Life with Loraine: Unplugged
It’s a typical Tuesday afternoon working from home. My cat is sitting on my keyboard, while I’m working on multiple projects. Today our cat, Star is very needy. She’s walking back and forth the width of my desk, pushing my chin with her nose and cuddling into my monitor. I look up and realize, my computer has shut off. I stare at Star frustrated and mutter to her, “Ugh…what did you do here? I get up and walk towards the bathroom and realize our power is out. It wasn’t the cat, it’s just a power outage.
I had so much to do today. I was wrapping a project up when I realized I had no power, and more than likely that assignment is lost forever. It’s also mid-day, I can’t do anything for work that doesn’t allow me to use a power source. My children are also in school, and I feel so perplexed that I can’t do anything while they aren’t here. I know the power will return just when I pick them up.
Is this what it was like before machines ruled the world, I thought?
Today’s series of events made me really reminisce. As a child I had no home computer, not until I was 14. I never had the TV on all day long. What did I do before the internet I thought? I played outside and I lost track of time, that’s what I did. I loved to ride my bike; I would ride from one friend’s house to the next, without a cell phone. Could you imagine our children riding their bikes now without a cellphone? I honestly think as a parent I would be besides myself if I couldn’t always be in touch with my child. How did our parents do it? How did they trust us? How did they know we were going to be OK?
With the power of technology, we can connect so much easier but not as deeply. For example, I’m sitting here trying to connect with colleagues, but I have no internet, and I can’t use social media to see if anyone else is experiencing an outage. The only thing I have is my phone to make a call and who wants to truly pick it up to call someone? This is what our lives have become. We are living in a fast-paced world where we are all doing multiple things at one time. No one truly slows down and enjoys the moment. This power outage has put me in an adult time out and I am trying to figure out how to not focus on so many things at once, but 2021 is not 1996 and things are so completely different.
If you would have told me as a child that I would rely on a computer every day for work, I would have thought you were crazy. Working in technology and designing graphics for social media gives me a lot of insight into the audience who is using each app, and how long they look at a graphic, if they share it, or save it to their phone. Everything today is trackable. Isn’t that kind of scary? Everything is trackable. You can look to your phone to see how many calories you have burned, how long you have slept, you can even take conference calls, all from your cellphone.
But we can’t have a meaningful conversation without technology today.
“Oh my god, I wish the electric would just come back on.”
Fifteen minutes have gone by, and I have decided I’m just done for the day. I am too far removed from when I was originally working on now, I am fixated on trying to be more present. I really think this adult time out was needed today because it’s really teaching me patience, though I hardly like accepting.
I go to make coffee, guys … I still have no power, what am I doing?
I think the biggest take away from my loss of power today was that the world is still moving. Life keeps happening, even if you aren’t plugged in. There may be many of you reading this that never had the simple joys of moments without technology at your fingertips. You should ask your parents about their childhood. Guaranteed someone’s mother or father will say that they walked two miles in the rain, snow and sleet to school. Instead of rolling your eyes at them ask them about their childhood. What did they do for fun?
Loraine Griffiths is a fifth-generation Hammontonian, graphic designer, wife and mother of three. She can be reached through email at LifeWithLoraine@gmail.com.