Digital Dread

I’ve got a handle on simplifying most areas of my life. Then there’s technology. Here’s my dirty little secret: My everything digital is nearly in chaos. Alas, I can no longer avoid it. My digital clutter is taunting me. Like a hoarder who doesn’t know where to begin- or rather, doesn’t want to begin, I think I have issues with technology. I notice the disarray. I feel the immensity.  But I Just. Don’t. Want to. Face it.

I don’t mind organizing anything else. I welcome it, in fact. Bookshelves, wardrobes, closets, kitchen cabinets, pantries, the fridge.  Even the immense photo boxes made it to the top of my ‘sort through’ list this year.   I will gladly arrange, categorize, systematize and coordinate.  The progress is immediate and visible. I love being able to see everything in a drawer and know it’s not overflowing with excess.  A dirty fridge is my pet peeve, as is a messy car.  I will gladly dispose, wipe down, rearrange. Periodically going through my closet is a pleasure.  But I need to touch and maneuver these things with my hands. I printed out 125 pages of my work-in-progress in order to spread it out on the floor and really see it around me.  Just once, I wanted to change it and fix it and make it better while actually touching it.

Oh Technology, I love you. But I hate you. You are so useful, but I am sulking.  You are invisible, but I am tripping over you.  You are everywhere but nowhere. I follow you, I fill you up with my words, but then I can’t find you. I need to sort through you, to have some command over you, but you are getting away.  The files and folders and flash-drives. The downloads, documents and drafts.  A part of my world is housed up in screens and I am a tentative guest. How do I clear through the cobwebs of this computer clutter when I am unsure of what might crawl out? What if I let it go and then I need it? What if I start moving something around and get sidetracked, and can’t stop writing something else?

It’s all so inordinate, so overwhelming. But we must tackle that which scares us, once and for all, right?  I will own my technology. I will not let my technology own me.  Digital housekeeping-it’s the thing I’ve avoided until now. I know it will make things easier and more pleasant in the long run. I will love knowing where everything is, and that there’s a system in place.  My photos- the cyberspace kind- will be in albums. My writing will be filed and labeled and sorted. My chapter outlines will no longer be in a notebook, or in bits and pieces on flash drives. Submissions and responses won’t be lost in a sea of old emails.  I will have order.  I will breathe through the process, moving a word here, deleting a file there. And in the end, Technology and I will become better friends. We will.

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