For the first summer session and the first semester I had a non-portable laptop.

How can a laptop be unportable, you might ask? Isn’t the primary purpose of a laptop that it can be taken from place to place? Don’t you mean you had a desktop computer?

To spare you the full tale of my computer woes, the short version is that my computer lacked that essential laptop capability to close, and thus be placed into a backpack and transported anywhere useful besides my desk and my bed. So I never took my laptop to class.

I didn’t miss it, for the most part. Very few assignments required me to type anything and I could log onto the Internet at any number of locations in the various libraries on campus. Not to mention that distracting pastimes, such as talking to friends online or checking my email obsessively were restricted to short(ish) breaks between active studying.

However, my beloved laptop, which I still required for distracting myself from school-related activities when at home, had problems beyond its lack of closure and it was easy to get jealous of the very portable computers the other students in my cohort carried around. Eventually it became clear that I was going to need to obtain a new laptop, so over winter break I shelled out far too much money for a shiny new one.

Which brings me to this week’s topic; the dangers of getting what you want. Because now I have a laptop that I can easily slip into my backpack between lab manuals and textbooks, so it comes to school with me every day. Which means that, mid-physics problem, I can tell a good friend about my day or reply to an email about a shadowing opportunity, or, oh yeah, write a blog entry. Laptop portability may have increased, but my productivity has taken a nosedive.

Easy solution, though; just stop bringing it with me to class in the first place, right? But as anyone who has ever acquired a new piece of technology can tell you, once you begin to rely on something, it’s almost impossible to give it up. I’ve forgotten how to be a non-computered student. How do I take notes in bio without my computer? How do I cram for that lab quiz if I can’t access the power point slides from the lecture the other day? What if I get an important email!? I can no longer function without constant connection to the web!

Thus you, dear reader, get an update, and I get a chapter behind in my physics studying. Ah, technology.


 

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