Okay people, I'm back in action!
On occasion, I get these crazy ideas....I dig my heals in...and resist the advances of technology. It was years before I finally succumbed to the realization that cell phones are a wise choice. When my friend came back from Africa painting vivid pictures of village life with no running water or electricity, but his mother had a cell phone (battery-powered)...it was time for me to give in.
Technology resistance reared its head again when I had my laptop stolen back in December. I decided to try living without such easy access to technology. To get my tech fix, I'd stay late at work, trek off to the library (1 hr/day time limit), use a friend's computer, or if I was really desperate, I'd head off to the local Kinko's and pay their outrageous $18/hr. (If I was super speedy, that translated to 20 cents a minute.)
The good news? It finally broke my habit of checking e-mail morning, noon and night. ("Crackberry" sans Blackberry...)
The bad news? I had a mounting pile of neglected projects...and was turning myself into a wreck trekking all over town for computer access.
Finally, I caved.
Yesterday I unpacked my new laptop and within minutes, I was cooing, "Hello gorgeous! Where have you been all my life?"
And as I took in the various features, I couldn't help but catcall, "Check out that keyboard. Ooh baby....And would you look at that monitor?" (Insert sexy whistle here.)
Yes, I am back in action!
And thanks to this little experiment, I've got a whole new appreciation for what it's like to be without computer access...
Issues surrounding the technology divide took on a whole new awareness when it became personal: with only 1 hour of access to public computers, how do people find jobs? Or write papers for school? Heck, with only 1 hour a day, how do you even get comfortable with technology? Computers may be vital to our society, but without access, how do you develop the necessary skills?
These are serious issues in developing nations, but I was shocked to discover how difficult it was here in the United States. It's a shame--especially when you consider our proximity to Microsoft and Google.
For me, living without a computer was a choice...and I could simply opt out, but for others? It's just not that easy.
What's the solution?
Here's a step in the right direction. Mohini over at Mango Power Girl has taken up the cause with an organization called One Laptop per Child.
As Mohini tells it, after their wedding, she and her husband pooled the cash...and donated funds to purchase laptops. "We decided to save the money spent on the cost of a big wedding, and to start our marriage off right by instead giving that much money away to the world's neediest."
But then I remember...it's by sheer luck of the gene pool that I was born in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. For me, giving back...goes hand in hand with that privilege.
On that note, I'll bring this post to a close.
While I've had limited computer access over the past few months, I've been collecting tons of stories--including some super juicy news (YAY!) and an update on my Round the World trip. I can't wait to share the news with you!