returns are mysteriously appearing. (Three agents now suspect I might be under the influence while querying). I emailed support and got a standard response with 10 troubleshooting steps to try. I’ve gotten through most of them, but it’s still not working.
In a final crippling move, my husband’s laptop started popping up some corrupt file messages last week, so yesterday, he called support. I don’t know what they’re going to do to it, but I’m supposed to back up the files before he calls them back, because there’s a chance we could lose our files. (At this point, I’m not sure what’s more in danger of being lost; the computer files or my mind).
Yep, I finally had to admit that technology brought me to my knees. I didn’t see any way to overcome my disadvantage, so I finally snapped and fought back. Technology has gotten way too controlling and I couldn’t take it anymore; my hammer and I took matters into our own hands. (Well, my husband helped too).
That hard drive won’t be telling any of my secrets. In fact, the other computer parts won’t even recognize that it was a hard drive. Oh yeah, we messed it up all right. And it felt great. I haven’t felt this calm since….since…wow, when was I calm? Oh, never mind. It doesn’t matter.
Last night, I was ready to divorce technology. Tonight, it charmed me back into its arms. I couldn’t resist the power of the internet, blogs or even my manuscript. I may hate myself tomorrow, but for now, technology and I are on again.
Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with technology? I’d love to hear what you find most endearing, frustrating or exciting about technology.