Home > Uncategorized > How to upgrade your life by losing your computer

How to upgrade your life by losing your computer

I just got my laptop back, after a week without it–it broke and was promptly repaired by Apple–and something interesting happened.

It’s so easy to waste hours upon hours visiting and re-visiting your favorite websites. And when you do that, it’s amazing how unenjoyable it becomes. It’s like an addiction, small-scale: the comforting stuporous buzz you feel from doing something repetitive and low-energy is a drug that demands more of itself.

Of course, it’s an escape. And apart from that, can enable bad habits… perhaps even a rather mild case of stalking if I dare admit it 😉 You know that saying that you don’t know what you miss until it’s gone? I feel like its opposite applies here: I didn’t realize how little I would miss it until it was gone.

A couple of days ago, for the first time ever, I came up on a new solution for what to do when I have nothing to do: grab books and read them. It’s that simple. And yet, despite a goal to read more, I haven’t substantially changed things until now. Before settling down on a nice couch with a stack of books, I hit on a new reading habit. Several days ago, I took a book with me on the bus–even if I read it only half the time. I read dozens of pages of a behavior modification textbook during self-imposed 2-minute breaks while doing the most boring data entry job ever.

What can you do? You can cut yourself off from your temptation, at least for a little while, let other, higher-quality habits seep in and fill its place, and upgrade your life.

With my laptop back, a strange emotion (or set of emotions) came over me. A sort of tense-ness. I was…   afraid. Afraid I would lose the battle to maintain my new habits; but also determined that I would. It feels so strange to say to yourself ‘I am going to win this’ when you’re talking about beating yourself up for doing something you thought you enjoyed.

I am sure that there are many other lower-quality habits that can be replaced with higher-quality ones, and I am sure that over time I will discover more of them.

Some low-quality activities, most notably mindless Internet crawling (and the terrifying part is that, for me, I eventually found that I could not control myself even when I knew I didn’t really want to), is that your clear vision of yourself becomes less clear; it becomes clouded. I find that my convictions ring hollow when I forget the meat of them and repeat only the words–becoming the image, not the real thing. Using the Internet is one of those things, if not the biggest thing, that makes me forget the discrepancy between my desires and actions. Perhaps like a lens that can’t see its own flaws.

P.S. An additional reason I feel trepidation–and, looking it up, it’s the perfect word–about being online is because I know I’ll be tempted to check out the Facebook and blog of someone whom I should forget about, at least for a little while.

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